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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.

Public Health England and the drinking guidelines scandal

Published on 2017-11-24 14:00:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


At the end of last month, I revealed the e-mails that show Public Health England telling the Sheffield Alcohol Research Group to change the methodology of their computer model despite the obvious reservations of the latter. The change in methodology had no sound scientific justification but it had the effect of lowering the model's implied drinking guidelines for men from around 21 units to around 13 units. The Chief Medical Officer subsequently announced that the male drinking guidelines would be reduced from 21 units to 14 units.

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16: 16: 16: 16

Published on 2017-11-24 13:14:10.
Website: Frank Davis


Lots of perceptive comments in response to yesterday’s proposed Esthwaite Experiment to determine the curvature (or lack of it) of the surface of the the Earth. I think that the experiment is good in principle, but needs some more careful … Continue reading →

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Mandatory cycle helmets are a bad idea

Published on 2017-11-24 12:20:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The British government is considering importing another foolish idea from Australia. From The Times...

Cyclists could be made to wear helmets for the first time in a review of bike safety.

A government consultation in the new year will consider whether helmets and high-visibility vests should be mandatory on British roads, the transport minister Jesse Norman said.
There are several problems with this, as I said in Killjoys...

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The Esthwaite Experiment

Published on 2017-11-23 14:55:56.
Website: Frank Davis


An email this morning got me thinking about the Flat Earth problem again, and wondering what sort of experiment might conclusively demonstrate whether the world is flat or convex (or perhaps even concave). According to science, the Earth has a … Continue reading →

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Five reasons why mandatory food reformulation is a terrible idea

Published on 2017-11-23 11:32:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


I've written a short briefing paper for Epicenter about why state-sanctioned food reformulation, as currently being practised by Public Health England, is a bad idea. You can download it here or read it below....

Health by stealth

The food industry is highly competitive and innovative. Its products are being constantly reviewed and reformulated to maintain or gain market share. As with other fast moving consumer goods, the vast majority of new food products are withdrawn from the market within a year while some leading brands have been popular for decades. Manufacturers are naturally reluctant to modify their most trusted brands, but are generally happy to create ‘spin-off’ products, such as low-sugar or organic alternatives.

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Planners Are Authoritarians

Published on 2017-11-22 11:25:49.
Website: Frank Davis


I started reading Chris Snowdon’s free download book, Killjoys, yesterday, and on page 29 came across the notion of “a runaway train of authoritarianism”. And it prompted a question that I often find myself asking: Why are so many people such … Continue reading →

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How The Grinches Rekindled Christmas

Published on 2017-11-21 18:17:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


When I first read this, I honestly believed it was some spoof April Fool article that someone had found from the spring and mistaken as fact.
SNP ministers are to consider a crackdown on Christmas treats as part of their "bold" plans to tackle Scotland's obesity epidemic. The move would see supermarket price promotions on festive favourites such as mince pies and selection boxes being banned north of the Border. Other seasonal treats which could fall foul of the legislation would include cakes, biscuits and chocolates, savoury party food and soft drinks.But no, this is apparently a real story!

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Images of Oesophageal Cancer

Published on 2017-11-21 12:10:09.
Website: Frank Davis


Chris Snowdon a few days back, quoting from an editorial in the Lancet: There is no excuse to ignore regulatory interventions for access, advertisements, and unit cost that are shown to reduce alcohol consumption. Like tobacco, the longer the delay … Continue reading →

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Perverse

Published on 2017-11-20 10:38:32.
Website: Frank Davis


Last night in the Smoky Drinky Bar, Joe L suggested that I back up my blog, and send it to him and Emily. I hadn’t done that before, so I straightaway went and did it, using the Export facility that … Continue reading →

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Nine Years Later ...

Published on 2017-11-17 16:38:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote



Today is the 9th anniversary of this blog.

Still proudly "tabloid guff" (© Ben Goldacre fan-boys 2009), there is less content here in recent years due to the increasing pressures of Puddlecote Inc yet daily page visits are still marginally increasing. For interest, there have been over 5 million of them from almost 3,500 articles here.

Many thanks to all fellow jewel robbers wh

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Plain packaging for alcohol (again)

Published on 2017-11-17 16:09:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The week's Lancet has an editorial about alcohol. It doesn't even bother to acknowledge the temperance lobby's victory in the minimum pricing court case. They are already moving on to the 'next logical step'.

Here are the closing sentences...

There is no excuse to ignore regulatory interventions for access, advertisements, and unit cost that are shown to reduce alcohol consumption. Like tobacco, the longer the delay in effective control, the more severe future interventions for alcohol will need to be. It is not unimaginable that bottles of Château Mouton Rothschild, which once bore the artwork of Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso, might one day be required to have plain packaging and images of oesophageal cancer or a cirrhotic liver.

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Europuppets defunded

Published on 2017-11-17 10:15:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


A few years ago I wrote a report called Europuppets about the EU's exceptional largesse towards 'civil society' organisations of which it approves. Quite a few of them are in the business of punishing consumers under the pretext of 'public health', including the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA).

Over the years, EPHA has lobbied for minimum pricing, taxes on food and the Tobacco Products Directive, so I was delighted to hear that the European Commission is going to stop funding it next year.

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Looking forward to minimum pricing

Published on 2017-11-16 15:18:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Now that the SNP are free to introduce minimum pricing, it's worth looking at what we're supposed to expect.

Back in 2009, when minimum pricing became a live issue, the Sheffield modellers predicted that a minimum price (of 40p in those days) would result in a drop in alcohol consumption of 2.7 per cent and a decline in alcohol-related deaths of 40 in the first year, rising to 210 per annum after ten years.

Given the 'public health' lobby's absolute obsession with this policy in the years since, we must assume that they regarded these as game-changing numbers. Imagine if alcohol consumption fell by 2.7 per cent! What a victory for health that would be.

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Another Triumph For Repulsive Elitist Snobs

Published on 2017-11-15 20:25:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


I remember back in 2007 when the English smoking ban came in, the reaction from politicians and health zealots was nauseating.

If it was truly about protecting bar workers' health, they may have said something like "we're really sorry smokers, we realise this is unfair on you but it's something we feel we have to do". But no, Health Secretary of the time Alan Johnson almost punched the air in delight announcing it; Cancer Research UK sent out newsletters to all its donors "rejoicing" in the news; and Deborah Arnott was excited about how smokers had been "exiled to the outdoors". ASH then published a report boasting about how they had connived, cheated and bullied government into abandoning manifesto commitments to accommodate smokers.

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Minimum pricing can now happen before Brexit

Published on 2017-11-15 10:36:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The UK Supreme Court has said that minimum pricing is legal under the ridiculous carve out that says that free trade doesn't matter if a policy is designed to protect ‘health and life’, ’public morality’, ‘public policy’ and ‘public security’ (ie. anything). The last reason to stay in the EU has disappeared.

It doesn't really matter for the UK because we're leaving but it's a shame for other EU countries. Now all we can do is see what happens. The clowns at Sheffield University have got the commission to evaluate the policy (quelle surprise) and they will obviously say that it's been a terrific success, but some serious people should be also be able to get hold of the data.

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Clueless Councils - One Year On

Published on 2017-11-14 22:12:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Last year, the Freedom Association's Freedom to Vape (FtV) campaign submitted FOI requests to every local council in the UK to ask about their policies on vaping in the workplace. If you have a good memory, you will recall that the responses highlighted that the overwhelming majority of local authorities were imposing rules on their staff from a position of superlative ignorance. I wrote about it here.

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#AlcoholAwarenessWeek

Published on 2017-11-13 09:29:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Alcohol Awareness Week has returned for another year. It is a scheme dreamt up by the likes of Alcohol Concern to lobby for minimum pricing, tax rises and advertising bans while purporting to educate the public about drinking.

Thanks to the myriad lies of the neo-temperance movement, there is certainly room for education. Here are ten things that people deserve to know for starters...

1. The theory that underpins the neo-temperance lobby's 'whole population' approach is a demonstrably false and self-serving delusion.

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ASH In A Glass House, With Stones

Published on 2017-11-12 21:41:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Today, ASH has been pathetically throwing stones around in their glass house. This, in the Times, is truly astonishing.
Tobacco firms may face ‘murder’ trialsAction on Smoking and Health (Ash) has begun work on pressing the director of public prosecutions (DPP) to bring charges or to allow a private prosecution. [Kelsey Romeo-Stuppy, a lawyer at Action on Smoking Health in the US] said: “All of the participants of the Geneva meeting are working towards a case with a charge of manslaughter or murder for the death and disease caused by tobacco.”The justification for this, apparently, is that smokers have been misled.

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Plain packaging - a gift to the black market

Published on 2017-11-12 12:40:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist



 From Retail Express...

The first counterfeit plain packs of tobacco in the UK have been uncovered by Retail Express and trading standards departments.

Following a tip-off, Retail Express was sold a plain pack counterfeit of a premium brand by a London newsagent for £10.50. The retailer took a legitimate pack out of the gantry and swapped it out with a fake pack, while processing the card transaction.

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Neues Album für Schockbilder

Published on 2017-11-11 22:29:31.
Website: Netzwerk Rauchen e.V.


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.

 

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Killjoys - out now

Published on 2017-11-10 09:25:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


 
I'm delighted to announce the publication of my new book, Killjoys: A Critique of Paternalism. You can download the PDF for free. Hard copies and Kindle will be available from Amazon soon. If you want it sooner the IEA are sending out free copies to anyone who donates £10 or more this month (UK and Ireland only). Incidentally, we were going to send out free Killjoy lighters out as well but it turns out that there's a law against sending lighters in the post. I rest my case.

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Killjoys - How Paternalism Harms The Public

Published on 2017-11-09 22:33:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Did you know that the annual budget for Public Health England is now £4bn per annum? That is just one nugget of info I learned tonight from a book that I've just finished reading. Now, assuming it's not a typo, this is a quite incredible amount of money. However, it's far from surprising considering that 'public health' nagging is now a very profitable industry in this country.

You see, last night I went to the lauch of Chris Snowdon's new book, Killjoys, at the Empire Casino in Leicester Square and very good it was too.


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Alcohol deaths and the folly of the whole population approach

Published on 2017-11-07 14:45:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


It is often claimed that there is a direct correlation between per capita alcohol consumption and alcohol-related mortality. It is also claimed that this association is causal and that rates of alcohol-related death are directly tied to overall levels of consumption.

This theory, known as the total consumption model, is said to require a 'whole population' approach to alcohol policy aimed at reducing per capita consumption as an end in itself.

This view is explicitly endorsed by the World Health Organisation:

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Kerching! 11 More Years Of Failure Please

Published on 2017-11-06 18:28:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Yesterday, The Sun wrote of a report on when the England might go 'smokefree' according to tobacco control criteria.
ENGLAND could be smoke-free by 2040, a new study has claimed. The goal, which means less than five per cent of adults using cigarettes, is getting closer due to new tech such as e-cigarettes. Current quitting rates mean it will take another 23 years to hit that level. But the Frontier Economics research funded by tobacco giant Philip Morris Ltd says if an extra 210,000 quit each year the target could be reached as early as 2029.What is most interesting about this is that it chimes in with something published in the Tobacco Control comic in December.

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Self-serving sockpuppets

Published on 2017-11-06 15:41:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Who's fault is that, I wonder?
It should be a surprise to no one that the illicit trade in tobacco is booming after several years of above-inflation tax rises and the implementation of plain packaging. Shameless as ever, state-funded anti-smoking groups are attempting to exploit the failure of their policies to feather their own nests.

The graphic above comes from Fresh North-East (100% funded by the unwitting taxpayer) who have conducted a survey showing that the majority of underage smokers acquire their tobacco from illicit sources.

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The Assault On Christmas Begins

Published on 2017-11-05 19:53:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


I'm often asked why I have a dislike for 'public health', but it's an extremely easy question to answer. It is because they are the most disgustingly anti-social people in society today.

Here is a perfect example from this past week.
Calls have been made to ban the Coca-Cola truck from Liverpool this Christmas amid concerns about obesity levels in the city.No, it was just one call; from one pretty miserable human being.
Liverpool's Liberal Democrat leader Richard Kemp said the city is "in the grip of an obesity epidemic".  He believes Coca-Cola's popular festive vehicle promotes a product which is "grossly unhealthy", as first reported in the Liverpool Echo.The Liverpool Echo, in turn, reported that:

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Set vaping free

Published on 2017-11-03 11:30:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist



Disentangling ourselves from the EU after four decades will be fiendishly complicated but some elements of Brexit are refreshingly simple and uncontroversial. The recently enforced EU regulations on e-cigarettes are a case in point. Nobody seems to know what purpose is served by limiting vapers to tiny (10ml) bottles of fluid, limiting nicotine concentrations and banning advertising in most media - to name just a few of the new laws.

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Vaping Solutions: An Easy Brexit Win

Published on 2017-11-03 08:00:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote



In recent weeks I've written about the ridiculous unintended consequences of the TPD towards vaping.

In August it was noteworthy at Vapefest that vendors were not selling pre-mixed e-liquid, but instead - because no-one wants to buy a whole load of 10ml bottles - were shifting large amounts of flavour concentrates to be mixed at home.

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Public Health Rogue Traders

Published on 2017-11-02 12:02:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Some of you may have caught a segment on The One Show yesterday evening where Matt Allwright visited the Vape Expo event in Birmingham.


It was a surprisingly positive piece from the guy who is known for exposing Rogue Traders, and if you missed it you can watch it here from 41:30 minutes in. It was even complemented at the end with Andrew Marr giving his opinion that vaping is "an entirely good thing". Not bad, huh?

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Up is down in 'public health'

Published on 2017-11-02 11:03:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


You may fondly recall Jill Pell, the anti-smoking campaigner who was responsible for the false claim that the rate of heart attacks fell by 17 per cent in Scotland after the smoking ban was introduced. Hospital admission statistics disprove this but that didn't stop the factoid spreading across the world. It has been cited as a fact in parliament several times.

Pell returned in 2010 with a risible attempt to prove that hospital admissions for childhood asthma fell by 18 per cent after the ban. Again, routine hospital statistics showed this to be complete nonsense.

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Keyboard At The Ready, Vapers

Published on 2017-10-31 14:54:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Here's one for those British vapers who like to engage in a bit of advocacy occasionally. Firstly, you might like to watch this video which has just been released (a longer version is available here).


Now, imagine if your local MP were to see that. It might give him/her/it a fresh perspective, don't you think?

Now also imagine they were to see it and were also told about this debate in Westminster Hall tomorrow morning, eh?

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Nicotine, Public Health, And The Profit Motive

Published on 2017-10-30 19:27:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


It's taken me a few days to get round to writing this but there was a BAT Investor Day held in London last week that threw up a small, but vital, nugget of information.

Wells Fargo Securities circulated a summary of the event via email and described the presentation on next generation products (NGPs) as "the highlight". It spoke of how the global NGP category is likely to reach £30bn by 2020 and how both BAT and PMI expect NGPs will represent 30% of their revenue by 2030. Between them, the companies are now operating in 43 markets (PMI 31, BAT 12) after investing literally billions in R&D and roll-out, and both companies have struggled to reach manufacturing capacity to fully satisfy demand.

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