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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.

From George Orwell to David Cameron

Published on 2014-10-31 18:31:52.
Website: Frank Davis


I discovered a day or so ago that George Orwell wrote 1984 on the Scottish island of Jura (Google map). In 1946 he rented Barnhill in the north-east corner of the island. It’s still there: There are only about 200 … Continue reading →

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Ouf ! Un fil d'Ariane pour naviguer dans la laybyrinthe virtuel du Grand Conseil (GE)

Published on 2014-10-31 15:47:44.
Website: Accueil


La Tribune de Genève: " Le Grand Conseil genevois est bien meilleur sur le net qu'en vrai

"Le site internet du Législatif genevois fait peau neuve. Son moteur de recherche passe de la 2CV à la Ferrari.

"Le titre relève évidemment de l'opinion. Chacun peut s'en forger une. Il suffit de cliquer sur le site internet du Grand Conseil genevois qui vient de faire peau neuve. On pouvait déjà suivre en direct les débats des cent députés et revoir les séances à la demande en différé. Désormais s'affichent en marge de l'écran tous les objets débattus et le nom de chaque orateur, minute par minute. C'est peut-être une nouveauté suisse, Mme le sautier, Maria Anna Hutter, dit n'en pas connaître d'autres. Le sautier du Grand Conseil, que le public voit chaque année désigner la feuille du marronnier de la Treille qui annonce le printemps à Genève, est fier de son bébé.

"On pourra désormais confronter plus facilement le discours oral à sa transcription écrite dans le mémorial. Cruel pour certains élus. Autre nouveauté remarquable, la performance du moteur de recherche."

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E-Cig Crazies Of The Week

Published on 2014-10-31 08:40:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


I'm currently overwhelmed at Puddlecote Inc with renegotiating current contracts and compiling bids for promising new business from two hefty potential suppliers. All this while also haggling over cost per square foot of new larger premises we are hoping to move into soon, getting quotes for shifting our whole operation in a weekend, and talking to businesses interested in renting our current freehold (the potential new business and the need for extra space are somewhat linked). As such, content here may well be sparse (as you may have already noticed).

To round off the week though, in the last few days I've noticed some desperate excuses from "experts" as to why e-cigs should be banned/taxed and what have you. Last weekend, we had some vacuous 1920s throwback on Sky News debating - if that's what you can call it - the merits or otherwise of vaping, with Clive Bates, and seriously thinking she had a decent argument with this.

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Evidence-based decriminalisation and evidence-based prohibition

Published on 2014-10-31 07:22:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The BBC led the news yesterday with a government report which found "no obvious" link between enforcement of drug laws and the number of people who take drugs. As somebody who wants to abolish drug laws, I have every incentive to applaud this report and use it as evidence for my position even though, like nearly everybody else, I haven't read it.

Nevertheless, I couldn't help feel some sympathy for the prohibitionists after watching Newsnight, which treated the issue of decriminalisation as such a no-brainer that they decided to have a general discussion about "why don't governments just follow the evidence?" instead of discussing the arguments about drugs specifically.

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Playing Up and Playing Down Risks

Published on 2014-10-30 18:23:21.
Website: Frank Davis


Last night I watched the talks given in 2009 by Dr Chris Busby and Dr Jack Valentin on the risks of nuclear radiation. Chris Busby was arguing that the standard ICRP model of radiation risks was based upon the Hiroshima … Continue reading →

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Critical Mass sans problème mais vert-nuisante quand même

Published on 2014-10-30 16:16:31.
Website: Accueil


La Tribune de Genève: Critical mass: la police genevoise va s'interposer entre vélos et autos

Objectif pour ce vendredi: «sécuriser l'ensemble des usagers de la route, empêcher tout débordement, minimiser toute entrave à la circulation».

La police cantonale a décidé de s'interposer. Elle sera présente ce vendredi afin, explique-t-elle dans un communiqué, «de sécuriser l'ensemble des usagers de la route ainsi que le domaine public, empêcher tout débordement, minimiser toute entrave à la circulation et éviter d'éventuelles violences et dommages à la propriété»."

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Comas éthyliques sur la voie publique: pas de "double peine" pour les victimes

Published on 2014-10-30 15:54:59.
Website: Accueil


La Tribune de Genève: " Biture express: Genève ne veut pas faire passer les soulards à la caisse"

"Selon le Conseil d'Etat, l'effet préventif d'une telle punition n'a pas été démontré.

"Le Conseil d'Etat genevois ne veut pas que les jeunes admis à l'hôpital en état de coma éthylique ou gardés en cellule de dégrisement passent à la caisse. La Commission de la sécurité sociale et de la santé publique du Conseil national consulte les milieux intéressés sur une telle idée depuis le début juillet.

"Le gouvernement genevois craint d'ouvrir une brèche dans le principe de la couverture universelle de l'assurance maladie. Selon cette logique du consommateur-payeur, les fumeurs ou les personnes en surpoids pourraient également devoir passer à la caisse. "

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Quand la santé publique devient une obsession

Published on 2014-10-30 10:32:09.
Website: Accueil


La loi de l'état de Minnesota interdit strictement la fumée sous l'eau

On notera qu'il n'est pas interdit de respirer sous l'eau.

{jcomments on}


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Berne veut protéger les Suisses de l'Inquisition par Internet

Published on 2014-10-30 06:47:49.
Website: Accueil


La Tribune de Genève: " Les Suisses devraient pouvoir éviter d'être suivis à la trace

"Le Conseil fédéral a accepté jeudi un postulat du socialiste vaudois Jean Christophe Schwaab (Photo) qui s'inquiète de la généralisation des objets courants connectés à Internet. Berne veut prendre des mesures.

"Les propriétaires d'appareils connectés à Internet devraient pouvoir éviter d'être suivis à la trace ou fichés. Le Conseil fédéral est d'accord de se pencher sur la question et d'envisager des mesures pour éviter les mises en ligne indésirables.

"Le gouvernement s'est déclaré prêt jeudi, sans autre commentaire, à accepter un postulat de Jean Christophe Schwaab. Le socialiste vaudois s'inquiète de la généralisation des objets de la vie quotidienne connectés à Internet ou à d'autres réseaux (ustensiles électroménagers, véhicules, bâtiments, lunettes «Google»)."

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La "Blick girl" punie et destituée sort ses griffes

Published on 2014-10-29 19:54:36.
Website: Accueil


20 Minutes "Elle se voit retirer le titre de Blick Girl

"Marion, une Française 24 ans, a été récemment élue Blick Girl de l'année 2014 par les lecteurs du quotidien alémanique. Elle vient de perdre son titre, parce qu'elle a travaillé en tant qu'escort.

"Elle n'aura pas gardé longtemps son titre de Blick Girl 2014. Il y a à peine une semaine, les lecteurs du quotidien «Blick» ont élu Marion - une Française de 24 ans - comme star de l'année. Dans les prochains jours, la jeune femme avait déjà prévu d'aller récupérer son prix, une Fiat 500. Son vol pour Cuba, où elle était censée participer à un shooting, était lui aussi déjà réservé. "

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Various News Items

Published on 2014-10-29 18:26:41.
Website: Frank Davis


Following from yesterday, and the way things gradually metamorphose into something else, Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore: His fellow directors were unqualified in science, whereas he has a PhD in ecology and environmental science.  When they decided, against his advice, to … Continue reading →

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The risks of drinking

Published on 2014-10-29 03:00:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


There's a nice illustration of the gulf between 'public health' and reality in BMC Medicine this month in an essay entitled:

Why does society accept a higher risk for alcohol than for other voluntary or involuntary risks?
When the authors (some Canadian folk who credit temperance stalwarts Ian Gilmore and Tim Stockwell for providing 'helpful comments') say 'society' they really mean 'the government', but their question becomes much easier to answer if it is framed properly as:

Why do people accept a higher risk for alcohol than for other voluntary or involuntary risks?

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The End of the Progressive Era

Published on 2014-10-28 18:18:25.
Website: Frank Davis


Following on from last night’s post about sanity and insanity, I’ve been wondering today if there’s been any consistent feature in modern madness – such as the sheer insanity of people now being frightened of tobacco smoke, and worried about … Continue reading →

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Du renouveau chez Les Dissident(e)s de Genève (DDG)

Published on 2014-10-28 17:56:41.
Website: Accueil


(DDG)Notre association libertaire des Dissident(e)s de Genève (DDG) a tenu son assemblée générale annuelle mardi 28 octobre 2014 à Genève, au Centre espagnol Cerceda que nous remercions ici de son hospitalité.


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Anna Soubry Blamed For 900 Northern Ireland Job Losses

Published on 2014-10-28 13:32:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Last night in Westminster, DUP MP Ian Paisley quite rightly ripped into incompetent former health minister Anna Soubry over the loss of 900 jobs in his constituency at an annual cost of £160 million to the UK economy (emphases mine).
The Prime Minister answered a parliamentary question earlier last year on minimum pack size, which is what the tobacco directive is all about. He said: “It does not, on the face of it, sound a very sensible approach. I was not aware of the specific issue, so let me have a look at it and get back to my hon. Friend.” - [Hansard, 9 October 2013; Vol. 568, c. 160.] The Prime Minister was answering a question from a Government Member, and I believe that he has been let down by a failure of his party and colleagues to negotiate the matter appropriately in Europe. While the then public health Minister, Anna Soubry, had control of tobacco products directive negotiations for the UK Government, she was required to keep Parliament informed of developments via the European Scrutiny Committee. When she was brought to that Committee on 17 July 2013, she had to apologise for poor political practice, saying: “I do not hesitate to apologise for the fact that this Committee has not been fully informed. I only wish that, as a Minister, I was aware of all the things that happen within my portfolio.” That is an appalling indictment of a Minister who took her eye off a brief and allowed the policy to be rammed through with the consequences that we are feeling today. We will reap a terrible harvest in Northern Ireland as a result. The provisions under the TPD on the minimum pack sizes that may be manufactured have the direct impact that 82% of the output of my constituency’s factory will be made illegal. The Government have done that with the sweep of a pen - it is little wonder that 900 people are being told that it is over for them. The Government could have said, “Let’s continue to manufacture, but not sell in the United Kingdom,” or looked at other options, but instead they implemented a policy even though their Minister said that she was not fully aware of what was happening. That is a betrayal. It is a scandal that the Government were not paying proper attention.Indeed, she was not only disastrously negligent in not considering the consequences of the EU TPD for jobs in Northern Ireland, she was also - as reported here last July - completely ignorant of the terms of the TPD itself, wrongly believing e-cigs had been removed from the process entirely.

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Dead rock stars

Published on 2014-10-28 13:23:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Chuck Berry: fading away, not burning out
As covered in the Daily Mail and elsewhere, a study has come out of the University of Sydney which concludes that rock stars tend to die younger than the general population.

Well, duh, you might say. And rightly so. A cursory knowledge of music history tells us that rock stars are more likely to die from drug overdoses, plane crashes, suicide etc. and this is confirmed in the study.

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Erfolgreiche Spendenaktion für Mieter

Published on 2014-10-28 11:03:28.
Website: Netzwerk Rauchen e.V.


Friedhelm Adolfs kann bleibenDer längst bundesweit bekannte Düsseldorfer Mieter Friedhelm Adolfs, der unter dem Vorwand des Tabakrauchens aus seiner Wohnung fliegen soll, kann vorerst in seinen vier Wänden bleiben. Nicht nur wurde ihm Prozesskostenhilfe für sein Revisionsverfahren vor dem Bundesgerichtshof (BGH) in Karlsruhe gewährt, auch die sogenannte Sicherheitsleistung konnte erbracht werden, die verhindert, dass seine Wohnung vor der BGH-Entscheidung geräumt werden darf.


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Sanity and Insanity

Published on 2014-10-27 17:07:34.
Website: Frank Davis


I keep seeing stuff like this: Europe commits economic suicide – agrees to massive emission cuts. Eric Worrall writes: The European Union has just committed economic suicide, by agreement a landmark deal, to cut CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030. … Continue reading →

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German Tobacco Control Demands Plain Packaging For E-Cigs

Published on 2014-10-27 14:10:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


It seems that, for the German Cancer Research Centre (motto: "From science, to politics") the EU's TPD has not gone far enough in dealing with e-cigs. Not by a long shot.

In this document, they set out exactly what measures they'd like to see instead ... they being everything which currently applies to tobacco, and then some.

Click to enlarge for full wibbletasticnessTo summarise, they are demanding a total ban on advertising; e-cigs to be classed as tobacco products and taxed at the same level; a ban on all flavours except tobacco; use of e-cigs to be banned everywhere that smoking is; and plain packaging. Yes, plain packaging! (How's that "domino theory is patently false" thang working out, Debs?).

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Study Suggests that Telling Smokers the Truth About Electronic Cigarettes Could Enhance Smoking Cessation

Published on 2014-10-27 12:40:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary


Last week, I discussed a study, just published online ahead of print in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, which reports the results of a population-based survey of smokers followed up after two years to determine whether e-cigarette use was associated with higher or lower rates of smoking cessation. The study found that intensive electronic cigarettes users at baseline were six times more likely to quit smoking after a two-year follow-up period compared to intermittent or non-users.

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Nouveau sursis pour le père Glôzu au restaurant de l'Hôtel-de-Ville

Published on 2014-10-27 08:13:31.
Website: Accueil


GHI / La Tribune de Genève: "La fermeture prévue en décembre est ajournée jusqu'au vote du crédit de rénovation. Au printemps 2015?

"C'est bien la première fois qu'on voit une manif de droite devant l'Hôtel de Ville!» Pierre Gauthier, un élu de la majorité rose, rouge verte qui gouverne en Ville de Genève, s'était amusé d'un bruyant attroupement occupant l'esplanade des canons fin avril 2014. Quelques-uns des 24 employés du Restaurant de l'Hôtel-de-Ville manifestaient leurs craintes de devoir pointer au chômage à la fin de l'année en raison de la fermeture de l'établissement. Un nouveau sursis vient de leur être accordé, signale GHI ce lundi, relayant l'annonce faite par le tenancier Jean-Yves Glauser sur sa page Facebook. «La prolongation dure jusqu'au vote du crédit de rénovation par le Conseil municipal», confirme le Département des Finances. Sans pouvoir donner de date précise. "

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Zurich: les assistés bientôt privés de voiture ?

Published on 2014-10-27 07:31:36.
Website: Accueil


Le Matin: " Les bénéficiaires du RI pourraient être privés de voiture

"Les personnes qui reçoivent l'aide sociale dans le canton de Zurich pourraient bientôt ne plus pouvoir posséder de voiture, selon une initiative de l'UDC et du PLR.

"Le Grand conseil zurichois a soutenu ce lundi par 87 voix contre 84 une initiative parlementaire de l'UDC et du PLR voulant durcir les conditions de détention d'un véhicule."



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Health über alles

Published on 2014-10-27 04:43:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


During the closing overs of the farcical WHO conference in Moscow (COP6) delegates agreed to something called the Moscow Declaration. In keeping with the fog of secrecy that surrounded this covert meeting of unelected tax-spongers, the text of this declaration has not been released, but I've seen a draft. It contains some delusional prohibitionism (eg. "The desired goal of tobacco control measures at the international and national levels is complete victory over tobacco"), but there is also this striking assertion:

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CARITAS crache sur l'argent du tabac dont les pauvres auraient besoin !

Published on 2014-10-26 18:06:21.
Website: Accueil


(DDG) La décision de CARITAS de refuser le somptueux cadeau - sans conditions ! - que lui offre la Japan Tobacco International (JTI) est une insulte à la misère du monde que cette organisation caritative, souvent mieux inspirée, vient de proférer à la face de tous les miséreux de Genève. 

Cette décision aberrante va causer un "dégât d'image considérable" et irrémédiable à  CARITAS qui se permet de faire la petite moue en repoussant un important don dont elle aurait pourtant bien besoin pour combler le trou actuel de son budget et consolider le salaire de son président national: CHF 240'000.- Ses ratiocinations puritaines ne convainquent que les membres de son singulier Comité qui "pètent (sans doute) dans la soie".  Ils s'achètent probablement ainsi une bonne conscience en oubliant ceux auquels ils promettent aide et assistance.

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Jane Ellison And The "Transparent" #COP6

Published on 2014-10-26 15:23:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Many of you will have seen the Sunday Express article today (also covered by the Mail) of an incredibly expensive party laid on by the potless WHO in Russia recently.
'Broke’ WHO host £1.6million caviar-fuelled beanoThe Sunday Express can reveal the dinner gala, held last Monday, offered delegates Salmon carpaccio with cucumber tartar, Salmon as the main course, Vitello Tonnato beef with tuna fish sauce, Red caviar, Scallop with white wine sauce, a fish late of smoked halibut, smoked sturgeon, eel mix; Smoked eel, and Salmon under white syrup with flying fish caviar.Very nice.

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Link Tank 25/10

Published on 2014-10-25 01:50:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


It is what it is.

Marijuana edibles, flavoured e-Cigs, and the folly of child-proofing the world (pic)

White bread can harm swans, so we should ban it

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The great British booze rip off

Published on 2014-10-24 09:10:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


From the Morning Advertiser:

UK consumers currently pay about 40% of the entire level of alcohol duty across the whole European Union.
This is a striking claim. I had heard that the British pay 40 per cent of all the beer tax in the EU, but I didn't realise that the same was true of all other alcoholic drinks.

Nevertheless, a check of the numbers in this EU document shows that it is true. The figures break down like this:

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Couch potatoes

Published on 2014-10-24 05:02:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


From the Telegraph:

Couch potato lifestyles could kill the welfare state, landmark report warns
Couch potato lifestyles have left the UK with one of the lowest levels of activity in the western world, and without change, the welfare state could collapse, health officials have warned.
If the welfare state is so fragile that it can be brought down by people sitting about, perhaps we need a better system?

The welfare state won't be brought down under the weight of couch potatoes, however. This is just the latest scare story about obesity/smoking/drinking etc. bringing the NHS to "the brink of collapse". As I'm sure you know by now, obese people have lower heathcare costs than non-obese people.

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Unlike Data from U.S., Data on Youth Electronic Cigarette Use in Poland is Concerning

Published on 2014-10-23 13:22:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary


A new set of cross-sectional surveys of e-cigarette use among Polish students ages 15-19 was just published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

(See: Goniewicz ML, et al. Rise in electronic cigarette use among adolescents in Poland. Journal of Adolescent Health 2014; 55:713-715.)

Like its U.S. counterpart (the National Youth Tobacco Survey), the survey from Poland found a dramatic increase in experimentation with electronic cigarettes during the period 2010/11 - 2013/14. Experimentation increased from 16.8% to 62.1%.

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Good cop/bad cop - how the BBC frames the debate on sugar

Published on 2014-10-22 17:49:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The BBC wants to know when if you've stopped beating your wife.

Last night the BBC broadcast Trust Me, I'm a Doctor. It featured a segment about sugar that was a nice example of how the media can narrow the terms of a debate while pretending to be neutral.

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ASH Is Not The Vaper's Friend

Published on 2014-10-22 11:22:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Sigh. Another day; another vacuous e-cig ban is installed by the lazy and ill-informed.
E-cigarettes have been banned on the entire public transport network in London, the Standard has learnt. Passengers face fines for “vaping” on Tube, trains and buses as well as stations, platforms and depots. Transport for London implemented the ban in late August without any public announcement to  minimise the response from passengers.We all know who's responsible for this, of course. ASH and their smokefree coalition, whose scaremongering transformed a country in 2007 from one which was largely unconcerned with ambient smoke to one which now empowers a minority of precious lambs in society who see vapour and either believe that they are about to die horribly, or complain of feeling "uncomfortable".

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New Research Suggests that Banning E-Cigarette Flavors Could Have Tragic Consequences

Published on 2014-10-22 10:40:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary


As I noted yesterday, one of the most central tenets of medicine and public health is "to do no harm." Research out of the Center for Survey Research at the University of Massachusetts Boston suggests that policy makers and anti-smoking groups which are supporting bans on e-cigarette flavors - such as one proposed in New York City - would be violating this principle, causing tragic consequences by promoting smoking to a significant proportion of the population.

Monday, I discussed a study, just published online ahead of print in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, which reports the results of a population-based survey of smokers followed up after two years to determine whether e-cigarette use was associated with higher or lower rates of smoking cessation. The study found that intensive electronic cigarettes users at baseline were six times more likely to quit smoking after a two-year follow-up period compared to intermittent or non-users.

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