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Conference report

The conference was a complete success.  While we were informed before-hand that it is typical that only 5 or 6 people actually show up for such "dull and boring" events as scientific speeches, there were about 100 participants from all over the world who witnessed the debunking of the anti-smoking ideology and their pseudo-scientific frauds.

Dr. Barrie Craven (UK) presented the harm done to the various venues of the hospitality sector due to smoking bans; Dr. Jan Snel (NL) spoke about the positive effects of smoking and the problems caused by depriving smokers of their enjoyment.

The serious issues surrounding the dangerous anti-smoking drugs, such as Chantix/Champix, were also discussed.

Dr. John Luik (CDN) suggested fighting the methods used by both the government and non government organizations when promoting prohibition on the grounds of its untruthful methods and its well-known failures.

Godfrey Bloom MEP and Nigel Farage MEP (UKIP), from IN/DEM promised to continue to resist against prohibitionist tendencies in the EU.

Dr. Gio B. Gori (USA) - connected via video from Washington, D.C. - explained the passive smoking myth in great detail and so everyone could understand; Christopher Snowdon (UK) revealed the Big Pharma funding of major anti-smoking organizations.
 
Statements from Prof. Rein Vos (NL) and Prof. Robert Molimard (F), who could not attend, were read and they warned against extreme nannyist tendencies within the public health industries.

The participants from various TICAP member organizations, the hospitality sector, and other political as well as business organizations enjoyed the conference very much, many of them also took part in the entertainment night at an Irish Pub in Brussels where they could - and did - smoke and drink to their heart's content.


Our member organization FORCES International provides an overview of the media coverage of the conference.
Our member organizations FORCES Germany provides a Youtube channel about the conference.
Here and here you can find photo galleries of the event.
.



Part 1: The damages of tobacco prohibition

Godfrey Bloom: Welcome address
Godfrey Bloom is a British MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber and a member of the IND/DEM group in the EU Parliament.  Godfrey has an interesting past history, having been Head of Research for a West End investment practice for over ten years.
Video







Gian Turci: On
prohibition
Gian Turci is member of the Board of Directors for FORCES International, member of the TICAP Board of Directors and president of FORCES Italy.  Former professional engineer specializing in green fuel emission control and entrepreneur.  Since 1996 he has dedicated himself to the fight against prohibition completely.
Full Text (English)
Full Text (German)
Video




Barrie Craven: Economic damage by smoking bans
Dr. Barrie Craven is the former Reader in Public Accountability at Newcastle Business School, University of Northumbria (UK).  He is now an Associate of the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.  He co-wrote the article “Economic effects of smoking bans on restaurants and pubs” with Michael L. Marlow, Prof. of Economics at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, (c.f. Economic Affairs, Vol. 28, Issue 4, pp. 57-61, December 2008).  He spoke on the smoking ban-related economic harms.
Abstract (English)
Presentation (English)
Full Article (English)
Video




Jan Snel: Damage to mental health by smoking bans
Dr. Jan Snel is psychophysiologist at the Department of Psychology of the University of Amsterdam.  His main interest are the effects of using socially accepted psychoactive substances, nicotine, caffeine and alcohol on brain activity, mood, cognition and performance.  The popularly written book Permission to Enjoy gives evidence of the role of pleasure in these effects.
Speech abstract (English)
Full Text (English)
Presentation (English)
Video



Audience interacting with the panel
Godfrey Bloom MEP answering a question on how to make ourselves heard (Video)
Gian Turci answering a question on why our movement is not helped by the tobacco industry (Video)
Dr. Jan Snel answering a question on why people smoke (Video)

Contribution by Gawain Towler, IN/DEM (Video)
Contribution by Nick Hogan, pub owner (Video)





Part 2: The methods of tobacco prohibition


Gio Gori: The Fraud of Environmental Tobacco Smoke Risks

Dr. Gio B. Gori is Doctor of Biology, epidemiologist and toxicologist.  He was Director of the Smoking and Health program for the National Cancer Institute of the United States, 1968 – 1980, as well as Deputy Director for the Division of Cancer Cause and Prevention at the same institute.  Scientific editor of Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology.
Speech abstract (English)
Full Text with presentation (English)
Video






Christopher Snowdon: The anti-smoking movement
Christopher Snowdon is a journalist and historian.  He was born in North Yorkshire in 1976.  He studied history at Lancaster University and graduated in 1998.  He is currently writing his first book called “Velvet Glove Iron Fist. A history of anti-smoking.”  He manages and edits the Velvet Glove Iron Fist web site.
Speech abstract (English)
Full Text (English)
Full Text (French)
Full Text (German)
Video





Rein Vos: The health protection and prohibition paradigm and its devastating effects on creativity and social life in western, democratic societies
Prof. Rein Vos is University Professor Theory of Health Sciences and Chair of the Department of Health Ethics and Philosophy at the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University.  From 1982 to 1997, he was a staff member in the Social Pharmacy, Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Policy unit, and special professor on history of drug research and pharmacy at the University of Groningen.
Speech abstract (English)
Video of John Gray (TICAP chair) reading the message







Robert Molim
ard: Message
Prof. Robert Molimard is a professor emeritus of physiology and coordinator of the DIU of Tabacologie to the Faculty of Medicine Paris-South.  He is the founder of the first French learned society on tobacco and nicotine dependence, inventor of the word tabacology, author of "La Fume" and the "Small handbook of Défume" (Sides Editions).
Full Text (English)
Full Text (French)
Full Text (German)
Video of Iro Cyr (C.A.G.E. Canada) reading the message




Audience interacting with the panel
Christopher Snowdon answering questions on the Nazis' anti-smoking campaign, on heart attack rates, and on "Third Hand Smoke" (Video)
Gian Turci answering a question on safe cigarettes (Video)
Discussion about protection from hatred and discrimination (Video)





Part 3: How to tackle the prohibition epidemic?

John Luik: Taking on Nanny: Some Reflections on Thwarting Prohibitionism
Dr. John Luik was educated on a Rhodes Scholarship at the Oxford University where he obtained degrees in Philosophy and Politics (BA, MA, D Phil).  He has taught philosophy and politics at several universities, been a Senior Associate of the Niagara Institute.  His most recent publications are Diet Nation: Exposing the Obesity Crusade (With Patrick Basham and Gio Gori) and "Is the obesity epidemic exaggerated?" (With Patrick Basham) British Medical Journal, 2008: 336.
Speech abstract (English)
Video (not yet available)




Nigel Farage:
Nigel Farage MEP is founding member and leader of the UK Independence Party, Nigel Farage is a British MEP.  He spoke on the issue on how individuals, associations and political figures can effectively fight the epidemic of prohibition.
Video (not yet available)




Announcement of the Brussels Declaration

Full Text (English)
Presentation (English)
Video (not yet available)

Audience interacting with the panel
Video (not yet available)



Eamonn Mallon: Jackboot
Eamonn Mallon is a musician who performed his song "Jackboot" in an acoustic version at the end of the conference.
Lyrics (English)
Audio only
Video (not yet available)
Buy the electric version here.








Additional:
Günter Ropohl: Why I cannot attend: The structural inequality of weapons
Prof. Günter Ropohl is a Professor Emeritus of General Technology at the University of Frankfurt on Main, Germany.
Full Text (English)
Full Text (German)






FORCES Multimedia Section about the Conference, including additional material.


Press Release: MOVES TO STUB OUT FREE SPEECH THWARTED


The first ever international anti-prohibition conference has been hailed a huge success despite undemocratic moves to stop it.

Smokers and non-smokers against moves to lifestyle control led the way in telling politicians that they have had enough of state interference.

Delegates from more than a dozen nations across the world stood united in Brussels as they called for an end to state control of their bodies.

The conference was to be held in the European Parliament, but following complaints by an antismoking group that is part of a coalition with ties to the pharmaceutical industry, the plug was pulled leaving the organisers having to find a new venue just days before delegates were due to arrive.

TICAP chair John Gray said there were scurrilous allegations that the conference was supported or funded by Big Tobacco companies when in fact it was supported by the British political party the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).

“A meeting was held behind closed doors in the EU and a decision made, without debate, that the conference would go against the dignity of Parliament,” he said. “It was cancelled but no-one told the organisers who were left to find out for themselves.”

Furious patron Godfrey Bloom (UKIP Member of the European Parliament) said the party would be registering a complaint. Ironically, Mr Bloom invited delegates to smoke in his EU office during a later tour of the EU building. It appears that smoking is permitted in the heart of European democracy, but talking about it is not.

The conference featured expert speakers who put the anti-smoking health propaganda in its true risk context.
Dr Gio Gori, former director of the US National Cancer Institute Smoking and Health program, explained how the “evidence” on passive smoking had been manipulated to implement smoking prohibition.

Dr Jan Snel, from the University of Amsterdam, told of how smoking bans can damage mental health and lead to isolation, depression and suicide. Economist Barrie Craven from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne said the ban was killing the British cultural way of life along with six pubs a day.

“It particularly discriminates against the working classes because their traditional meeting places, such as working men’s clubs and bingo halls, are closing at a faster rate than other hospitality establishments, “ he said.

The conference discussed the latest trend in social engineering, the dangers of giving control of your body to Government “for your own good”, and how smokers have been excluded and targeted as figures of hate over the last 30years.

Author Christopher Snowdon revealed that anti-smoking charities, such as the WHO, ASH, the BHF, and Cancer Research UK, are heavily funded by Pharmaceutical companies and Government which are competing with Big Tobacco for nicotine market control.
The conference also highlighted how fat people and alcohol drinkers are becoming the next targets of social exclusion if the puritanical march towards lifestyle prohibition based on ‘good health’ is not halted.

More conferences are planned following the resounding success of the first, which has sent a clear and strong message to those in power that the people they represent have had enough and want to live their lives as they see fit. 




Background information:

The anti-smokers believe they have long conquered the EU institutions so they were shocked by the fact that heretics were to hold an independent conference in the very heart of political Europe.
To counter this provocation, the European Smokefree Partnership lobbied against the conference to take place in the European Parliament. In december 2008, its director, Florence Berteletti Kemp, wrote a letter to the President of the European Parliament, Pöttering, demanding the event to be banned.

Key part:
"We are of the view that this planned event should not under any circumstances take place on the premises of the European Parliament as: 
1. the event appears to be in contravention of Parliament’s own rules of procedure and is detrimental to the dignity of Parliament.
2. the event goes against all of Parliament’s adopted reports and the European Community’s legislation and commitments on this topic.
3. it violates the spirit of the International Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
"


This attack was accompanied by various protest mails from other anti-smoking organizations throughout Europe, as one of them reported:
"Members of the European Network for Smoking Prevention reacted quickly and took action by sending letters to their MEPs. The arguments presented in the letter were also shared with health-friendly MEPs who, after being alerted, also complained to the European Parliament bureau." 

For instance, Austrian antis falsely claimed that the conference was held by the tobacco industry.


In the meeting of the Bureau of the European Parliament, where its President and the Vice-Presidents are present, on January 12th, this topic was discussed as an urgent matter not previously mentioned in the draft agenda. The minutes:

"Use of Parliament's premises by the International Coalition Against Prohibition (TICAP) for a conference entitled 'Smoking Bans and Lies'

 The Bureau,

 - held an exchange of views on the subject, programme and objectives of the abovementioned conference;

- recalled the position taken on tobacco by the institution as co-legislator and noted that the rules governing the use of Parliament's premises by outside bodies explicitly state that events held on Parliament premises may under no circumstances have a commercial purpose and must not undermine the dignity of Parliament; furthermore, sponsorship is explicitly prohibited;

- decided, in the light of the above, to deny authorisation for the proposed conference to take place on Parliament's premises."


Obviously, the politicians were very much inspired by the Smokefree Pharmaship's text, thereby confirming all the clichés about being totally controlled by anti-smokers and Big Pharma.

Our comments:

1. The conference did not have a commercial purpose. And Big Tobacco certainly did not have anything to with it, as our member organization FORCES rightly pointed out: "In fact, a couple of tobacco industry people who originally registered as observers withdrew their participation at the first sign of controversy, in a customary display of dismal cowardice which has become simply reflexive with that industry."

2. We absolutely agree with the IN/DEM parliamentary party leader, Nigel Farage MEP: "That one of the reasons cited for the ban was to protect the 'dignity of the Parliament' tells us everything that we need to know about the state of democracy in this European Union."

3. "The position taken on tobacco by the institution": Anything that challenges the view of the majority of the European Parliament, seems to be forbidden in its building. So much for fairness, free speech, and the rights of the opposition.


There had also been an attempt by an antismoking organization to prevent a Dutch scientist from speaking at the conference (link to Dutch article).


This bullying and insults to political speech will not go unnoticed by those who hold dear freedom of political speech regardless of their persuasions.





© 2014, The International Coalition Against Prohibition