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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.

The Campfire

Published on 2018-10-13 09:52:20.
Website: Frank Davis


A couple of articles I came across yesterday. The first was Could Cigarette Smoking Be The Right Career Move? What is it about sharing a cigarette that accelerates human bonding? Whether it’s outside an office building or a bar, people who … Continue reading →

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Storm Callum

Published on 2018-10-12 10:14:14.
Website: Frank Davis


Storm Callum is upon us today, here in England. And it is indeed pretty wet and windy right now. But I’m wondering why these weather systems are increasingly being given names. Do they need to be given names? To give … Continue reading →

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Questions to which the answer is yes

Published on 2018-10-12 10:12:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The BBC asks are we are living in a nanny state? In the article, my classical liberal stance is described as ‘ultra-libertarian’ while a ‘conservative’ makes the Orwellian argument that bans give people more choice. It’s a pretty good illustration of how much the centre of gravity has moved in this debate over the years. Do have a read of it.

Meanwhile the government wants to regulate pizza toppings. Only an ultra-libertarian could disagree!

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The strange death of the liberal Netherlands

Published on 2018-10-11 10:55:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The Netherlands comes a respectable 24th out of 28th in the Nanny State Index (the fewer points, the freer the country). It's not quite as good as Germany on lifestyle liberty but it's definitely in the green zone. Its reputation as a liberal haven has been largely well earned.

That could soon change. I mentioned on Monday that the Dutch health minister, Paul Blokhuis, wants to fast-track plain packaging through the Dutch parliament. He also wants to introduce minimum pricing so that the price of a crate of beer doubles from €10 to €20. He wants to emulate the UK's food degradation programme and he wants to copy Chile's ban on the use of recognisable characters on food packaging.

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Solidarity

Published on 2018-10-11 09:55:01.
Website: Frank Davis


I almost met her at Stony Stratford. I was sat at a table with a beer and a cigarette, and she passed by my table, and said “Hi Frank,” as she sailed on by. But that’s what Stony Stratford was … Continue reading →

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Imaginary New Worlds

Published on 2018-10-10 11:50:32.
Website: Frank Davis


I’ve been constructing an imaginary new world over the past few days. It’s one in which the last ice age had ice extending from the North Pole to the Tropic of Cancer. It’s a vision of the world that came … Continue reading →

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They wouldn't let it lie

Published on 2018-10-10 09:23:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The anti-drink lobby
This is turning into my favourite story of the year and it just keeps getting funnier. From The Times...

Experts threaten public health body over link to drink industry
Hundreds of top academics have threatened to stop advising Public Health England unless it abandons plans to work with the alcohol industry.

Full article

Stanton Glantz pays $150,000 to settle sexual harassment lawsuit

Published on 2018-10-09 19:33:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


According to Planet of the Vapes, anti-smoking campaigner and alleged sex pest Stanton Glantz has settled his sexual harassment lawsuit out of court. In December last year, alleged sex pest Glantz denied claims that he had sexually harassed post-doctoral student Eunice Neeley. The alleged sex pest was also accused of taking her name off a paper she had worked on and making racist remarks. Another woman filed a similar lawsuit against the alleged sex pest in March.

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Journey Into The Underworld: 4

Published on 2018-10-09 12:51:00.
Website: Frank Davis


I’m on holiday. I’m on vacation from my day job of thinking about smoking bans and the EU and Donald Trump and all the rest of it. Instead I’m in Cuzco. Or Luxor. Or maybe Gunung Padang. Think of me … Continue reading →

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The World Health Organisation's week

Published on 2018-10-08 16:01:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Enjoying myself outside the conference venue
I was in Geneva for a couple of days last week to check out the WHO's Conference of the Parties meeting (COP8). Not that there was much to check out. As is traditional, the public and press were kicked out at Monday lunchtime and weren't allowed back in.

It wasn't clear what was being discussed inside. Even now, two days after it finished, it's not clear what was decided. Neither the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) website nor its Twitter feed suggested that anything substantial had been agreed.

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Mind-blowing Cheek Of The EU

Published on 2018-10-05 09:00:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


I’ve trekked out to Geneva to catch the last knockings of the latest WHO anti-tobacco shit show that is COP8 (see COP6 and COP7 tags in the sidebar for previous tobacco control codswallop) but I just had to share this incredible hypocrisy from the EU.
Despite all of our intl efforts, tobacco still kills more than 7 million people each year. That is the entire population of Bulgaria! @EU_Health Director General Bucher will attend today the #COP8FCTC in #Geneva to underline the EU's commitment to tobacco control. @FCTCofficial https://t.co/ePUGp50dVI— EU at UN in Geneva (@EU_UNGeneva) October 1, 2018And attend she did. Bucher is new to the job and it showed, her very first contribution to stopping those 7 million deaths was to advocate a global ban on advertising of e-cigs and to classify them as tobacco products subject to the same restrictions as smoking.

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Good COP, Bad Cop

Published on 2018-10-02 10:11:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The WHO's big anti-nicotine conference is underway in Geneva. As mentioned in a previous post, I'll be in town on Friday with Dick Puddlecote and others to see if we can find out what the hell is going on.

If you're in town or can make it to Geneva, you are warmly invited to come to our Good COP event that will take place at the Mon Repos Hotel at 6pm. We'll have a little discussion and a lot of drinks.

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A plea for sanity on e-cigarettes

Published on 2018-10-01 06:30:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


As COP8 kicks off in Geneva, 70 scientists have signed a letter to the WHO calling on it to abandon its negative position on e-cigarettes.

Dear Dr. Adhanom Ghebreyesus,

Innovation in tobacco control: developing the FCTC to embrace tobacco harm reduction

We write to express our hope that WHO will assume a leadership role in promoting effective and fast-acting policies for regulating tobacco and nicotine.  In this letter, we propose that WHO and related stakeholders adopt a more positive approach to new technologies and innovations that have the potential to bring the epidemic of smoking-caused disease to a more rapid conclusion. 

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The WHO's immortality delusion

Published on 2018-09-28 13:40:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist



Yesterday saw the WHO's High Level Meeting on NCDs (non-communicable diseases) take place in New York. The good news is that the accompanying Political Declaration did not mention sin taxes on soft drinks, alcohol or tobacco. This has annoyed lots of nanny state campaigners who have had to settle for publishing a bunch of glorified advice sheets (like this) which are not remotely binding.

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Finally, a successful alcohol policy

Published on 2018-09-26 11:07:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Something extraordinary has happened at NHS Walsall. It has seen a 54 per cent drop in alcohol-related Accident and Emergency admissions and a 68 per cent reduction in bed days as a result of taking action on the 'frequent flyers' who come to A & E time and time again.

The NHS Trust identified ten people who were visiting A &E a great deal. How many times do you think they were admitted to hospital in a six month period? Ten? Sixty? A hundred?

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Tobacco Control Junk Science Of The Week

Published on 2018-09-25 20:19:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Or maybe even the year, or decade. Or ever!

From the Tobacco Control comic, naturally.
Indeed, while IQOS heat-sticks (HEETS) include a variety of flavours (tobacco, menthol, bubble gum and lime), no IQOS heat-sticks include capsules. Heets come in three 'flavours'. Gold tobacco flavour, amber tobacco flavour and blue (menthol) flavour. Bubble gum or lime heets simply don't exist.

It's a struggle to work out how they can make such a fundamental error like this until you read further.

Full article

The martyrdom of Aseem Malhotra

Published on 2018-09-23 15:07:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Aseem Malhotra's bid to become famous and sell his diet book protect the health of the nation has provided this blog with some hilarious content over the years, but he hits new heights of comedic gold in the Sunday Times today.

The low carb/LCHF movement to which Malhotra belongs is ultra-conspiratorial. Being essentially a cult based on magical thinking, it blames other people's failure to share their beliefs on a vast and growing network of corrupt scientists and government agencies. You might wonder what motivates so many scientists, dietitians and bureaucrats to hide the truth about killer carbs, thereby condemning millions of people to 'diabesity', but the answer is obvious: they're all in the pay of Big Food/Big Soda/Big Grain/Big Ag! Wake up sheeple.

Full article

Drinkaware and the scream test

Published on 2018-09-21 11:29:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Public Health England's collaboration with Drinkaware for the 'two days off drinking' campaign is of little interest to the general public but has produced a hell of a squeal from 'public health'. Two weeks after the announcement, the hot takes are still coming. Here are a few of them...

Public Health England’s capture by the alcohol industry—those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it, warn Ian Gilmore, @LindaBauld  & John Britton #BMJEditorial https://t.co/Cs1oHdiaoE pic.twitter.com/tcc0EVNrUn— The BMJ (@bmj_latest) September 20, 2018

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Popcorn Time: Australia Is Wobbling On E-Cigs

Published on 2018-09-20 18:57:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


The Australian Guardian reported on Tuesday that the Aussie government is to set up a new inquiry into e-cigs.
The health minister Greg Hunt has agreed to an independent inquiry into the health impacts of nicotine e-cigarettes after a concerted push in the Coalition party room over several months to legalise vaping. Several MPs raised the issue in Tuesday’s party room meeting, saying there was widespread support within the government for making nicotine e-cigarettes legally available.This is significant considering Greg Hunt famously said that legalisation of vaping would never happen 'on his watch' last year. It may be political pressure which has forced his hand, but I reckon deep down he's quite relieved that the decision has almost been taken away from him because Australia - and, consequently, Greg Hunt - is fast becoming a laughing stock while all other developed nations are moving to sensibly regulate safer nicotine products.

Full article

Why are we giving the WHO so much cash?

Published on 2018-09-20 10:59:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


From the Express...

British taxpayers 'should not subsidise scaremongering anti-vaping laws'
British taxpayers should no longer subsidise “scaremongering” anti-vaping laws advocated by the World Health Organisation, consumer champions said tonight.
It includes a quote from my good self...

Christopher Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: “The WHO’s scaremongering stance on e-cigarettes is at odds with the British Government’s evidence-based position.

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More drivel about non-communicable diseases

Published on 2018-09-19 11:30:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The World Health Organisation's war on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) has always been a quixotic project. When it set its ridiculous and unachievable targets in 2012, I suggested that it was an excuse for a 'prohibitionist’s charter'...

If 194 countries really have signed this quasi-treaty, you can expect to hear much more about our ‘legal obligations’ to control eating, drinking, smoking and - the mind boggles - ‘physical activity’ for many years to come. You may recall last year’s charming article from Jonathan Waxman in The Times titled ‘To avoid cancer, let the State dictate your diet’, which was itself based on the claim that lifestyles cause 40 per cent of cancer. That is only the start and it is, of course, why the puritans, bureaucrats, nannies and headbangers of public health are so keen on the idea of ‘non-communicable diseases’, because it gives them what every trigger-happy army general wants: a war without end.

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The over-provision of 'public health' ignorance

Published on 2018-09-18 11:12:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


From The Times...

Call to tackle the ‘retail clusters’ that help cause ill‑health in Glasgow
Not this nonsense again?! How many times are we going to have to go over this? Retailers go where the demand and footfall are. If there was 'over-provision', the shops would close down.

Many of Glasgow’s most deprived areas are populated by “health-damaging” retail clusters that offer easy access to alcohol, fast food, cigarettes and gambling.

Full article

None Of Your Business Either

Published on 2018-09-17 19:33:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


I'm afraid content has been incredibly sparse here of late due to real life getting solidly in the way.

There are huge changes afoot both business-wise at Puddlecote Inc and personally at Puddlecote Towers. Some good, some not so good but I've never been so short of time to write recreationally which - as you may have noticed over the years - is a beloved hobby of mine. I'd like to say that will change in the foreseeable future but I can't.

I did want to touch upon something in parliament recently though, and I had originally intended to write it as a follow-up to last week's article suggesting that it is none of Boston Council's business whether market traders smoke or vape around their outdoor stalls.

Full article

Insufferable bastards

Published on 2018-09-17 17:00:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist



Public Health England had their annual conference last week with 1,600 delegates. It's probably best not to think about how much it cost the taxpayer.

Head honcho Duncan Selbie (salary: £220,000) kicked off proceedings with a speech in which he paid tribute to my Twitter #content. You can watch it below from 11 minutes 43 seconds...


The best of the quotes pertains to PHE being "insufferable bastards". Whilst I wish I had said this - and it does sound like the kind of thing I might say - I can't find any evidence that I did. And whilst I did indeed call Selbie an overpaid, parasitic quangocrat, this was in relation to his decision to stop everybody smoking by 2030 and not, as he claims, the recent advice to have two days off drinking a week. 

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Snowdon and Delingpole

Published on 2018-09-14 08:30:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


James Delingpole's excellent podcast is the only podcast I always listen to. If you haven't subscribed to it yet, you should do so. If you haven't, you can listen to the latest edition, featuring my good self, below...



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Mexico's sugar tax flop

Published on 2018-09-13 15:35:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Who could forget Mexico's sugar tax? Introduced at the start of 2014, it is the jewel in the crown of the growing movement to tax sugary drinks (and 'junk food', which Mexico also taxes). The Lancet describes it as a 'success', as does Bloomberg. A couple of studies have concluded that sugary drink sales fell appreciably after the tax was introduced, although these claims appear to be false

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Toys out of the pram

Published on 2018-09-11 10:58:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Ian Gilmore: "Do as I said or I shoot!"You may fondly recall neo-temperance extremists walking out of the government's Responsibility Deal project in a huff in 2011. You may also recall the same 'public health' groups storming out of the EU's Alcohol and Health Forum in 2015. When these people don't get what they want, they exclude themselves from positions of influence. It's a brilliant strategy!

Full article

None Of Your Business, Boston Council

Published on 2018-09-08 18:50:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


It is odd that recently the establishment seems pretty confused as to why the public despises them. They don't seem to understand that if they act like petty dictators, sooner or later they will piss the entire population off in some way.

Here is a perfect example from Lincolnshire.
Council discuss banning market traders from smoking and vaping at their stallsWe're only on the headline but unless you're an arsehole you should already be thinking, erm, why is it any of the council's business? Well, here's why they think it is, anyway.

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The secrecy and paranoia of the WHO

Published on 2018-09-07 13:30:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


With the WHO's anti-nicotine COP8 conference on the horizon, Harry Shapiro has written a timely article about the way the fanatics who run this shindig have weaponised Article 5.3 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. I'd nearly forgotten about them excluding Interpol from the conference in Delhi on the grounds that it is some sort of tobacco industry front group...

As originally written, Article 5.3 simply required Parties to protect their tobacco control policies from tobacco industry influence. Period. Even the subsequently published Guidelines to 5.3 broken down into four Principles only required Parties to have ‘accountable and transparent’ dealings with the industry. But these ‘Guidelines’ have morphed into Holy Writ, turning the whole enterprise into something resembling a fundamentalist Doomsday cult seeing conspiracy and ‘interference’ at every turn. There is now FCTC lore which has become insanely over-interpreted to mean that there should be no contact whatsoever not only with the industry, but with any organisation or individual that has any links whatsoever with the industry in any capacity. This manifests itself, for example, in the COP meetings which unlike for example the Climate Change Framework meetings, will not allow entry to industrial interests or any organisations that do not agree with its views. Any NGO wishing access has to be a member of the FCA while, on the grounds that somebody from the evil Empire might just hear what is going on, the public and the media are also pretty much excluded from the whole event and from reading the deliberations of the meeting. This is taken to ludicrous lengths by refusing access to Interpol because one of the world’s major law enforcement agencies has been working with the industry to combat the illicit tobacco trade. The FCTC Secretariat, clearly intoxicated with power, is now even trying to dictate to the Parties by attempting for a second time to push through a new rule which would exclude any delegate with links to state-owned tobacco industries. Even the Parties have been pushing back on that one.

Full article

Five Years On And The EU Has Learned Nothing

Published on 2018-09-05 18:09:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Today Snowdon reported that the EU is set to travel to COP8 in Geneva and demand that vaping be treated exactly the same as smoking for advertising purposes.

In fact, more than that, it will demand that even scenes in films portraying smoking and vaping should be classed as advertising.
In preparation for the event, various documents have been circling the global anti-smoking community to get a consensus on what to ban next. The depiction of tobacco use in the arts is one candidate. You can read the WHO's proposal here. The most notable part of the document is the WHO's intention to include tobacco use on film and television as tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (TAPS) because:

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The EU throws vapers under the bus again

Published on 2018-09-05 13:55:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The WHO's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) is holding its biennial conference in Geneva next month. It is the eighth 'Conference of the Parties', hence it is known as COP8.

In preparation for the event, various documents have been circling the global anti-smoking community to get a consensus on what to ban next. The depiction of tobacco use in the arts is one candidate. You can read the WHO's proposal here. The most notable part of the document is the WHO's intention to include tobacco use on film and television as tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (TAPS) because:

Full article

That Mask Keeps Slipping

Published on 2018-09-04 19:20:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Remember that smoking ban which was about protecting bar workers? Oh yeah, and the plain packaging of cigarette packets which was solely about making sure kids don't start smoking?

It wasn't about bullying smokers, heaven forbid! No, you were free to make your own choices, they just wanted to safeguard the kiddies and put a welcoming arm around poor put-upon bar staff. It was a shame that the hospitality industry was severely damaged with tens of thousands of pubs closing and the bingo industry all but wiped out, a shame that social exclusion for vulnerable adults has meant we now have a Minister for Loneliness, and a shame that intellectual property worth billions was eradicated to the detriment of legal UK businesses for no purpose whatsoever.

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