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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.

Representatives In Name Only

Published on 2017-09-25 11:02:54.
Website: Frank Davis


One puzzling thing about Craig Kelly (whom I was highlighting yesterday) is that here is a politician who doesn’t represent at least some of the people in his Australian parliamentary constituency. He actually hates quite a few of them. And … Continue reading →

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Make His Life Horrible

Published on 2017-09-24 10:00:32.
Website: Frank Davis


H/T Audrey Silk for these words from Australian MP Craig Kelly. “You have to have some price pressure,” he says. “You have to have the strongest possible law enforcement. You’ve got to make lepers of those that smoke… make their … Continue reading →

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Regulate In Haste, Repent At Leisure

Published on 2017-09-23 20:49:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


The last couple of days have been a story of regulators regulating for the hell of it instead of using their powers responsibly with the public in mind. Yesterday we saw Transport for London take a Thor-sized hammer to crack the peanut of procedural problems with Uber. I am very knowledgeable about this issue and - to be frank - it stinks of caving into vested interest lobbying pressure rather than their claim of improved safety. Their justification simply doesn't stack up, and even if it did, TfL's response is hysterical, I may be tempted to write about that another time.

But today saw an article in The Sun about e-cigs regulation which is staggering if true. ADVERTS by Cancer Research urging Brits to quit smoking are at the centre of a row over barmy Brussels rules that would ban them, The Sun can reveal. The leading cancer charity want to launch an advertising blitz next month as part of the annual “Stoptober” to urge smokers to “quit or switch” to using e-cigarettes. But charity sources say they were warned by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) that they will be breaking EU rules by promoting vaping e-cigs — despite research showing it is 95 per cent safer than traditional smoking.The author of the article is Harry Cole, formerly of Guido Fawkes's team. His sources are impeccable, so I'd expect his reporting to be accurate. It's interesting because there is currently an advertising campaign by the ASA itself on the tube network where the authority holds itself up as an arbiter of truth.

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One Reason Why It’s Healthy To Smoke And Drink

Published on 2017-09-23 12:34:25.
Website: Frank Davis


In conversation in the Smoky Drinky Bar last night (and with Legiron a week or so back), the subject of the bactericidal, fungicidal, and insecticidal properties of tobacco smoke (in fact more or less any wood smoke) came up. Unfortunately, … Continue reading →

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Ekelbilder im Wahlkampf

Published on 2017-09-22 20:14:51.
Website: Netzwerk Rauchen e.V.


Vor zehn Jahren schon hatte das Netzwerk Rauchen als „Ekelbilder der Woche“ die Antlitze der CDU-Politikerin Dagmar Schimpanski und des SPD-Bundestagsabgeordneten Karl Lauterbach präsentiert. Beide hatten damals Schockbilder auf Tabakpackungen verlangt. Mittlerweile ist der feuchte Traum der Volksbevormunder leider wahr geworden.



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Bullying and Browbeating

Published on 2017-09-22 10:18:28.
Website: Frank Davis


I seem to remember that when some Scots started calling for Scottish independence, the British government’s response was not to crack down on Scottish nationalists, but instead it was to give Scotland a referendum to let Scots decide what they … Continue reading →

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Scream Test Update

Published on 2017-09-21 20:11:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


It's been just over a week since it was announced that PMI were unconditionally throwing $1bn at a former WHO cabinet director to conduct research into reduced risk nicotine products, and the squealing from 'public health' has been a joy to behold.

Let's just revisit what that world-renowned tobacco control expert, Simon Chapman, says about this phenomenon.
When it comes to tobacco control, you can determine the most effective policies by using the litmus test of how the tobacco industry reacts. This has long been called the “scream test”. So when they cry blue murder about the civilisation-ending potential of a policy, it’s not rocket science that they appreciate its threat to their bottom-line.One can only assume, then, that by Simon's own logic, tobacco control must be absolutely shitting themselves about the project and - by extension - the threat to the cosy cartel they have built up from decades of junk science and lying.

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On The Beach

Published on 2017-09-21 13:48:03.
Website: Frank Davis


I seem to have an obsession with sand, because it appears that I write about it quite regularly. Like here (dangerous sandcastles on beaches) and here (killer crystalline silica dust on beaches). Just a couple of days ago I was … Continue reading →

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Fake News: Transport Edition

Published on 2017-09-19 19:36:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


On these pages, we see a lot of old guff spouted by 'public health' about how big business is disingenuous and trying to con the public. The 'public health' industry which is, of course, funded by taxpayers' cash, so basically part of the public sector.

It regularly strikes me as a bit rich that public sector organisations bleat about private businesses lying when - in my experience - I've never encountered any branch of public sector which doesn't lie massively on a daily basis.

As a keen observer of transport stuff (if you're not into transport geekery, look away now), here is a perfect example of public sector fake news, just to show it's not just the 'public health' lot who like to lie.

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Europuppets still thriving

Published on 2017-09-19 11:00:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


I'm off on holiday for a week so I shall leave you with this, from a recent 'public health' conference organised by the European Public Health Alliance.

Josef Probst: "We have national televisions.Why we shouldn't have nationally paid, public interest lobbyists?" #EPHA2017 pic.twitter.com/3fHcKMRmiz— Zoltán MassayKosubek (@EU_ZMK) September 7, 2017

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Ihre Stimme gegen Prohibition

Published on 2017-09-18 19:14:30.
Website: Netzwerk Rauchen e.V.


Entscheiden Sie sich fürs Netzwerk Rauchen! Am Sonntag ist Bundestagswahl, die Wahllokale lassen aber bisher nur einen verhaltenen Lockruf vernehmen. Denn die etablierten Parteien sind zu einem kaum unterscheidbaren und ungenießbaren Gemisch verkommen. Wen können Prohibitionsgegner wählen? Die einflussreichen politischen Kräfte der letzten Jahre haben alle ihren Beitrag zur Bevormundung und zum Paternalismus geleistet. Und werden dies auch in den nächsten vier Jahren tun, soviel ist sicherer als das Amen in der Kirche.


Von der Rückkehr der FDP in den Bundestag sollte man sich nicht zu viel versprechen. Man denke an die letzte Tabaksteuer-Erhöhungsserie, als sie an der Bundesregierung beteiligt war. Und daran, dass jüngst Christian Lindner in NRW die rot-grüne Rauchverbotsverschärfung offenbar nicht ernsthaft rückgängig machen wollte. Ob die AfD sich traut, auch bei Themen wie Rauchen, Trinken und Essen hörbar wider den Stachel zu löcken? Dass ein einzelner namhafter Antiraucher-Funktionär namens Siegfried Ermer sich dort als Kreisvorsitzender (in Erlangen) eingeschlichen hat, sagt zwar noch nichts, da man andererseits auch schon mal die Liberalisierung von Rauchverboten befürwortet hat. Näheres wird sich aber erst zeigen müssen.

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Glantz's 'expanding tobacco epidemic'

Published on 2017-09-18 08:59:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


From Stan Glantz's wacky blog...

More evidence that the US permissive policy environment for e-cigs is expanding the tobacco epidemic
Hong-Jun Cho, Lauren Dutra, and I recently published “Differences in adolescent e-cigarette and cigarette prevalence in two policy environments: South Korea and the United States” in Nicotine and Tobacco Research. This paper compares changes in e-cigarette and cigarette use in South Korea and the United States between 2011 and 2015. Korea has maintained restrictive policies on e-cigarettes whereas the US has left them essentially unregulated (a situation that the FDA will continue until at least 2022).

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It's Not About Health: A Potted History

Published on 2017-09-15 17:10:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


It's almost become a motto of this blog to state that the bans and restrictions imposed by 'public health' and, in particular, tobacco control have nothing whatsoever to do with health.

There have been regular weekly examples of this over the eight plus years that I've been writing here, but New York Times science columnist, John Tierney, has put together the milestone themes in an excellent essay for The Manhattan Institute. Entitled "The Corruption of Public Health", it is a must-read.

Here are a few teasers, firstly on e-cigs.

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Sinner, Keep Sinning - We Need The Cash

Published on 2017-09-13 21:29:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


"I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance." - Luke 15:7My oh my, how revealing is this?

It was announced today that Philip Morris International - makers of Marlboro cigarettes - were funding a new initiative.
NEW YORK – Ushering in a bold, billion-dollar, far-reaching new effort to end smoking across the globe, the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World will be formally launched in New York City on September 13 at 9:30am EDT. The Foundation’s founder and president-designate, Dr. Derek Yach, will outline the Foundation’s mission, objectives, and an initial funding commitment of approximately US$80 million annually for 12 years during a speech to the Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum at the InterContinental New York Barclay. Additional funding from other sources will be announced at a later date. Dr. Yach will be preceded by Mitch Zeller, director of the US FDA's Center for Tobacco Products, who will speak at 8:45am EDT about the need for a new approach to smoking cessation and harm reduction. Members of the media are invited to attend. Dr. Yach is a former World Health Organization cabinet director and executive director who led the development of the world’s foremost treaty on tobacco control, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. In anticipation of the launch of his new Foundation, he said, “With more than 7 million smoking-related deaths every year, smoking kills more people annually than HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Smoking is a global public health crisis that needs an urgent response with significant, sustained resources, fresh ideas and collaborative action. The Foundation will provide all that and more as we work to help the world’s one billion smokers quit smoking.”As I understand it, this is simply PMI shovelling money towards people who would like to research tobacco harm reduction (THR). No strings attached, not even a prerequisite to report what they are doing with it.

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A New Voice Of Freedom From Nags

Published on 2017-09-12 20:37:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


As Snowdon noted recently, there is a concerted effort underway by 'public health' charlatans to make alcohol into the same kind of pariah substance as tobacco. They employ the same frenzied lie-fest that tobacco control has employed for decades, but these hideous bansturbating bloodsuckers won't rest until they have siphoned the joy out of every facet of our lives.

For the latest on this new hysterical phenomenon, let's take a trip to Australia.

The public health ninnies having a go at Malcolm Turnbull for this beautiful moment need to get a grip - and get a life. #auspol pic.twitter.com/awtRme73Ez— Helen Dale (@_HelenDale) September 10, 2017

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Last Orders - new episode

Published on 2017-09-12 18:48:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


After a long break, Tom Slater and I are back with a new Last Orders podcast discussing all things nanny state. Our special guest is Claire Fox and we discuss the plastic bag tax, loony anti-obesity proposals and ten years of the smoking ban.

Listen here.

And if you're in a podcasty frame of mind, you can listen to me take on anti-sugar fanatic Graham MacGregor in Full article

The Curious Case Of The Criminal Offence That Isn't

Published on 2017-09-11 20:10:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


In early August, an article appeared in the Birmingham Mail which appeared to jump the shark regarding vaping on trains. As we will come to, it has since been significantly edited, but the Wayback Machine has the original.
Train users caught putting their feet on seats or vaping could face prosecutionTrain company London Midland has launched a new campaign to stamp out anti-social behaviour and it could see passengers facing prosecution for breaking new railway by-laws. Commuters caught putting their feet on seats or vaping could end up in court. The new regulations were introduced this week (from August 7) in response to complaints from train passengers. "Prosecution"? "New railway by-laws "? "End up in court"? For using an e-cig? What fresh hell is this?

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A shoddy attempt to turn Big Alcohol into Big Tobacco

Published on 2017-09-07 21:00:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


If you were involved in the revision of the UK's alcohol guidelines, you are the last person in the world who should be criticising others for misrepresenting evidence. As I've explained before, the benefits of moderate drinking were subjected to the full 'merchants of doubt' treatment by the Chief Medical Officer's guidelines committee. They blatantly cherry-picked the evidence, relying heavily on the work of one sceptic (Tim Stockwell) while raising a bunch of zombie arguments that have long since been debunked in the literature.

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Spectator - obesity edition

Published on 2017-09-07 08:53:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


I've got an article in tomorrow's Spectator about the government's doomed attempts to control people's waistlines. It's online now...

James Cracknell, the athlete turned anti-obesity campaigner, was the subject of sniggering and derision in April when he said that North Korea and Cuba had got a ‘handle on obesity’. With impressive understatement, he attributed this to both countries being ‘quite controlling on behavioural trends’. It was a bad point poorly made, but in a roundabout way he drew attention to the major obstacles faced by those who want to reduce obesity rates in the rest of the world: freedom and affluence.

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Spanish smoking ban miracle

Published on 2017-09-06 08:44:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you that someone's written another yet smoking ban miracle study.

This time it comes from Spain where a partial ban was introduced in 2006 followed by a 'comprehensive' ban in 2011. The authors look at these two dates and study two types of hospital admission (for asthma and COPD), thereby giving themselves four bites of the cherry to find a correlation.

They pooled a bunch of hospitals together and came up with this mess of inconsistent and contradictory results:

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Spot The Difference

Published on 2017-09-05 18:18:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


You will often hear tobacco controllers talk about how the tobacco industry is evil and has a history of deceiving the public. It's a central ingredient of everything they do and they have used this to persuade governments to ignore the industry entirely, portraying big tobacco companies as untrustworthy.

The theme was explained in this BBC article last year.
In 1979, a secret memo from the tobacco industry was revealed to the public. Called the Smoking and Health Proposal, and written a decade earlier by the Brown & Williamson tobacco company, it revealed many of the tactics employed by big tobacco to counter “anti-cigarette forces”. In one of the paper’s most revealing sections, it looks at how to market cigarettes to the mass public: “Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the ‘body of fact’ that exists in the mind of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy.” Proctor found that ignorance spreads when firstly, many people do not understand a concept or fact and secondly, when special interest groups – like a commercial firm or a political group – then work hard to create confusion about an issue. In the case of ignorance about tobacco and climate change, a scientifically illiterate society will probably be more susceptible to the tactics used by those wishing to confuse and cloud the truth.If this kind of behaviour is reprehensible, how should we review research such as this by the tobacco control industry from last week? From the conclusions (emphases mine):

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Did the smoking ban make the number of childhood chest infections plummet?

Published on 2017-09-05 17:36:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


From The Herald...

Smoking ban sees child chest infections plummet
Really? I may be jaded from years of bitter experience but I suspect that this claim is going to turn out to be bullshit.

Children needing hospital treatment due to chest infections may have dropped by as much as a fifth since anti-smoking laws were introduced, research suggests.

A study led by the University of Edinburgh and the Erasmus University Medical Centre in the Netherlands combined data from 41 papers in countries where tobacco control policies have been introduced.

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Supermarket alcohol: a Giffen good?

Published on 2017-09-05 09:12:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The Institute of Temperance Studies - or whatever they call themselves now - published the results of a survey of publicans last week that showed that they want lower tax on pub booze and higher tax on supermarket booze. Fancy that!

It also showed support for minimum pricing. We have seen before that some of the more short-sighted PubCos are happy to get into bed with the temperance lobby on this issue because they think it will benefit them. I think they are mistaken. It would be a disastrous mistake in the long-term to hand the price mechanism to the state and there would be no short-term benefit. Indeed, there is likely to be a short-term cost, as I explain at Spectator Health today...

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Send ASH to prison

Published on 2017-09-04 12:18:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Mystic Debs does it again - from New Scientist

There is no better way of predicting the future than listening to what Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) have to say and preparing for the exact opposite. Whether they are claiming that high taxes don't cause smuggling, or that smoking bans are good for pubs, or that it makes economic sense for shopkeepers to stop selling cigarettes, the truth can invariably be found by turning their statements at an angle of 180 degrees.

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Zehn Jahre Rauchverbot Deutsche Bahn

Published on 2017-08-31 21:47:48.
Website: Netzwerk Rauchen e.V.


Heute vor zehn Jahren, am 1. September 2007, trat das Bundesrauchverbotsgesetz in Kraft. Rauchen ist in Bundesbehörden und Verkehrsmitteln seither nur noch in abgetrennten Nebenräumen bzw. Einheiten erlaubt. Die Deutsche Bahn missbrauchte diese Gelegenheit, um ein totales Rauchverbot in ihren Zügen zu etablieren, also im Fernverkehr wie auch im Nahverkehr der – wenigen – Bundesländer, die es dort noch erlaubt hatten. Sie hätte es nicht gemusst! Abgetrennte Raucherabteile bzw. ganze Waggons, wie seinerzeit z.B beim ICE, sind nach wie vor in Deutschland gesetzlich erlaubt.


Gleichzeitig verbot die DB das Rauchen an der freien Luft, in kleineren Bahnhöfen ganz und in größeren überall außerhalb gelb umrandeter Zonen. Das war erst recht nicht vom Gesetzgeber erfordert. Draußen wird die DB wohl auf geringere Reiningungskosten spekuliert haben, die massive Einschränkung für rauchende Fahrgäste in den Zügen kam vor allem auf Druck des hundertprozentigen Eigentümers zustande, nämlich des Bundes. Bundesgesundheitsministerin Ulla Schmidt (SPD) wollte unbedingt die Raucher quälen, siehe auch einige Tabaksteuererhöhungen in ihrer Amtszeit.

Seither kann man nicht mehr „das Leben in vollen Zügen genießen“, der Beförderungsfall wird zum Bevormundungsfall. Erfreulich ist, dass das totale Rauchverbot auf kleinen Bahnhöfen weitestgehend ignoriert wird. Auch die mal mehr, mal weniger unattraktiv gestalteten gelben Stigmatisierungszonen (deren Farbe oftmals abgeblättert ist) betrachten nicht alle Tabakgenießer als verbindlich. In Zügen, speziell deren Toiletten, bricht sich gelegentlich der menschliche Freiheitsdrang Bahn.

Netzwerk Rauchen hatte seinerzeit im Rahmen der Aktion „Raucherabteile erhalten!“ den damaligen Bahnchef Mehdorn aufgefordert, von diesen Verboten abzulassen. Die hier nachzulesenden Argumente gelten nach wie vor. Viele Mitglieder des Netzwerk Rauchen gaben aus diesem Grund ihre BahnCard-Abonnements auf.

Oder haben ganz aufgehört, DB-Züge zu nutzen. Der kürzlich verstorbene Technikphilosoph Prof. Dr. Günter Ropohl erklärte damals: „Die Bahn will die rauchenden Menschen aussperren, obwohl in abgetrennten Raucherabteilen kein Nichtraucher belästigt wird. [

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Center for Tobacco Products is Lying to the Public About Youth Tobacco Use

Published on 2017-08-31 14:17:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary


This month, the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) updated a chart purporting to show trends in youth tobacco use over the past 5 years.

Here are the facts (i.e., the "true" facts) displayed in the chart:

1. Youth cigarette use (among high school students) dropped by a huge amount from 2011 to 2016.
2. Cigar use dropped substantially from 2011 to 2016.
3. Pipe use dropped substantially from 2011 to 2016.
4. Smokeless tobacco use dropped slightly from 2011 to 2016.

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Get your story straight

Published on 2017-08-31 11:26:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Philip Morris (PMI) are in the process of rolling out their heat-not-burn product IQOS around the world. The company has famously said that it wants to stop selling cigarettes once it has converted existing smokers to the reduced-harm device. On Tuesday they announced that three million smokers have already switched, mostly in Asia.

Nothing happens in the world of tobacco without anti-smoking campaigners trawling through the archives to find a shaky historical parallel. Last week, Stanton Glantz tried to poison the well of harm reduction with a bizarre article about PMI being in favour of nicotine gum (or something).

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The VLNC Junk Science Fest Gathers Pace

Published on 2017-08-30 18:50:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


As I have written a couple of times recently, the FDA's announcement that they are viewing very low nicotine cigarettes (VLNCs) as a possible policy tool is extremely sinister.

Tobacco controllers have been banging on about this over the pond for quite some time now and, I repeat, it's daft and nothing but a rent-seeking scam.
It's not just questionable, it's insane. 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. So, why are they doing this with cigarettes? Well, apart from being subject to an almost Calvinist religious cult of a tobacco control industry in the good old US of A, there are also many financial pressures which mean they are reluctant to rock the boat. What I find absolutely astonishing above all else though, is that US-based tobacco control are even considering this. For years, they have been painting the tobacco industry as animals for producing low tar cigarettes. The fact that this was partly due to legislators forcing them to doesn't seem to matter. But now the tobacco control industry has had this fantastic idea that reducing nicotine in cigarettes is a brilliant new initiative, what went before seems to have been conveniently forgotten, at least in the USA. Fortunately, we are not subject to as much ignorance in this country.But now it is being looked at by the FDA, the big wheels of the global tobacco control junk science machine are starting to turn. Grant dollars will be shovelled at the subject with the express purpose of hoodwinking the FDA into believing it is a good idea.

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Alcohol policy in the real world

Published on 2017-08-30 10:45:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Neo-temperance dogma says that the best way of reducing alcohol-related harm is to tackle the Three A's: advertising, affordability and availability.

The current available scientific evidence supports prioritization of multiple cost-effective policy actions – the so-called three alcohol policy best buys:

Increasing alcohol beverage excise taxes,Restricting access to retailed alcohol beverages andComprehensive advertising, promotion and sponsorship bans
These policies will supposedly reduce per capita consumption which will supposedly reduce harmful consumption and therefore reduce alcohol mortality. By the same token, relaxing licensing laws, permitting advertising and making alcohol more affordable will have the opposite effect.

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Anti-vaping agitprop at the Guardian

Published on 2017-08-28 10:01:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


An article in the Australian edition of the Guardian has been annoying vapers but the person responsible says she can't understand why.

Baffled at the attacks from the pro-vaping crowd despite putting all sides across [and not taking sides] in my vaping piece. Very odd.— Melissa Davey (@MelissaLDavey) August 27, 2017
We have come across Melissa Davey before. Simon Chapman was quick to take her under his wing when she took a Masters in 'Public Health' at Sydney University a few years ago. She has since got a job at the Guardian writing blatantly partisan articles about health policy from the Chapman perspective.

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Must. Defend. The. Policy!

Published on 2017-08-27 21:26:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Those of you who use Twitter will have seen that the reason for lack of content this past week was because I was holidaying in the Dordogne. After a week of clear blue skies and temperatures of 30 plus degrees every day, I brought some weather back for you for the bank holiday weekend, you can thank me later.

In the meantime, some fellow jewel robbers have been expressing their disgust at the cruel no vaping policy at Priscilla Bacon Lodge in Norfolk where Anna Raccoon was receiving 'care' before she sadly passed away last week. The hospice has come up with a quite bizarre reason for their heartless e-cig ban.

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Healthy new towns for a healthy new breed of man

Published on 2017-08-26 09:24:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


This week, NHS England announced its plans to build 'healthy towns' and pay people to go jogging. I had a bit of fun writing about this for Spiked.

There is something about new towns that excites the type of person that Adam Smith called ‘the man of system’. The idea of starting a living space from scratch, without regard to the untidy preferences of human beings, has been like catnip to every top-down organiser of society from Nero to Corbusier. The resulting settlements in such places as Brasilia, Milton Keynes and Canberra must have looked smashing when they were models on an architect’s desk but they are notoriously soulless when experienced in full scale.

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