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Anti-prohibition news from over the world

Collected live from our allies' blogs.
Note: All opinions expressed below are those of the authors only, not necessarily TICAP's.
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INSERT INTO `rssdata` SET `link`='http://lesdissidentsdegeneve.ch/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4735:petition-au-grand-conseil-de-geneve&catid=1:nouvelles-quotidiennes', `title`='Pétition au Grand conseil de Genève',`description`='

À l\'approche des élections cantonales à Genève, Les Dissidents de Genève estiment urgent et nécessaire de consolider le suffrage universel, actuellement menacé. En effet les citoyens, qui élisent des députés au Grand conseil, n\'ont aucune garantie que ceux-ci ne soient pas rétrogradés en cours de législature au rang de simple députés indépendants, ainsi privés du droit fondamental de siéger dans les commissions parlementaires. Or c\'est dans ces commissions consultatives préparatoires que tout se joue. C\'est là le véritable creuset des décisions prises ensuite par l\'assemblée plénière.', `date`='2017-02-10 08:48:44', `rssid`=6

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', `date`='2016-11-14 11:43:51', `rssid`=6
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INSERT INTO `rssdata` SET `link`='http://lesdissidentsdegeneve.ch/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4733:suisse-letat-fouineur-compte-sur-votre-trouille-pour-ficher-chacun-dentre-vous&catid=1:nouvelles-quotidiennes', `title`='Suisse: L\'Etat fouineur compte sur votre trouille pour ficher chacun d\'entre vous',`description`='

(DDG/jaw)Au risque de peiner ceux des partis qui ont la mémoire courte, est-il besoin de rappeler l\'affaire des fiches ? Bof... Une bagatelle puisque seuls quelque 900 000 citoyens  avaient été systématiquement espionnés  jusque dans leur vie intime sur le territoire suisse, soit plus de 15% de la population ! Il a 26 ans que ce scandale a éclaté ! On le croyait et l\'espérait oublié ...Le Conseil fédéral propose un dispositif d\'inquisition bien pire: l\'installation d\'espiogiciels dans tous les ordinateurs de notre population.', `date`='2016-09-03 00:46:34', `rssid`=6

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INSERT INTO `rssdata` SET `link`='http://lesdissidentsdegeneve.ch/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4732:tabac--une-putasserie-medicale-visant-les-pauvres-&catid=1:nouvelles-quotidiennes', `title`='Tabac : une putasserie médicale visant les pauvres !',`description`='

(jaw/DDG/15.08.2016)

Tabac : une putasserie médicale visant les pauvres !


On aura tout vu en matière de pratiques honteuses et mensongères pour décourager les fumeurs de tabac : l\'évocation de la prétendue « fumée passive létale » déjà propagée à l\'époque par un Troisième Reich épris de « purification »; la prétendue réduction spectaculaire des journées d\'hôpitaux aux HUG, annoncée à son de cor à Genève suite à l\'interdiction de fumer dans tous les lieux publics; la propagande pour le \"Champix », médicament sur ordonnance,  hallucinogène et suicidogène au point où, aux Etats-Unis, le laboratoire Pfizer a dû dédommager 2000 victimes de cette molécule toxique ; les statistiques délibérément ou accidentellement manipulées...et l\'on en passe ! ', `date`='2016-08-15 21:46:20', `rssid`=6

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INSERT INTO `rssdata` SET `link`='http://lesdissidentsdegeneve.ch/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4731:tour-de-vis-dans-nos-parcs-&catid=1:nouvelles-quotidiennes', `title`='Tour de vis dans nos parcs ...',`description`='

(w) Parmi les dernières interdictions en date promulguées par nos autorités municipales, trois nouvelles figurent dans la dernière série: elles frappent les broches en plein air (promotion du véganisme ou souci du réchauffement climatique ?), le passage des vélocipèdes (usure du gravier ?), détention et consommation de boissons alcooliques (risque de collisions entre piétons ivres ? ) et musique (pour rétablir l\'égalité avec les malentendants ?)

En revanche, les conversations à voix basse et les déambulations en chaussures de cuir (d\'origine animale) sont encore tolérées., de même que l\'ingestion et la mastication de pain de mie ...sans gluten:-)', `date`='2016-06-28 01:17:51', `rssid`=6

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INSERT INTO `rssdata` SET `link`='http://lesdissidentsdegeneve.ch/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4730:rts-la-premiere-qcomment-lutter-contre-la-qscience-poubelleq&catid=1:nouvelles-quotidiennes', `title`='RTS - La Première: \"Comment lutter contre la \"science poubelle\"?',`description`='

RTS - La Première - CQFD: \"La science apporte des preuves scientifiques aux questions que les chercheurs se posent. Malheureusement, ces preuves ne sont pas toujours aussi solides qu’on le croit. On a vu des études a priori sérieuses et qui ont été publiées dans des grandes revues scientifiques être désavouées et retirées quelques années plus tard. Comment empêcher les publications des \"mauvaises sciences\"?

\"L\'éclairage de Nadia Elia, médecin épidémiologiste, spécialiste en santé publique, chercheuse dans le service d’anesthésie aux HUG et chargée d’enseignement à l\'institut de santé globale de l’Universté de Genève. Par Adrien Zerbini.\"', `date`='2016-06-17 01:41:25', `rssid`=6

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INSERT INTO `rssdata` SET `link`='http://lesdissidentsdegeneve.ch/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4729:loi-sur-le-tabac-renvoyee-par-les-etats&catid=1:nouvelles-quotidiennes', `title`='Loi sur le tabac renvoyée par les Etats',`description`='

(ATS) \"La publicité pour le tabac ne devrait pas être restreinte. Par 28 voix contre 15, le Conseil des Etats a rejeté mardi les propositions du Conseil fédéral en lui demandant de revoir largement sa copie.

Le Conseil national doit encore se prononcer. La loi sur les produits du tabac avait déjà été fortement contestée en consultation, les milieux de la santé la jugeant trop timorée, l\'industrie trop invasive. Les arguments de cette dernière ont prévalu dans les rangs des sénateurs, au terme d\'un débat entamé jeudi passé. La majorité estime que la loi va beaucoup trop loin et interfère avec les principes de l\'économie de marché.\"', `date`='2016-06-14 22:53:58', `rssid`=6

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INSERT INTO `rssdata` SET `link`='http://lesdissidentsdegeneve.ch/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4728:la-ville-de-geneve-harcele-le-salon-venusia&catid=1:nouvelles-quotidiennes', `title`='La Ville de Genève harcèle le salon Venusia',`description`='

La Ville de Genève, cette Marie-couche-toi-là récidivante devant l\'érotiquement incorrect, attaque une nouvelle fois, sous prétexte de non-conformité à la doxa artistique, une superbe affiche du salon érotique genevois, le Venusia. Les considérants invoqués à l\'appui de ce nouvel acte de censure intolérable prêteraient à rire s\'ils n\'attaquaient pas de front la liberté créatrice de l\'artiste.  Depuis \"L\'Origine du monde\" et L\'Amant de Lady Chatterley\" (1928), on pensait que la liberté des mœurs avait fait quelques progrès et que la Bête immonde de la censure avait regagné son médiocre cagibi où elle avait été reléguée. La voici de retour à Genève ! Et gageons qu\'aucun conseiller municipal ne se hasardera à protester en séance publique contre la censure de cette affiche bien innocente. Les censeurs s\'en prennent à une réification alléguée de la femme alors que le message se sert d\'une innocente silhouette visée par des footballeurs émoustillés. Décidément, le ridicule ne tue plus ! A leur lecture,  vous savourerez les attendus invoqués par l\'anonyme \"Commission ad hoc\" sur le préavis de laquelle se fondent Madame est Messieurs les Censeurs\" du Conseil administratif de Genève pour commetre ce nouveau crime contre la créativité artistique.
', `date`='2016-05-31 23:04:45', `rssid`=6

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INSERT INTO `rssdata` SET `link`='http://lesdissidentsdegeneve.ch/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4726:-les-tabacophobes-en-echec-a-berne-&catid=1:nouvelles-quotidiennes', `title`=' Les tabacophobes en échec à Berne !',`description`='

ATS: \" La Cour de justice de l\'Union européenne a validé mercredi la directive UE sur le tabac, rejetant des recours introduits par la Pologne et par le cigarettier américain Philip Morris contre l\'interdiction des arômes comme le menthol et l\'uniformisation des paquets.\"

En revanche les tabacophobes son en échec à Berne:

\"Considérant que les restrictions prévues en matière de publicité, de promotion et de parrainage vont trop loin, la Commission de la sécurité sociale et de la santé publique du Conseil des Etats veut renvoyer le projet de loi sur les produits du tabac au Conseil fédéral.\"', `date`='2016-05-05 01:31:35', `rssid`=6

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INSERT INTO `rssdata` SET `link`='http://lesdissidentsdegeneve.ch/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4725:ats-qun-referendum-contre-les-ecoutes-telephoniquesq&catid=1:nouvelles-quotidiennes', `title`='ATS: \"Un référendum contre les écoutes téléphoniques\"',`description`='

ATS: \" Une alliance de partis et d\'organisations dénonce la nouvelle loi sur la surveillance de la correspondance qu\'elle juge «intrusive».

\"La révision de la loi sur la surveillance de la correspondance par poste et télécommunication introduit deux nouveautés: une durée de conservation des données secondaires plus longue, à six mois. Et la possibilité pour la police d\'utiliser des logiciels espions qui permettent de décoder des messages de criminels potentiels comme des terroristes, des pédocriminels ou des criminels financiers.

«La révision est trompeuse et disproportionnée. Tous les ordinateurs et smartphones privés pourront être surveillés par les chevaux de Troie de l\'Etat. Cela affaiblit la sécurité du système en général et met en question la validité des preuves ainsi obtenues», a fait valoir mardi à Berne le président de la Jeunesse socialiste suisse (Juso) Fabian Molina.\"', `date`='2016-04-12 13:29:55', `rssid`=6

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UPDATE `rssfeeds` SET `sitename`='Netzwerk Rauchen e.V.', `lang`='de-de',`image`='', `updated`='2019-04-19 10:54:47' WHERE `rssid`=8
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INSERT INTO `rssdata` SET `link`='https://www.netzwerk-rauchen.de/component/content/article/1-aktuelle-nachrichten/995-dieselfahrer-sind-die-neuen-raucher.html', `title`='Dieselfahrer sind die neuen Raucher',`description`='Lungenärzte inkonsequent Nicht nur das Tabakrauchen ist eine zivilisatorische Errungenschaft, sondern auch der Autoverkehr. Da nimmt es nicht Wunder, dass ihre Feinde teils dieselben sind: Antimoderne Volkserzieher wie die Grünen. Hysterisches Motto: „Wir werden alle vergiftet“. Nach sogenannten Umweltzonen rücken nun, wen wundert’s, Dieselfahrverbote in die Städte. Selbstverständlich mit EU-Regulierung begründet, das kennen wir von der Lifestyle-Bevormundung zu Genüge. Mal wieder über die Brüsseler Bande gespielt.
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INSERT INTO `rssdata` SET `link`='https://www.netzwerk-rauchen.de/component/content/article/1-aktuelle-nachrichten/994-zukunft-der-tabaksteuer.html', `title`='Zukunft der Tabaksteuer',`description`='Mitmachen bei EU-Befragung Bei Gesetzgebungsverfahren werden oft diverse Lobbygruppen und Betroffene angehört, schriftlich oder mündlich, von der Regierung und/oder vom Parlament. Auf EU-Ebene gibt es ebenfalls solche „Konsultationen“, auch bei der Tabakbekämpfungspolitik. Aktuell kann man, ob Unternehmen, Interessenverband oder Einzelperson, zu geplanten Änderungen bei der
Tabakbesteuerung Stellung nehmen. Sogar auf Deutsch, das war in der Vergangenheit nicht immer so. Noch bis zum 3. September.


', `date`='2018-08-22 21:33:20', `rssid`=8

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INSERT INTO `rssdata` SET `link`='https://www.netzwerk-rauchen.de/component/content/article/1-aktuelle-nachrichten/993-neue-ekelgalerie-ist-online.html', `title`='Neue Ekelgalerie ist online',`description`='

Es ist wieder „World No Tobacco Day“ (Weltnichtrauchertag), und die Massenmedien haben mal wieder nichts Besseres zu tun, als kostenlose Antiraucherpropaganda im Sinne von Staaten und Pharmakonzernen zu verbreiten. Das diesjährige Motto in Deutschland lautet: „Pass auf, an wen du dein Herz verlierst!\" Damit man seine Freiheit nicht die Tabakkontrolle verliert, sollte man sich deren Botschaften nicht zu Herzen nehmen.


', `date`='2018-05-31 12:27:16', `rssid`=8

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INSERT INTO `rssdata` SET `link`='https://www.netzwerk-rauchen.de/component/content/article/1-aktuelle-nachrichten/991-neues-im-spendenshop.html', `title`='Neues im Spendenshop',`description`=' Mousepad, Kaffeebecher, Leinenbeutel Im Netzwerk-Rauchen-Spendenshop sind neue Produkte bestellbar!


Nach dem neuen Schockbilder-Album und dem Flussblick-Poster können Spender nun Kaffeebecher, Beutel und Mousepads erhalten. Als Dankeschön für eine kleine Spende in unterschiedlicher Höhe gibt es Kaffeebecher aus Keramik mit zwei unterschiedlichen Slogans, eine schöne Unterlage für die Computermaus oder auch Tragebeutel, nicht nur für Hipster.', `date`='2018-03-30 18:55:28', `rssid`=8

Data too long for column 'link' at row 1
INSERT INTO `rssdata` SET `link`='https://www.netzwerk-rauchen.de/component/content/article/1-aktuelle-nachrichten/990-internationaler-blog-gestartet.html', `title`='Internationaler Blog gestartet',`description`='Netzwerk Rauchen betreibt SmokingBANditsDer Kampf um den Tabakgenuss wird global geführt. Deshalb hat Netzwerk Rauchen jetzt SmokingBANdits eröffnet, einen internationalen mehrsprachigen Autoren-Blog. Das kleine Wortspiel im Blognamen bezieht sich auf Rauchverbote, aber auch andere Maßnahmen der Tabakbekämpfung wie Steuerexzesse und Ekelbilder finden weltweit Verbreitung. Das Projekt zielt daher darauf ab, den internationalen Informationsfluss zum Thema zu verbessern und einen Austausch zu ermöglichen. „Wir wissen zu wenig über die Verhältnisse im Ausland, umgekehrt verhält es sich genauso“, sagt Michael Löb, Bundesvorsitzender des Netzwerk Rauchen, „das soll sich ändern.“

', `date`='2018-03-23 20:21:29', `rssid`=8

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INSERT INTO `rssdata` SET `link`='https://www.netzwerk-rauchen.de/component/content/article/1-aktuelle-nachrichten/989-friedhelm-adolfs-verstorben.html', `title`='Friedhelm Adolfs verstorben',`description`='Netzwerk Rauchen trauert um aufrechten MitstreiterEin „Kult-Raucher“, Deutschlands nach Helmut Schmidt „zweitbekanntester“ oder zuletzt „‚bekanntester Raucher‘“ lebt nicht mehr. Friedhelm Adolfs starb am Montag im Alter von 79 Jahren in Düsseldorf nach einem Herzstillstand. Er war 2013 zum „gerichtsbekannten Raucher“ avanciert, als seine Vermieterin ihn aus der Wohnung klagen wollte. Angeblich habe sein Rauchen andere Mieter belästigt, vermutlich ging es der Eigentümerin wohl darum, die Wohnung teurer gewerblich vermieten zu können.


', `date`='2017-12-21 22:20:13', `rssid`=8

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INSERT INTO `rssdata` SET `link`='https://www.netzwerk-rauchen.de/component/content/article/1-aktuelle-nachrichten/988-bescherung-im-spendenshop.html', `title`='Bescherung im Spendenshop',`description`=' Zwei weitere Produkte als Dankeschön Im Netzwerk-Rauchen-Spendenshop gibt es nicht nur seit Kurzem den zweiten Ekelbilder-Sammelband. Pünktlich zur Weihnachtszeit können Sie nun zwei weitere Produkte als Dank für eine kleine Spende erhalten.

Das Poster Flussblick macht sich gut an der Wand. Das Bild zeigt ein Freizeitgelände, auf dem alles erlaubt ist – außer Rauchen, Radfahren, Grillen, Fußballspielen, Skaten, Hunden, Dicken, Essen, Trinken ... Noch ein buntes Werk, aber immer mehr auch graue Realität.', `date`='2017-11-29 22:34:39', `rssid`=8

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INSERT INTO `rssdata` SET `link`='https://www.netzwerk-rauchen.de/component/content/article/1-aktuelle-nachrichten/986-neues-album-fuer-schockbilder.html', `title`='Neues Album für Schockbilder',`description`=' Der Schachtelteufel 2 ist fertig, der Nachfolger des erfolgreichen ersten Sammelalbums für Ekelbilder. Die Tabakproduktrichtlinie 2 beglückt uns bekanntlich mit gleich drei Staffeln der kranken Phantasie von EU-Bürokraten entsprungenen „Zigarettensammelbildchen“. Seit Mitte 2017 ist die zweite Garnitur im Umlauf, wieder für ein Jahr. Auch diesmal gilt es, ein Set von 14 verschiedenen Bildern zu ergattern, um das Album zu füllen. Erhältlich ist der Schachtelteufel 2 als Dankeschön für eine kleine Spende von 3 Euro an Netzwerk Rauchen in unserem Spendenshop.

 ', `date`='2017-11-11 22:29:31', `rssid`=8

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INSERT INTO `rssdata` SET `link`='https://www.netzwerk-rauchen.de/component/content/article/1-aktuelle-nachrichten/985-ekelbilder-im-wahlkampf.html', `title`='Ekelbilder im Wahlkampf',`description`=' Vor zehn Jahren schon hatte das Netzwerk Rauchen als „Ekelbilder der Woche“ die Antlitze der CDU-Politikerin Dagmar Schimpanski und des SPD-Bundestagsabgeordneten Karl Lauterbach präsentiert. Beide hatten damals Schockbilder auf Tabakpackungen verlangt. Mittlerweile ist der feuchte Traum der Volksbevormunder leider wahr geworden.


', `date`='2017-09-22 20:14:51', `rssid`=8

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INSERT INTO `rssdata` SET `link`='https://www.netzwerk-rauchen.de/component/content/article/1-aktuelle-nachrichten/984-ihre-stimme-gegen-prohibition.html', `title`='Ihre Stimme gegen Prohibition',`description`=' Entscheiden Sie sich fürs Netzwerk Rauchen! Am Sonntag ist Bundestagswahl, die Wahllokale lassen aber bisher nur einen verhaltenen Lockruf vernehmen. Denn die etablierten Parteien sind zu einem kaum unterscheidbaren und ungenießbaren Gemisch verkommen. Wen können Prohibitionsgegner wählen? Die einflussreichen politischen Kräfte der letzten Jahre haben alle ihren Beitrag zur Bevormundung und zum Paternalismus geleistet. Und werden dies auch in den nächsten vier Jahren tun, soviel ist sicherer als das Amen in der Kirche.


Von der Rückkehr der FDP in den Bundestag sollte man sich nicht zu viel versprechen. Man denke an die letzte Tabaksteuer-Erhöhungsserie, als sie an der Bundesregierung beteiligt war. Und daran, dass jüngst Christian Lindner in NRW die rot-grüne Rauchverbotsverschärfung offenbar nicht ernsthaft rückgängig machen wollte. Ob die AfD sich traut, auch bei Themen wie Rauchen, Trinken und Essen hörbar wider den Stachel zu löcken? Dass ein einzelner namhafter Antiraucher-Funktionär namens Siegfried Ermer sich dort als Kreisvorsitzender (in Erlangen) eingeschlichen hat, sagt zwar noch nichts, da man andererseits auch schon mal die Liberalisierung von Rauchverboten befürwortet hat. Näheres wird sich aber erst zeigen müssen.', `date`='2017-09-18 19:14:30', `rssid`=8

Emily Wieja Interviews Dmitry Kosyrev

Published on 2019-04-19 09:40:34.
Website: Frank Davis


Today I have another one of Emily Wieja’s interviews. These are remarkable because Emily thinks up all the questions, asks them, records them and their answers, edits them, and publishes them. She performs, in effect, all the tasks needed to … Continue reading →

Full article

Campaigners push for the most extreme version of bottle deposit scheme

Published on 2019-04-18 10:46:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


It seems that the campaign for a bottle deposit scheme has already reached the reductio ad tobacco stage...

Supermarkets have been warned they will be demonised alongside tobacco and oil firms if they fail to back a deposit and return scheme for plastic drinks bottles and cans.

The Marine Conservation Society, backed by Dragons' Den star Deborah Meaden, says only a fully comprehensive scheme covering all sizes of plastic drinks bottle, as well as cans and glass bottles, will tackle waste, litter and pollution.

Full article

The Death and Resurrection of Notre Dame

Published on 2019-04-18 10:10:40.
Website: Frank Davis


I’ve not commented on the Notre Dame fire because I’ve been waiting to find out how bad the damage would turn out to be. Some of the early reports spoke of its “complete destruction”, as if all that would be … Continue reading →

Full article

Lawsuit Against Juul/Altria Alleging Fraudulent Misinformation Provides Fraudulent Misinformation

Published on 2019-04-17 13:43:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


Parents of a Florida teenager who became addicted to Juul have sued Juul, Altria, and Philip Morris USA based on a number of claims, including fraud, negligence, and violation of the RICO statute (the compliant is here). Dr. Stan Glantz and Lauren Lempert provide a nice summary of the reasoning behind the lawsuit and the specific claims being made. The case was filed on Monday in the federal district court for the middle district of Florida.

Full article

Utopian Socialists

Published on 2019-04-17 10:42:06.
Website: Frank Davis


The world is full of utopians pursuing utopian projects. Smoking bans are utopian projects. The utopia of Tobacco Control is a “smoke-free world”, a world in which, somehow or other, everyone has stopped smoking – perhaps because nobody needs to … Continue reading →

Full article

Millionaire Politicians

Published on 2019-04-15 10:35:25.
Website: Frank Davis


Breitbart: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Saturday attempted to play down the significance of his millionaire status, quipping dryly that he didn’t imagine lucrative book sales would hurt his chances to win the White House. Did Bernie Sanders really get rich by … Continue reading →

Full article

A load of old rubbish

Published on 2019-04-15 09:29:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


I want to talk to you about bottle deposit schemes.

No, come back. It's more interesting than it sounds. Michael Gove wants us to take our empties to one of 34,000 reverse-vending machines because it will help save the turtles or something. It's not going to save any turtles and it is a fantastically expensive way of achieving very little.

Still, it sounds like a nice idea and so it will probably happen. It seems to have worked quite well in some other countries so there seems no reason not to adopt it in the UK. This is faulty reasoning. The deposit scheme is a classic example of a feel-good policy that fails basic economic analysis.

Full article

No Surprise Really

Published on 2019-04-14 09:23:06.
Website: Frank Davis


I can’t say that I’m surprised that Brexit has been delayed or thwarted. For even though I voted for it, I’ve been saying all along that I never expected to actually see it happen. Why not? Because we’re not really … Continue reading →

Full article

Minimum pricing - a brief overview

Published on 2019-04-13 10:36:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


I've written an introduction to minimum pricing for Freer.

If a minimum price of 50p is ‘evidence-based’, then what would a minimum price of 60p or 70p be? The Sheffield model suggests that a 70p unit price would be more effective in reducing alcohol-related harm than a 50p unit price. Presumably, a £3 unit price would ‘work’ even better, but nobody is seriously calling for it. Why? Because it would increase the cost of living and make drinking unaffordable for many people. But so does a 50p unit, and it is easy to detect of element of snobbery here. It is deemed acceptable to increase the cost of living for people who tend to buy cheap alcohol, but not for those who can afford more expensive brands. MUP targets off licence beer while leaving the price of champagne untouched. 

Full article

Have the health benefits of drinking been disproved?

Published on 2019-04-10 12:22:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist



A study in the Lancet got a lot of media attention last week because it purported to disprove the health benefits of moderate drinking. No single study can do that, of course, but that's how it was reported. It was accompanied by an astonishing editorial calling for readers to 'Unite for a Framework Convention on Alcohol Control' next to the 'no smoking/drinking' image shown above. No slippery slope, eh?

In short, the study looks at a Chinese population and argues that the J-Curve showing lower levels of stroke risk for moderate drinkers is an artifact of genetic differences. Two genotypes - ALDH2-rs671 and ADH1B-rs1229984 - are identified as suspects. The problem is that the former 'is mainly absent among Europeans but is prevalent in populations in East Asia' and the latter 'is found in 19 to 91% of East-Asians and 10 to 70% of West-Asians, but at rates ranging from zero to 10% in other populations'. Since most of the evidence for the J-Curve comes from western countries, it is not at all obvious that this explanation would hold up outside of Asia.

I was in Belgrade for LibertyCon when the study was published and didn't have time to look at it in detail. In any case, I don't pretend to be an expert on Mendelian randomisation, which is what the findings rely on, and its authors aren't likely to win any awards from the Plain English Campaign.  

So here instead is the view of Christopher Oakley who has kindly written a guest post... 


It is clear to anyone who has being paying attention to the shenanigans of the public health industry that the new Holy Grail for this pseudoscience is finding “proof positive” that the protective effects of moderate alcohol consumption are a myth. This is crucial to the more extreme elements that sadly dominate the discourse because, in their minds, it removes the last barrier to treating the alcohol industry as they have the tobacco industry and “denormalising” drinkers the way they have smokers.
Most of the attempts to do this have been exposed as pseudoscientific window dressing for puritanical agendas but last week’s effort involved some real science for once.

A study performed in China looked at people with genetic variants that reduce alcohol consumption. There are two genes involved so nine possible combinations of genotypes with a range of effects from making drinking alcohol very uncomfortable indeed to not having much effect at all. By looking at these groups it is possible to study incidence of stroke and heart disease relative to genotype and therefore ability to consume alcohol. Not a bad idea as it cuts out the reliance on what people say they drink and other confounders that make many epidemiological assertions equivalent to claiming to have split the atom with a bread knife.

The normal process for revealing a novel technique or discovery in science is to rigorously test prior to publishing in the most prestigious journal possible, defend it in peer review, modify if needs be and eventually, perhaps inform the wider public. But public health isn’t science. It has agendas and rushes to publicise anything that supports them, often avoiding prestigious focussed journals by publishing in medical journals with low standards but high media profiles.

So, unfortunately the world was made aware of this novel approach courtesy of uncritical journalism based on a press release issued by The Lancet that begins:

The Lancet: Moderate alcohol consumption does not protect against stroke, study shows
Blood pressure and stroke risk increase steadily with increasing alcohol intake, and previous claims that 1-2 alcoholic drinks a day might protect against stroke are dismissed by new evidence from a genetic study involving 160,000 adults.
Dismissed is a strong word in academia that should have given the journalists a further clue that this was a less then impartial perspective. An even bigger clue comes in the penultimate paragraph, which reads:

Writing in a linked Comment, Professor Tai-Hing Lam and Dr Au Yeung, from the University of Hong Kong

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New Study Finds Vaping is Not Associated with Cardiovascular Disease among Never Smokers; But Tobacco Control Researcher Dismisses Findings

Published on 2019-04-09 23:35:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


A new study published online ahead of print in the American Journal of Medicine reports that there is no association between vaping and cardiovascular disease among never smokers.

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Minimum pricing still failing

Published on 2019-04-09 12:25:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist



Minimum pricing was supposed to reduce alcohol sales in Scotland by 3.5 per cent in its first year. Politicians and campaigners left us in no doubt that it would reduce consumption. Alas, with nine months of sales data now available, the previously reported increase has been confirmed...

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Freedom is slavery

Published on 2019-04-05 07:58:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The latest hot take from the neo-prohibitionists... 

Smoking is slavery and against human rights, activists say
Smoking is a form of slavery and is completely incompatible with widely recognised human rights, activists against smoking have said.
I beg your pardon?

They also criticised the so-called novel tobacco products for muddying the waters with the claims of being “much less harmful”
 Er, OK. And who are these imbeciles?

“I am absolutely convinced that smoking is slavery and it goes against the human right for life and health

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Don't just sit there and let Hong Kong ban vaping

Published on 2019-04-04 07:49:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


In February, the government of Hong Kong announced the prohibition of e-cigarettes and heat-not-burn tobacco products. As CNN reports...

Under the sweeping draft law, which begins its path through the legislature on February 20, anyone who imports, makes, sells or promotes new smoking products could face six months in jail or a HK$50,000 ($6,370) fine.
Imagine jailing people for helping someone give up smoking. Imagine thinking that prohibition works. This is an incredibly stupid and harmful idea. I'm particularly annoyed by it because I would like to visit Hong Kong one day.

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The bigger the lie...

Published on 2019-04-03 10:44:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


We haven't had a whopping great lie about the smoking ban for a while, but this mind-blower makes up for it...

Britain cuts heart deaths by almost two thirds after public smoking ban
Like many claims of this type, it can be debunked by one graph using routine health data.

Note that there has not been a two-thirds reduction in 'heart deaths' since 2007, nor has the rate of decline accelerated. In fact, the rate of decline has slowed.

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Last Orders with Andrew Doyle

Published on 2019-04-02 09:09:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist



There's a new Last Orders podcast to listen to. This month our special guest is the comedian Andrew Doyle who created the phenomenally popular Titania McGrath

We discussed porn permits, junk food and sock puppet lobby groups. Check it out.

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How many bookies will close?

Published on 2019-04-01 15:24:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Today saw the introduction of the £2 cap on stakes for fixed-odds betting terminals. Like the introduction of minimum pricing eleven months ago, it gives us a chance to see how the promises of nanny state campaigners bear up against reality.

It's all quiet on the minimum pricing front, although I gather that the number of units of alcohol sold in Scotland rose by around four per cent in the first six months.

With regards to the dreaded FOBTs, various anti-gambling campaigners have claimed that punters will abandon high stakes digital gambling in favour of betting on horse racing and sports. There will, they say, be little impact on high street bookies. By contrast, I have always said that punters will go online and at least a thousand bookies will close - with the loss of several thousand jobs. I also predict that the rate of problem gambling will remain within the same narrow band of between 0.4% and 0.9% that it has been in for the last 20 years.

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Public Misunderstanding of Health Risks is "a Good Thing" According to Some in the Tobacco Control Movement

Published on 2019-03-29 15:00:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


Somewhere along the line, I must have gone astray. During my master's in public health program, I was taught that one major goal of public health is to educate the public about the risks of various exposures. I was also taught that accurately communicating these risks, as well as helping the public to accurately understand the relative risks between different hazardous behaviors or products was critical.

Well, based on an editorial published this morning in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network Open, I was misguided. For in this editorial, it states that the increasing public misunderstanding of the relative risks of smoking compared to vaping is "a good thing."

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Obesity and free will with Tom Chivers

Published on 2019-03-29 12:15:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


I'm on the Bright Blue podcast with Tom Chivers this week talking about obesity and free will. Do have a listen.

Referenced in the podcast is this article by Tom with which I disagree and this study about obesity being contagious which has been Full article

Turning drinking into smoking

Published on 2019-03-28 12:01:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


You may have seen reports today about a bottle of wine being the cancer equivalent of ten cigarettes. The figure is false and the comparison is meaningless. It is an attempt to scare the statistically naive and promote the idea that drinking is the new smoking.

I wrote about it for Spectator Health...

The most shameless example yet of the deliberate conflation of smoking and drinking was published today. A study in BMC Public Health claims that drinking one bottle of wine a week increases the risk of cancer by the same amount as smoking ten cigarettes a week (if you’re a woman) or by five cigarettes (if you’re a man). Its authors say that their intention is to provide ‘a useful measure for communicating possible cancer risks that exploits successful historical messaging on smoking’. They insist that they are ‘not saying that drinking alcohol in moderation is in any way equivalent to smoking’.

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Sugar taxes - the state of the evidence

Published on 2019-03-27 16:00:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


 
I'm speaking at the Global Sugar Summit today. It's an industry event, the topic is sugar taxes and they've invited arguably the two most fanatical anti-sugar campaigners in the world - Robert Lustig and Graham MacGregor - to argue in favour. Whether they will choose to address the issue or rant at the audience (and me) is an open question, but it's a good opportunity to assess the state of the evidence on sugar taxes in 2019.

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EU Health Commissioner wants med regs for e-cigarettes

Published on 2019-03-26 16:20:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Some things never change. The EU Health Commissioner, Vytenis Andriukaitis, who has previously claimed that vaping is 'a danger for public health', wants e-cigarettes regulated like medicines...

'If one uses electronic cigarettes as a method to stop smoking, it has to be managed by medical doctors and specialists, to be sold in pharmacies and not in supermarkets.'
It seemed as if the argument on e-cigarette regulation had been won a few years ago. All the EU countries which regulated e-cigs like medicines, such as Denmark, legalised them as consumer products and the EU stepped back from its plans to introduce med regs in the Tobacco Products Directive. And yet here is this nanny state dinosaur banging on as if it's still 2011.

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Farewell then, Steve Brine

Published on 2019-03-26 16:00:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Steve Brine, the public health minister, resigned on Monday night. Let's have a quick look at his achievements.












































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Global Nicotine Forum - book now

Published on 2019-03-22 16:01:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


I'll be going to the Global Nicotine Forum in Warsaw in June. I haven't been able to go to it in the last few years, but I had a good time at the first two.

I mention this in the hope that some of you will also be going and we can keep the ratio between normal people and 'public health' types at a tolerable level.

Details here.

Also, I'll be at the London School of Economics in conversation with Yaron Brook on Monday. Come along if you can. Tickets are free.

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Response to Press Release Announcing Proposed Ban on Electronic Cigarettes in San Francisco

Published on 2019-03-20 15:26:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


Here is my point-by-point response to several of the statements made in the press release issued by City Attorney Herrera announcing the introduction of legislation to ban the sale of all electronic cigarettes in the city of San Francisco:

"City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Supervisor Shamann Walton today announced joint steps to curb the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use, which has erased more than a decade’s worth of progress in reducing youth tobacco consumption."

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San Francisco Considering Banning Electronic Cigarettes, But Letting Deadly Real Cigarettes Stay on the Shelves

Published on 2019-03-20 12:16:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


Yesterday, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Supervisor Shamann Walton announced that they are introducing an ordinance to the Board of Supervisors that would ban all electronic cigarettes until they are officially reviewed and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Since there is not a single e-cigarette on the market that has undergone such an approval process, the ordinance does indeed ban the sale of all electronic cigarettes in the city of San Francisco.

The reasoning behind the proposal is as follows: "Today we are taking action to protect our kids. By law, before a new tobacco product goes to market, the Food and Drug Administration is supposed to conduct a review to evaluate its impact on public health. Inexplicably, the FDA has failed to do its job when it comes to e-cigarettes. Until the FDA does so, San Francisco has to step up. These products should not be on our shelves until the FDA has reviewed the threat they pose to public health."

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An exhibition of motivated reasoning with Gary Taubes

Published on 2019-03-20 11:12:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


If you've got a spare 2 hours and 37 minutes and are interested in the debate about carbs/obesity, yesterday's edition of the Joe Rogan Experience should be up your street. It features a showdown between journalist Gary Taubes and neuroscientist Stephan Guyenet.



These two have fallen out in the past over Taubes' belief that carbohydrates, rather than calories and inactivity, are the cause of the obesity 'epidemic'. Towards the end of the show, I was interested to hear that Guyenet started off as a fan of Taubes and his book Good Calories, Bad Calories, but that all changed when he looked at the empirical evidence.

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Defining junk food - almost nothing has changed

Published on 2019-03-19 14:39:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


I've got a piece in The Times today about the ban on 'junk food' advertising. I wrote it on Sunday, shortly after the government announced a public consultation on the policy. One part of the press release particularly interested me...

When this was finally announced at the weekend, it came with an anxious reassurance from Steve Brine, the public health minister, that “this isn’t about banning everyday staples like butter and olive oil”.

If, as this suggests, the government is going to grant ad hoc exemptions for certain products, the thinly veiled snobbery that lies behind the war on food will be laid bare. The high in fat, salt or sugar measure may be puritanical but it has the virtue of being consistent. You can’t give a pass to fatty or sugary products just because middle-class people buy them from Waitrose.

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Purported Links Between Vaping and Heart Attacks are Based on Crappy Science

Published on 2019-03-18 00:33:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


Another crappy study has come along, this one again using cross-sectional data from the National Health Interview Survey to claim that e-cigarette use is associated with a higher risk of having a heart attack, developing coronary artery disease, and having depression.

This study, being presented tomorrow (Monday) morning at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans, reports that "adults who report puffing e-cigarettes, or vaping, are significantly more likely to have a heart attack, coronary artery disease and depression compared with those who don’t use them or any tobacco products."

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11 Million Lies: The Tobacco Control Movement is Committing Public Health Malpractice by Misrepresenting the Health Effects of Vaping

Published on 2019-03-17 15:32:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


My colleagues and I in the tobacco control movement have based our entire careers on the principle that it is wrong to lie to the public. The bulk of our campaign against Big Tobacco was based on the contention that the cigarette companies lied to the public about the health risks of smoking. Numerous lawsuits were filed against Big Tobacco, seeking damages based on the claim that the companies are responsible because they misrepresented the health effects of their products, thus preventing smokers from making an informed choice. The name of the major youth anti-tobacco campaign is called "Truth." Clearly, honesty is the central value that has been at the core of the tobacco control movement for decades.

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If more gambling laws are the answer, what's the question?

Published on 2019-03-14 10:11:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


From The Guardian...

People with a gambling problem are 15 times more likely to take their own life, according to the largest study of its kind, prompting calls for swifter action by the government to tackle betting addiction.

... Campaigners said that if the same results were applied to the UK, the Swedish study would indicate around 550 suicides a year in which gambling played a part, or more than 10 per week.
That would be one in ten suicides, if true. Perhaps it is true, I don't know, but the article rightly points out that the causes of suicide are 'very likely to be multi-factoral' and that it is 'hard to isolate the role played by gambling'. According to the Office for National Statistics, there were only 21 suicides between 2001 and 2016 (ie. 1.4 per year) in which gambling was mentioned on the death certificate, but this is bound to underestimate the true number.

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Mark Petticrew doubles down

Published on 2019-03-13 10:00:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Mark Petticrew has been going through the Twitter feed of Drinkaware, presumably because it beats working for a living and because 'public health' is such a shoddy enterprise that it will let him get another peer-reviewed study out of it. In 2017, Petticrew and his colleagues cherry-picked statements by various industry-funded educational organisations to claim that they downplayed, disputed and misrepresented the risks of drinking.

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