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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.

100 years of the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act

Published on 2014-12-17 07:00:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


There are a few important 100th anniversaries in the world of drug and alcohol prohibition coming up over the next few years. I've written about one today in City AM:

One hundred years ago today, President Woodrow Wilson approved the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act, the US’s first national legislation designed to control the manufacture, import and supply of opium and cocaine. Francis Burton Harrison, a Democrat representative, did little more than give his name to the law. The heavy lifting was done by Dr Hamilton Wright, a zealous public health specialist who believed that opium was “the greatest curse which humanity has ever known”. After wildly exaggerating the scale of drug addiction in the US, with particular reference to alleged drug-induced depravity among certain ethnic groups, Wright drew up a Bill that effectively banned the sale of narcotics for recreational use. It sowed the seeds for the war on drugs as we know it today.

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IN MY VIEW: Why Hysteria Over Youth E-Cigarette Use is Overblown; And Why it May Not Normalize Smoking

Published on 2014-12-17 06:10:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary


In response to the release of the 2014 Monitoring the Future data, which show that more youth are experimenting with electronic cigarettes than smoking (in terms of past 30-day use), many anti-smoking groups have sounded the alarm. More specifically, these groups have told the public that these data demonstrate that e-cigarettes are normalizing smoking. As Sabrina Tavernese explains in her New York Times article: "Health advocates say the trend for e-cigarette use is dangerous because it is making smoking seem normal again." For example, the American Academy of Family Physicians argued that these data show that e-cigarette use is normalizing smoking.

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Cochrane review confirms that e-cigarettes help smokers quit

Published on 2014-12-17 02:05:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews brings bad tidings for the anti-vaping clowns of the public health racket:

New Cochrane review finds emerging evidence that smokers who use electronic cigarettes can stop or reduce their smoking.
The first Cochrane review on this subject published today in the Cochrane Library gives some early insights in to electronic cigarettes as an aid to stopping smoking and reducing consumption... The team of researchers from the UK and New Zealand found two randomised trials that had analysed data from 662 current smokers. The researchers looked at the effects of electronic cigarettes on quit rates and the number of people who were able to reduce the number of cigarettes they smoked by at least 50%. They also looked at any adverse effects reported by electronic cigarette users. The team also considered evidence from 11 observational studies.

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Of course, it was the smoking that killed her

Published on 2014-12-16 16:03:38.
Website: Frank Davis


H/T Magnetic, I’ve been looking at SmokeFreeNOLA on Facebook. It was created on 15 October 2014, and swung into action on 19 November 2014, the day before LaToyah Cantrell called for a complete smoking ban in New Orleans. I started out … Continue reading →

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"Castigating Lifestyles", Polly? The Left Have No Equal

Published on 2014-12-16 11:50:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Via Simon Cooke, Polly Toynbee has done a superb job today in highlighting the disgraceful behaviour of the left towards working class people.

I mean, how else does she think saying this would have been turned out?
Some themes deep in the heart of Toryism just never go away. Up they pop, over and over. Control the lower orders, stop them breeding, check their spending, castigate their lifestyles. Poking, sneering, moralising and despising is hardwired within Tory DNAErr, I don't believe Emily Thornberry is a Tory MP, is she?

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Glantz Tells Public There is No Question that E-Cigarettes are a Gateway to Smoking, But Today's Monitoring the Future Data Show the Opposite

Published on 2014-12-16 03:47:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary


In an article published yesterday in USA Today, Dr. Stanton Glantz states definitively that electronic cigarettes are a gateway to smoking. He was quoted as stating: "There's no question that e-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking."

The article highlights the findings of two new studies showing that rates of electronic cigarette use among youth continue to rise dramatically. According to the article: "About 25% of high school students in Connecticut and 29% of teens in Hawaii have used e-cigarettes, according to separate studies. About 18% of the Hawaii teens and 12% of the Connecticut high school students had used e-cigarettes in the past month. Both studies were done in 2013. Those rates are much higher than the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which found 4.5% of high schoolers and 1.1% of middle schoolers had used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days in 2013. Authors of the Hawaii study, published online Monday in Pediatrics, note that e-cigarette use has grown exponentially among kids, doubling every year since 2009."

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Soft drink tax won't save £39 million, it will cost £2,561 million

Published on 2014-12-16 03:40:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The Children's Food Campaign has relaunched its campaign for a 20 per cent sin tax on sugary drinks. The pressure group, which is part of Sustain, claims that the tax will save the NHS in London £39 million.

This figure comes from some research that has not been published and is based on a theoretical model which cannot be checked. Regardless of the reliability of the source, £39 million a year isn't very much. The NHS budget is over £100 billion a year.

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A New Enemy

Published on 2014-12-15 16:55:19.
Website: Frank Davis


It’s quite refreshing to discover a new enemy. It’s a bit like finding another, hitherto-unknown, utterly-obnoxious member of Hitler’s Nazi party. I find I get bored of people like Deborah Arnott after a few years. There’s nothing like new blood … Continue reading →

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“They are the Minority”

Published on 2014-12-14 18:28:01.
Website: Frank Davis


I thought this was a great image from the Times-Picayune. Strong, purposeful, blue-eyed, level gaze. It comes on the heels of Councilwoman LaToyah Cantrell calling for a strict ban on smoking in New Orleans: The law would ban smoking in … Continue reading →

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Tobacco Control Dinosaurs vs Cornwall Waitress

Published on 2014-12-14 13:01:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


On Saturday mornings, Radio 5 Live carry a sports humour show called Fighting Talk which features a round entitled "defend the indefensible". If I were ever allowed to choose four contestants who would be most suited to such a test, they would be Martin McKee, Simon Chapman, Mike Daube and Stanton Glantz for their stunning ability to be able to talk utter bollocks in the face of adversity.

Because it was with astonishment that I read on Friday that these global tobacco industry heavyweights had conspired to produce an attack piece over a Lancet article written by ... a housewife and part-time waitress from Cornwall.
We were surprised to read in The Lancet (Nov 1, p 1576), Lorien Jollye's criticisms of the public health community for, as she alleges, insulting and ignoring the supporters of electronic cigarettesNow, for anyone who has followed the shenanigans of public health on social media, this isn't even debatable! As we saw from the John Ashton affair, it's part of these charlatans' routine to block social media comments from anyone who disagrees with them - often preemptively to avoid viewpoints which differ from their own - but continue to fire off insults anyway. McKee, Chapman and Glantz all do exactly the same, the only exception of the four is Daube ... because he's not on Twitter. But he was, as I understand it, responsible for calling authorities and getting a small business e-cig seller prosecuted in Western Australia.

In fact, they even block the opinions of those in their own tobacco control industry if they dare to say that e-cigs are a good idea. At least one of the four has, for example, even blocked arch anti-smoking activist Linda Bauld for that very reason.

As the Redhead says (do go read the whole thing), this more than adequately exceeds their own "scream test" criterion.
I’m sure you know what the tobacco control scream test is.
One of the measures used by anti tobacco campaigners to determine the effectiveness of an innovation, action, legislation or reform is how loudly the tobacco industry “screams”.How wonderful it is then, that a brief article written by a lady who is a perfectly ordinary member of the public, and the activities of countless other people just like her, should elicit this plaintive cry for help from four of the most prominent figures in tobacco control

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CDC Makes Startling Proclamation: Electronic Cigarette Aerosol is Not as Safe as Clean Air

Published on 2014-12-14 12:13:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary


For the past two years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been on a crusade to demonize electronic cigarettes. The agency has falsely claimed that its survey data demonstrate that electronic cigarettes are a gateway to cigarette smoking among youth. The agency has fabricated evidence that ex-smokers are in large numbers being driven back to smoking because of electronic cigarettes. The agency has scared the public by noting that rates of experimentation with electronic cigarettes doubled among youth, but failed to mention that almost all regular e-cigarette users were smokers or users of other forms of tobacco.

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Driving Deeper into the Great Recession

Published on 2014-12-13 17:13:19.
Website: Frank Davis


H/T Harley and Juliette Tworsey. I’ve never been there, but it’s a city that I primarily associate with jazz and street music and carnivals. So this rings true: People primarily come to New Orleans because our culture embodies and celebrates … Continue reading →

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Link Tank 13/12

Published on 2014-12-13 01:58:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


To read while you wait for your missing online Christmas purchases.

Rand Paul puts chokehold on cigarette taxes - he's got a point

What a free society needs from its politicians

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How true this is

Published on 2014-12-12 17:01:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


As seen on Twitter (aptly enough), the hierarchy of disagreement...





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Zombie Climate Science

Published on 2014-12-12 16:06:55.
Website: Frank Davis


Ever since the Climategate scandal broke in Nov 2009, I’ve had the impression that climate scepticism has been rising, and climate alarmism has been on the retreat, But the alarmists still keep plugging away with their zombie science. Multiple stakes … Continue reading →

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Rowan Atkinson on the creeping culture of censoriousness

Published on 2014-12-12 10:07:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist




At this year's Battle of Ideas, WorldBytes held a six hour free-speech-athon in which speakers were asked to read something about free speech for ten minutes. I recited Rowan Atkinson's glorious address at the launch of the Reform Section 5 campaign. As I transcribed it I thought I might as well put in online, so here it is...

"My starting point when it comes to the consideration of any issue relating to free speech is my passionate belief that the second most precious thing in life is the right to express yourself freely. The most precious thing in life, I think, is food in your mouth and the third most precious is a roof over your head. But a fixture for me in the number two slot is free expression, just below the need to sustain life itself.

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Anti-Vaping Lie Comprehensively Busted (Again) By The NHS

Published on 2014-12-11 11:50:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


To begin with a parish notice, the tumbleweed blowing around this corner of the internet recently has mostly been a result of pressure of work. I'm still mired in submitting for new business while also suffering the added complication of a sustained period of unusually heavy staff shortages which is shoving me out on the road on a regular basis.

The effort is paying off though, as we celebrated the largest remittance advice in our history landing in the Puddlecote Inc mail yesterday with one of our clients having a pre-Christmas clearout and paying £212,000 in one hit! Oh how I wish I'd had a Tardis at hand to go back and wave the little slip of paper in the face of the mid-90s me to assure him that the 16 hour days are/were worth it.

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First Meta-Analysis of Existing Studies Concludes that Electronic Cigarettes are Effective for Smoking Cessation

Published on 2014-12-11 10:16:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary


A meta-analysis of the existing studies which examined the effectiveness of electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation has concluded that these products are indeed effective. The study abstract, which was published on the Circulation website, was presented at an American Heart Association conference.

The study concluded as follows: "Six studies were selected, including two randomised controlled trials, two cohort studies and two cross-sectional studies, and included 7,551 participants. Meta-analyses included 1,242 participants on whom complete smoking cessation data was available. Of these, 224 (18%) reported smoking cessation after using nicotine-enriched e-cigarettes for a minimum period of six months. Use of such e-cigarettes was positively associated with smoking cessation with a pooled Effect Size of 0.20 (95% CI 0.11-0.28). Nicotine filled e-cigarettes were more effective in achieving cessation compared to those without nicotine (pooled Risk Ratio 2.29, 95% CI 1.05-4.97). Use of e-cigarettes was also effective in reducing smokers’ daily cigarette consumption."

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Les noctambules protestent contre le zappage des videurs à casier judiciaire chargé

Published on 2014-12-11 06:47:04.
Website: Accueil


ATS: " Une pétition s'en prend au durcissement des règles sécuritaires

"Les acteurs de la vie nocturne genevoise demandent la suspension de la nouvelle directive qui impose depuis début octobre des règles plus strictes pour engager du personnel de surveillance. Ils ont déposé jeudi auprès du Grand Conseil une pétition munie de 3450 signatures.

"Ces nouvelles mesures sont "inadéquates et inadaptées", a indiqué jeudi Alan Bolumar, co-président du Grand Conseil de la Nuit. Cette association fédère une trentaine d'entités du paysage nocturne genevois, dont L'Usine et L'Arena.

"La directive décriée découle du concordat romand sur les entreprises de sécurité. Elle impose au personnel employé à la sécurité des établissements, dont les videurs et les physionomistes, d'être solvables et de présenter un extrait de casier judiciaire afin d'obtenir une autorisation d'exercer, comme pour les agents de sécurité privés."

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PubCos and pub closures

Published on 2014-12-11 05:30:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Most people seemed to like my report on pub closures, but CAMRA's mob in parliament didn't. I've written a blog post for the IEA in response.

How not to lie with pub closure statistics

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Closing Time

Published on 2014-12-10 01:00:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist




I've got a new IEA report out today which looks at the recent decimation of the pub trade. I've written a blog post about it here and this is the press release:

Taxation, regulation and declining real wages as a result of the recession have been responsible for the closure of more than 6,000 pubs in the past eight years.

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Gruber's downfall

Published on 2014-12-09 12:30:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


American readers have no doubt been following the story of Jonathan Gruber, a 'liberal' (in the corrupted sense of the word) economist who helped put together Obamacare and has since been caught on tape saying that the legislation was deliberately convoluted because voters are "stupid".

I know Gruber for a different reason. By the end of 1990s it had become very clear that US revenue from tobacco taxes amply exceeded the healthcare costs associated with smoking-related diseases. The anti-smoking lobby therefore needed a new excuse to raise tobacco taxes and Dr Gruber was eager to provide it.

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Microsoft se pose en défenseur des données privées face aux Etats-Unis (!)

Published on 2014-12-08 16:46:28.
Website: Accueil


ATS: " Le groupe informatique américain Microsoft a invoqué lundi un risque "pour toutes nos informations numériques privées" pour justifier son refus de transmettre à des enquêteurs américains des données stockées dans un de ses serveurs à l'étranger.

"Microsoft s'oppose depuis plusieurs mois à un mandat judiciaire américain dans le cadre d'une enquête sur un trafic de drogue, qui exige qu'il transmette le contenu des courriels d'un utilisateur stockés dans un serveur de sa filiale irlandaise.

"Le groupe américain argumente que ces données ne relèvent pas de la législation américaine, mais sont protégées par les lois irlandaises et européennes sur la protection des données privées. Il a été condamné en première instance cet été, mais a fait appel de la décision."

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Police Patsies

Published on 2014-12-08 13:00:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Across the Atlantic, some questions are finally being asked about the wisdom of sky high tobacco duties after the death of Eric Garner, an African American who sold loose cigarettes on New York streets. So sustained is the discussion that even the BBC has taken note.
According to a coroner's report, Eric Garner died due to "compression of neck (chokehold), compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint" as he was wrestled to the ground by Daniel Pantaleo and fellow New York City police officers. On Wednesday a grand jury, presented with the report and a video of the entire incident, declined to indict Mr Pantaleo on charges related to Garner's death. The move, coming on the heels of a similar grand jury decision in a police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, has prompted two nights of massive protests in New York and widespread outrage in the media over alleged police brutality. For some, however, another party bears some responsibility in Garner's death - an out-of-control nanny-state government attempting to enforce a prohibition on the sale of untaxed cigarettes. "For someone to die over breaking that law, there really is no excuse for it," Kentucky Senator Paul said on MSNBC Wednesday night. "But I do blame the politicians. We put our police in a difficult situation with bad laws." Reason magazine's A Barton Hinkle explains how New York's high state and city cigarette taxes - totalling $5.95 a pack - have created a thriving black market on the city's streets.This is, of course, economics 101 creation of a black market which the tobacco control industry consistently refuses to accept. It's all a figment of Big Tobacco's imagination, apparently.

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Net rejet des paquets de cigarettes neutres

Published on 2014-12-08 08:55:59.
Website: Accueil


ATS: " La Suisse n'envisage pas d'introduire des paquets de cigarettes neutres. Le Conseil fédéral propose au Parlement de rejeter une motion du conseiller national Pierre-Alain Fridez (PS/JU). Pour lui, l'idée des emballages sans logo ni couleurs "va trop loin".

"L'Australie a fait le choix d'une uniformisation des paquets à fin 2012 et la France devrait suivre bientôt, souligne le Jurassien dans sa motion. L'emballage d'un produit est un élément-clé de la stratégie publicitaire et l'industrie du tabac utilise ce moyen pour rendre son produit plus attrayant et identifiable, d'après lui.

"Des études prouvent l'efficacité du paquet neutre pour une diminution de la consommation, renchérit sa collègue Rebecca Ruiz (PS/VD) dans une question au Conseil fédéral.

"Le gouvernement semble pour sa part plus sensible à d'autres arguments. Plusieurs pays ont déposé des plaintes auprès de l'Organisation mondiale du commerce (OMC) contre la réglementation australienne sur les paquets neutres, souligne-t-il dans sa réponse parue lundi."

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The heart attack hoax

Published on 2014-12-08 02:48:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


A study published in the British Medical Journal earlier this year looked at the causes of the 43 per cent decline in heart disease mortality that took place in Scotland between 2000 and 2010. By far the biggest reasons given were medical treatment (of which the largest contribution came from the use of statins) and improvements in risk factors (mostly coming from reductions in blood pressure).

Results
5770 fewer deaths from coronary heart disease occurred in 2010 than would be expected if the 2000 mortality rates had persisted (8042 rather than 13 813). This reflected a 43% fall in coronary heart disease mortality rates (from 262 to 148 deaths per 100 000). Improved treatments accounted for approximately 43% (95% confidence interval 33% to 61%) of the fall in mortality, and this benefit was evenly distributed across deprivation fifths. Notable treatment contributions came from primary prevention for hypercholesterolaemia (13%), secondary prevention drugs (11%), and chronic angina treatments (7%).

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Required Reading: Michael Marlow's Commentary on the FDA's Proposed Deeming Regulations

Published on 2014-12-07 12:23:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary


Everyone involved in the debate over electronic cigarettes must read Dr. Michael Marlow's commentary on the FDA's proposed deeming regulations. According to his Mercatus Center biography, Dr. Marlow is "an affiliated senior scholar at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and professor of economics and distinguished scholar at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo."

(See: Marlow ML. Regulating a less unhealthy cigarette: The FDA's treatment of e-cigarettes jeopardizes public health. Regulation. Fall 2014.)

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France: les députés votent l’interdiction de l’achat du tabac sur Internet

Published on 2014-12-06 14:56:47.
Website: Accueil


Le Figaro: "Les acheteurs seront passibles d'une peine de prison pouvant aller jusqu'à cinq ans ferme pour trafic par voie organisée.

Les fumeurs ne pourront bientôt plus faire leurs emplettes sur Internet. Les députés ont voté ce vendredi soir l'interdiction de tout achat de tabac à distance, dans un pays étranger, dans le cadre du projet de budget rectificatif 2014. Les acheteurs seront désormais passibles d'une peine de prison pouvant aller jusqu'à cinq ans ferme pour trafic par voie organisée.

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Iran: tous les utilisateurs d'internet seront "identifiés"

Published on 2014-12-06 06:27:57.
Website: Accueil


ATS: "L'Iran est en train de mettre au point un système pour que tout utilisateur d'internet puisse être "identifié" lorsqu'il se connecte au réseau, a déclaré le ministre iranien des Télécommunications selon des propos rapportés samedi par l'agence Isna.

"A l'avenir, lorsque les personnes voudront utiliser l'internet, elles seront identifiées et nous connaîtrons l'identité de chaque internaute", a déclaré le ministre Mahmoud Vaezi, sans donner de précisions sur les moyens techniques qui seront utilisés."

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Contrary opinion

Published on 2014-12-06 06:09:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


A video clip and an audio file for those who are interested.

The first is my opening speech at a public meeting in Sydney, organised by the Centre for Independent Studies. The topic was 'The Grit in the Oyster: In praise of contrary opinion'. I talked about the tactics used to silence those who put forward unfashionable evidence in public health from John Snow to the present day.



The second is my opening speech at this year's Battle of Ideas. The subject was 'Kindergarten culture: why does the government treat us like children?'

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Link Tank 06/12

Published on 2014-12-06 02:00:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Links from the big chair.

Yes, stupid laws help kill people

Turning all adults into panto villains

Brother, can you spare a cigarette?

"Overwhelming majority of the research” says calorie labelling doesn't work

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"Un faisceau d'indices pointent vers un effet de la fumée sur le chromosome mâle"

Published on 2014-12-05 08:51:38.
Website: Accueil




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