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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.

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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Know Your Enemy

Published on 2018-09-19 11:21:09.
Website: Frank Davis


And as far as I’m concerned Tobacco Control and Public Health and the World Health Organisation are my enemies. They’re trying to eradicate smokers like me. They’re also trying to eradicate drinkers and fat people. I think that if they … Continue reading →

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Overpaid, Parasitic Quangocrat

Published on 2018-09-18 11:50:12.
Website: Frank Davis


Hat tip to Chris Snowdon, who has denied calling people who work in Public Health England (12:50) “insufferable bastards,” although he wished he had. I often wonder what sort of things antismokers say to each other in their Tobacco Control … Continue reading →

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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.

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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.

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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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Civil War in Europe

Published on 2018-09-17 09:28:22.
Website: Frank Davis


James Delingpole: “Civil war is coming to Europe,” a German city politician told me this week. The gist of his argument: It is a simple, observable truth that most of our governing class – at every level, from the supranational … Continue reading →

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Harm, Hurt, Pain, and Grief

Published on 2018-09-16 11:41:14.
Website: Frank Davis


I began listening yesterday to a podcast of Chris Snowdon in conversation with James Delingpole. Near the beginning, Snowdon’s new book, Killjoys, got plugged: Eating sugary food, drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes are legal activities. But politicians still use the law … Continue reading →

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Certainty

Published on 2018-09-15 10:47:07.
Website: Frank Davis


A couple of days ago I was referring to my copy of Smoking: The Cancer Controversy by Sir Ronald Fisher, published in 1959. The book opens with a letter he had written in 1957, which begins: Your annotation on “Dangers … Continue reading →

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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!

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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.

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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:

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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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Australia's new tobacco industry

Published on 2018-09-04 10:30:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Tobacco duty went up again in Australia on Saturday. The annual hike of 12.5% (plus sales tax) brings the price of an average pack of 25 up to $34 (£19).

You'd expect nothing less in the World Leader of Tobacco Control™. Australian governments have been doggedly fighting smokers the tobacco industry for years. Alas, a new tobacco industry has emerged which is rather less compliant with the law, so let's see how those magnificent, evidence-based anti-smoking policies (plain packaging, sky-high taxation and a ban on vaping) have been working out in the last few months, shall we?

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Is Barnsley The Doziest Council In The Country?

Published on 2018-09-03 18:59:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


With councils squealing about 'austerity' and 'savage cuts' at every opportunity, the BBC reported yesterday on a vital public service being promoted by Barnsley Borough Council.
Smoke-free zones are set to be introduced outside 80 primary schools in Barnsley. The move is an extension of a council scheme which has already been implemented in the town. Each of the schools will be given signs, letters to send to parents and "tool kits" to help staff set up the zones around the premises. Kaye Mann, senior health improvement officer, said: "The aim is to make smoking invisible to children."So it's a council scheme, is it? Because that's not what was conveyed to the media in May. ABOUT 150 children staged a peaceful protest imploring parents not to smoke near their school kick-starting a project to make smoking ‘invisible’ to school children across Barnsley.  Pupils from Laithes Primary at Athersley South linked arms to form a chain on front of the school’s entrance, waved placards and shouted chants at the event on Wednesday - some even took to the megaphone. Yep, it was all the kids' doing, even down to the professionally printed banners. They bought those out of their pocket money, natch. 

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Australian drinking at a 50 year low

Published on 2018-09-03 13:10:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Another chapter in The Decline of Australia...

224 stubbies a year: Australians' alcohol consumption plunges to lowest since 1962
1962! In 1962, pubs still had to close at 6pm in Victoria and South Australia (not that this was a very successful anti-drinking policy). Drinking in Australia peaked more than 40 years ago and has fallen by 30 per cent in the years since. Beer has been the main casualty.

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Red Bullshit

Published on 2018-08-31 10:42:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The government announced a ban on the sale of energy drinks to 'children' yesterday. This was actually announced in the childhood obesity strategy months ago, but there was so many awful proposals in the strategy that no one really noticed it.

It became front page news yesterday because the government has launched the public consultation and because it's August. I wrote about the policy for spectator Health (spoiler: I'm agin).

His restaurant empire may be falling apart but Jamie Oliver can console himself that he’s still running the country. At the start of the year, the celebrity chef launched a campaign to ban the sale of energy drinks to children. When Mr Oliver says jump, the government invariably says ‘how high?’, and so it came to pass – a mere eight months later – that Theresa May has interrupted her overseas trip to announce such a ban.

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Oppose the EU vape tax

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


The EU has been eyeing up a tax on e-cigarettes for a while and its public consultation will be closing on September 3rd. Time is therefore running out if you want to respond.

The consultation also asks about taxation of tobacco products, including conventional cigarettes and heat-not-burn.

There is no reason why the EU should be getting involved with any of this, but no doubt the nanny state lobby will be inundating the consultation with responses, so take ten minutes out of your day and let them know what you think.

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Money and drugs

Published on 2018-08-29 09:00:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


I was interviewed by Paul North from Volteface recently for CLG.TV, the TV station for local government. We discussed free market solutions to the war on drugs.

As cannabis legalisation gains favour with the public, it's important to set out a blueprint of how the market should be regulated. I disagree with the regulation junkies at Transform who want prices to remain high and consumers treated like hospital patients. There are some who want alcohol, tobacco and cannabis to be regulated in the same draconian way, with plain packaging, advertising bans and high taxes. You might not be surprised to hear that I favour a more liberal approach that reduces harm and restricts underage access.

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Would moderate drinking be 'financially ruinous' for the booze industry?

Published on 2018-08-28 10:55:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Last week I discussed a laughably inept study from the Sheffield alcohol team and the Institute of Alcohol Studies which claimed that a 38 per cent cut in alcohol consumption - caused by drinkers suddenly deciding to drink 'moderately' - would reduce expenditure on alcohol by £13 billion in England.

From this plausible premise they went badly wrong by claiming that the booze industry would have to raise prices by £13 billion to make up for the loss. The lead author, IAS's Aveek Bhattacharya, claimed that their study proved that such a loss of revenue would be 'financially ruinous' for the alcohol industry.

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Nanny statist arrested

Published on 2018-08-27 12:39:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


You may be familiar with Thomas Frieden. He led the charge for sky-high tobacco taxes in New York and was the architect of the city's draconian smoking ban...

Although Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is more closely associated with a law that bans smoking citywide, the legislation was actually developed by Dr. Frieden, who was also given responsibility for helping to push it through the City Council.
He pushed for a ban on large servings of fizzy drinks (thankfully overturned by the courts) and is a keen supporter of sin taxes on soft drinks...

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Let's Make The Harmful Stuff Cheaper

Published on 2018-08-26 20:49:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Jesus H Christ!

I've seen some pretty moronic stuff from the tobacco control trough-snorting gravy train in my time but this really takes the biscuit.

I've written before about how this daft idea of forcibly making tobacco companies reduce the level of nicotine is monumentally stupid.
One can only assume that the people endorsing it are either corrupt or mentally compromised. The US FDA seems to think this is a great idea though. They will mildly relax regulations (perhaps) around vaping while at the same time taking an innocuous ingredient - nicotine - out of cigarettes but leaving all the other crap in. They couldn't be more crazy if they announced that they were to embark on an expedition to find out where unicorns live. This is the end result of decades of tobacco control lunatics having the ear of government.But take a look at this. Not only do these dangerous maniacs think that lowering nicotine in cigarettes so smokers self-titrate by taking in far more nasties than they would otherwise is a good thing, they seriously recommend making the more lethal option cheaper!

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The return of "no safe level of drinking"

Published on 2018-08-24 10:55:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


In 2012, I wrote a post on this blog titled 'Towards Zero':

For the last couple of years I have been predicting that the time will come when the recommended drinking guidelines (colloquially known as "limits") will fall to zero. One day we will be told that the daily/weekly units system is too confusing for the plebs and that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption. The best advice, the experts will say, is to not drink at all.
I predicted this not because the evidence of health benefits from moderate consumption was getting weaker - it was getting stronger and has continued to do so - but because it would be politically expedient for the 'public health' lobby if the optimal level of drinking was zero.  

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Amateur hour in alcohol research

Published on 2018-08-23 14:28:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The hired guns at the Sheffield University Alcohol Research Group have lowered the bar again. In making a relatively simple back-of-the-envelope calculation, they commit so many howlers that you wonder how it is possible for six people - all self-professed alcohol experts - to know so little about the business of selling alcohol.

Their aim was to prove that it is impossible for the booze industry to remain profitable if every drinker consumed the 14 units recommended by the Chief Medical Officer (after a corrupt process in which the Sheffield mob were culpable). The industry says that it is happy for people to drink less but better, ie. consume more expensive - and more profitable - drinks. Indeed, that is exactly what Britons have doing in recent years.

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Zukunft der Tabaksteuer

Published on 2018-08-22 21:33:20.
Website: Netzwerk Rauchen e.V.


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.



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Tobacco on TV

Published on 2018-08-21 09:46:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


If your life ever seems pointless console yourself with the thought that you are not Jo Cranwell. Cranwell is an archetypal 'public health' researcher, a a psychologist with no background in health or medicine who spends most of her time watching television at the taxpayers' expense and demanding restrictions on freedom. She is a 21st century curtain-twitcher.

You may recall her from her essential work looking for 'inferred alcohol use' in Geordie Shore but that is only the tip of the iceberg. Her CV also includes looking for tobacco use in top-grossing films, looking for alcohol content on British television, looking for alcohol use in music videos, looking for tobacco content in music videos, and - in an exciting twist - looking for alcohol and tobacco content in music videos. All of this crucial research was paid for by the Department of Health.

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Science And Tech Committee Lifts Up A Stone To See What Crawls Out

Published on 2018-08-17 12:57:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


I'm sure you've already seen it, but today the government's influential Science and Technology Committee released a report which will have capslock cretins, lardarse Irish academics, follicly-challenged no-mark physiotherapists and crusty Sydney pensioners spluttering their purified water all over their disinfected keyboards.

In the report - carried by, erm, just about every media outlet and heavily featured on the BBC - the committee makes a number of recommendations about reduced risk nicotine products which I summarise below:

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E-cigarette reform and fake outcry

Published on 2018-08-17 11:15:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The Science and Technology Select Committee have published their report about e-cigarettes and it is rather good. Like most sensible people, they acknowledge that the EU's Tobacco Products Directive has set the vaping market back and suggest that the government should abandon the pointless and petty vaping regulations in Article 20 after Brexit. They also suggest repealing the crazy ban on snus, encourage employers to permit vaping in the workplace and reject the idea of taxing vape juice.

As I said in Vaping Solutions last year, this is the lowest of the low-hanging fruit for Brexit. Never mind the libertarian arguments for a moment, the health arguments for repealing legislation that makes it more difficult for smokers to quit are difficult to quibble with.

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