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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 Heat Wave Continues

Published on 2018-07-23 10:24:31.
Website: Frank Davis


In the UK, the Guardian reports as the heat wave continues. The northern hemisphere is having a baking summer – and it’s not just down to climate change Last week, authorities in Sweden took an unusual step. They issued an appeal … Continue reading →

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The Inner Level: a review

Published on 2018-07-23 08:47:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


I wasn't going to read the sequel to The Spirit Level but Spiked asked me to review it, so I did. You can find my review of The Inner Level here.

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WTO Agrees That Plain Packaging Is A Failure, Allows It Anyway

Published on 2018-07-22 18:27:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Late on parade with this due to business pressure, but Sinclair Davidson posted a very interesting article about the WTO's ruling on plain packaging a couple of weeks ago.

Davidson has consistently argued that plain packaging has had no impact on smoking in Australia and is an utter failure, despite the desperate spin being fabricated by the government over there.

Well, lo and behold, in the WTO's 800 page reasoning behind its judgement that plain packs are not contrary to global trade rules, they seem to agree.

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Not Seeing The Obvious

Published on 2018-07-22 10:53:41.
Website: Frank Davis


In this brief conversation on CNN last month, Seymour Hersh managed to say a number of interesting things. Speaking about Trump, Hersh says: “This guy is different. And I think people are tired of politicians. And he appeals for a … Continue reading →

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UKCTAS is a Waste of Money

Published on 2018-07-21 10:36:28.
Website: Frank Davis


Dick Puddlecote reports antismoking zealot Linda Bauld crowing about how @UKCTAS research led to smoking being removed from #LoveIsland broadcasts : Remember that the UKCTAS is funded entirely by your taxes. And they believe a good way of spending your money … Continue reading →

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Victory Dairy Milk

Published on 2018-07-20 15:08:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Cadbury's have announced that it will be launching a new version of Dairy Milk with 30 per cent less sugar. This wouldn't normally be news but it is tied in with the government's madcap food reformulation scheme so it is.

I've written about it for the Speccie.

If Cadbury’s think that they can appease Public Health England by offering people choice, they don’t understand the ‘public health’ lobby at all. 
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Great Expectations

Published on 2018-07-20 10:23:22.
Website: Frank Davis


I suppose that if you’re a progressive, you’re probably trying to build a better world. And if you’re a conservative you’re trying to prevent the world from getting much worse than it already is. And if you’re trying to build … Continue reading →

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Love Island Idiocy

Published on 2018-07-19 17:33:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


It's still a bit busy in Puddlecoteville, but things are clearing so I may be able to write more on issues I have wanted to for quite a while .. perhaps.

As a quickie, though, this is a gobsmacker.

How @UKCTAS research led to smoking being removed from #LoveIsland broadcasts - presentation from @UniofNottingham’s Alex Barker #UKCTAS pic.twitter.com/BAzMYfbM0N— Linda Bauld (@LindaBauld) July 17, 2018

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The Tobacco Control Plan debate

Published on 2018-07-19 16:28:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist



 
In the previous post, I mentioned the parliamentary debate on tobacco control that had been organised by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH). It took place this afternoon and was streamed online so I watched it. As you can see from the photo above, it was sparsely attended. What you can't see is that was dominated by members of the All Party Group on Smoking and Health, a sockpuppet in-house pressure group created by ASH in the 1970s of which ASH remains the secretariat.

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ASH are in charge

Published on 2018-07-19 10:01:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Public health minister Steve Brine tweeted yesterday about a parliamentary debate on the Tobacco Control Plan that is being held today.


This makes it sound as if it was the decision of Brine and his department to organise the debate but an e-mail circulated to MPs on July 4th tells a different story:

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The Disintegration of the Enlightenment

Published on 2018-07-19 09:56:03.
Website: Frank Davis


Stephen Hicks, some of whose YouTube videos I’ve been watching recently, dates  Enlightenment modernism from about 1600 to 1800, and locates its origins in England. And he dates post-modernism from Immanuel Kant, 1724 – 1804, when Kant declared that pure … Continue reading →

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Grandad's New Resource

Published on 2018-07-18 17:01:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


A few months ago I met with a city analyst who read your humble host's offerings and was keen to meet. We enjoyed a liquid lunch in Threadneedle Street but before going our separate ways, he asked if I could put him in contact with Grandad, of Head Rambles fame, as he was a regular visitor to Ireland.

It would appear that they did, indeed, get in touch and the link-up has produced something very useful. Today Grandad explains on his blog how this new project came into being. The result is a glorious website - based on an extensive investor report - which delves into the murky dealings of the tobacco control industry over decades.

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EU Wants To Tax Vaping, Don't Let Them

Published on 2018-07-12 11:00:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote



Via new vaping media source Vapetrotter (which you should bookmark, by the way), it won't surprise you to learn that a vast impenetrable bureaucracy which lives solely on the basis of tens of thousands of employees earning their living by doing nothing but regulating, wants to regulate e-cigs further than the absolute shit-shower they did with the TPD.

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The drinking guidelines fiddle

Published on 2018-07-10 22:33:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


I've got an article in the current issue of Wetherspoons News about the lowering of the drinking guidelines in 2016 after a process that I would describe as fraudulent. Wetherspoons recently turned its back on the internet so here it is in pixels...

It is two years since the government changed its official drinking advice. Lowering the weekly guidelines for men from 21 units to 14 units, Britain became one of a small handful of countries to issue the same guidance to both sexes. When she announced the new limits, England’s Chief Medical Officer, Sally Davies, took the opportunity to tell the nation that there is no safe level of drinking and that the health benefits of moderate drinking are ‘an old wives’ tale’.

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Au revoir

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



I'm on holiday until 16th July so blogging will be almost non-existent. If you need some hot takes while I'm away check the sidebar of shame for the finest deviants the blogosphere has to offer.

And if you have half an hour to spare and didn't catch my longform interview on BBC Scotland a few months ago, I notice that there is now a permanent link to it here.

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Chile's soda tax "success"

Published on 2018-07-05 17:03:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The sugar tax junk science just keeps coming. It's amazing how hard it is to find evidence that taxes on sugary drinks has any effect on consumption, let alone calorie intake or obesity.

First we had the Mexico study which claimed to have found a 6 per cent drop in sales. This was plausible enough for a 10 per cent tax, but it turned out to be false. Per capita consumption was almost exactly the same after the tax was introduced as it had been before.

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The Grey Miserable World of 'Public Health'

Published on 2018-07-04 18:45:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Life still exceptionally busy with Puddlecote Inc, I'm afraid, but I see that the 'public health' bandwagon is still accelerating down the slippery slope they claim doesn't exist.

I find this kind of thing quite staggering.
Cadbury, Chewits and Squashies sweets have become the first companies to have online adverts banned under new rules targeting junk food ads for children. The Advertising Standards Authority said the companies did not do enough to prevent under-16s seeing the content.Now, if you were around in the 80s or 90s, did you ever think we would be in a position where kids are not allowed to see adverts for things that they like to eat, and have for decades? All based on a fantasy panic whipped up by repulsive self-enriching tax thieves?

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Prohibition is bad for mental health

Published on 2018-07-04 10:09:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


With Canada, Uruguay and a growing number of US states abandoning cannabis prohibition, there is a real chance of European countries following suit. In Britain, enthusiasm for reform has since faded since the 1990s as a result of ‘skunk’ taking over the market. In 2004, when Tony Blair’s government reclassified cannabis as a Class C drug, it was still considered to be a relatively ‘soft’ drug and there was significant political support for its legalisation, but by the time Gordon Brown returned it to Class B status in 2008, public perception of the drug had begun to change. Cannabis is now synonymous with high potency skunk which is associated with dependency and psychosis. Around 70 per cent of the cannabis seized by police in the 1990s was resin. Today, more than 90 per cent is skunk.

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Smoking rate rises in first year of plain packaging and TPD

Published on 2018-07-03 09:38:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The Office for National Statistics has just released its annual publication, Adult Smoking Habits in Great Britain, with data for 2017.

2017 was the year that plain packaging and the Tobacco Products Directive effectively began. Both were introduced in May 2016 but retailers were allowed to sell their old stock until 20 May 2017. The tobacco industry made sure plenty of branded packs were available and few smokers saw a plain pack until 2017. The vaping industry also tried to make sure there were good, non-EU regulated e-cigarette fluids available for as long as possible.

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Shut down the Local Government Association

Published on 2018-07-02 09:49:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The march towards state control of the food supply is accelerating at such a pace that even the craziest ideas barely raise an eyebrow. On Friday, the Local Government Association made a new demand that passed almost without comment.

Off the back of some politically driven nonsense from Public Health England about the 'clustering' of takeaway shops in 'deprived' (ie. urban) areas, Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:

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The domino theory revisited

Published on 2018-07-01 05:30:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


As predicted from leaked reports last year, the World Trade Organisation has rejected the appeal of various countries against plain packaging. This is an unfortunate but important development because it shows that the WTO will not stand up for trademarks and intellectual property rights.

As a precedent, the implications go far beyond tobacco. With the court case settled (appeals notwithstanding), the Guardian has come clean....

'Resounding victory': Australia wins tobacco plain packaging dispute

Full article

Legalise it

Published on 2018-06-29 10:31:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


I have a report out with the IEA today that gives an estimate of how much cannabis is consumed in Britain, how much would be consumed if the market were legalised, and how much tax revenue the government would make from doing so.

In short, I estimate that 255 tonnes of cannabis were sold in 2016/17. To put that in context, this is what one tonne of cannabis looks like.


Full article

Children gambling - another moral panic

Published on 2018-06-28 09:45:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The Times has got everything it could have wanted from its weirdly obsessive crusade against sugar, and the anti-gambling killjoys have won their victory over the fixed-odds betting terminals. Both are ready for a new target and gambling adverts fit the bill, hence this in The Times today...

More children gamble than go bowling or skateboard
Gambling is now more popular among children than skateboarding as bookmakers bombard young people with adverts in an “uncontrolled social experiment on today's youth” an official report has warned.

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Scottish Tobacco Control Plan Hypocrisy

Published on 2018-06-27 18:30:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


On Wednesday, I promised to revisit the Scottish Tobacco Control Plan at some point, so better late than never.

In particular, let's examine this knuckle-headed nonsense from the document.
There is some evidence that dissuasive colour or dissuasive messages on cigarettes could reduce the attractiveness of, and therefore the potential demand for, cigarettes. Other studies have considered composition – reducing the nicotine level or flavours that mask the true taste.  For the same reasoning which led to the introduction of standardised cigarette packaging, legislation could be made to make cigarettes less attractive. This could be done through changes to colour, composition and/or warning messages on each stick.So what is this "some evidence" of which they speak? Well, it's the brainfart of one weird individual in New Zealand called Janet Hoek who is a botanist, zoologist and Beowulf expert and - amongst other ideas she hopes will launch her into global nanny state stardom - would like to see plain packaging for fast food and fizzy drinks and processed food to be treated like tobacco. Oh, she's not  a fan of vaping either, but that's hardly surprising from so-called 'public health' these days.

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The cost of vice in Canada

Published on 2018-06-27 08:35:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Another cost-of-vice report has been published, this time in Canada...

The economic cost of substance use in Canada in 2014 was $38.4 billion, or about $1,100 for every Canadian, says a report released Tuesday.
It's not a big jump from claiming that $38.4 billion amounts to $1,100 for every Canadian to claiming that every Canadian pays $1,100 a year to clean up the mess from drink, drugs and tobacco. If campaigners have not already done so, they will soon. This kind of reporting is deliberately open to misinterpretation.

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The childhood obesity strategy

Published on 2018-06-26 12:10:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


I've written about phase two of the government's so-called child so-called obesity strategy for Cap-X....

Two years ago, the government published a childhood obesity strategy that had been drafted by David Cameron’s administration. Despite the inclusion of a sugar tax and an unprecedented food reformulation programme, “public health” campaigners inevitably complained that it did not go far enough. Evidence subsequently came to light that Theresa May’s team had indeed stripped out some of the nanny state policies favoured by her predecessor.

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The Snobbery Of Banning Sweets At Checkouts

Published on 2018-06-24 18:54:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


On an otherwise glorious day of electrifying sunshine and impressive football success, let's nail this distasteful sophistry from the embarrassing Department of Health and its massed ranks of tax-troughing government lobbyists, shall we?

Via the BBC:
[Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt] said the cost of obesity was too great to ignore. "Parents are asking for help - we know that over three quarters of parents find offers for sugary sweets and snacks at checkouts annoying. "It's our job to give power to parents to make healthier choices, and to make their life easier in doing so."Parents are asking for help to, erm, say no? Government is now passing laws - and effectively creating criminal offences - because some parents find something annoying?

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The growing war on food

Published on 2018-06-23 23:01:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Looks like the Tories have caved in to the nanny state vermin once again, this time on the pretext of tackling the non-existent childhood obesity 'epidemic'.

New measures to halve the number of obese children by 2030 have been announced by Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt today.
Building upon the world-leading first chapter of the Childhood Obesity Plan, the new measures include proposals to mitigate ‘pester-power’ by preventing stores from displaying unhealthy food at checkouts or including it in buy-one-get-one-free deals.

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Why 5%? The sugar guidelines revisited

Published on 2018-06-22 08:00:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Looking at those sugar guidelines for Spectator Health...

Earlier this week I suggested that the ‘extremely worrying’ news that children are eating twice as much sugar as the government recommends might have something to do with the government halving the recommendation. The change was made in 2015 based on advice given by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) as part of its evidence review of carbohydrates. It recommended that people consume no more than five per cent of their calories from ‘free sugars’ (which includes sugar in honey and fruit juice). This was a significant change to the previous advice to consume no more than ten per cent of calories from ‘non-milk extrinsic sugars’ (which excludes honey and fruit juice).

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Scotland Plans To Gold-Plate The TPD And Further Restrict E-Cig Advertising

Published on 2018-06-20 18:48:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Yesterday I wrote about the tobacco control industry's habit of cherry-picking evidence and - more recently - disbelieving real life evidence because it doesn't agree with their wild, junk science-led fantasies of how the world works.

Today sees a new low, though, as the Scottish Government released its Tobacco Control Plan. Snowdon has highlighted some of the blinkingly barmy aspects of it, so do go read his piece.

Full article

Scotland's new tobacco plan unveiled

Published on 2018-06-20 16:56:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist



The Scottish government has just published the latest part of its plan to achieve tobacco prohibition 'a tobacco-free generation' by 2034. This target was set behind closed doors by politicians and state-funded pressure groups several years ago and attracted little public attention at the time. As the date gets closer, the government was always bound to resort to increasingly absurd and authoritarian measures.

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Inconvenient Evidence For Tobacco Control

Published on 2018-06-19 20:08:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Life is still overwhelmingly busy at Puddlecote Inc hence the lack of content here of late, plus I've just got back from Poland after another interesting GFN conference. There is lots to write, but sadly not much time to write it.

For now, your humble host would invite you to read this article at Reason which neatly highlights some textbook tobacco control fraud.
Three days after more than two-thirds of San Francisco voters agreed that mandating flavorless e-liquid was a reasonable response to the rising popularity of e-cigarettes among teenagers, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published survey data showing that in 2017 vaping declined among middle school students and remained steady among high school students after falling in 2016. E-cigarette alarmists were so flummoxed by reality's failure to fit their narrative that they insisted the survey must be wrong. "Study Says Vaping by Kids Isn't Up," read the Associated Press headline, "but Some Are Skeptical." The skeptics had heard that teenagers are Juuling in schools across America, and they figured all that press coverage should translate into higher vaping rates. They suggested that survey respondents might not have realized Juul e-cigarettes are e-cigarettes.It seems we are seeing a new application of the customary spreading of misinformation and lies. For decades tobacco control has deliberately spread falsehoods by way of quack science, misdirection and hysterical exaggeration of tiny risks. They have been doing this relentlessly in the US towards e-cigs but the evidence refuses to comply with their scare stories.

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