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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.

rue89: "Facebook vous suit, même si vous n’y êtes pas inscrit"

Published on 2016-02-10 02:56:40.
Website: Accueil

Rue89: "Avec les boutons « Like » ou « Partager » qui pullulent sur la Toile, le réseau social a semé de petites graines lui permettant de pister tous les internautes, y compris ceux qui n’ont pas de compte Facebook. On vous explique comment un petit fichier rapporteur s’installe pour deux ans sans prévenir dans votre disque dur.

"Avis aux originaux qui ne font pas partie du 1,5 milliard d’utilisateurs actifs de Facebook : si vous pensiez échapper au plus grand réseau social mondial, ses tentacules vous rattrapent. Même si vous n’y êtes pas inscrits.

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Published on 2016-02-10 00:05:16.
Website: Frank Davis

“Vlogging” is a new word I’ve been encountering recently, and so today I went and found out a bit more about it. Vlogging is video blogging, where people post up videos. Here’s one. I don’t think it’s something I could … Continue reading →

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Mayo Clinic and Rhode Island Department of Health Add Themselves to Growing List of Groups Claiming Smoking is No Worse than Vaping

Published on 2016-02-09 13:25:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary

Sixteen years ago, if you heard anyone group claim that tobacco smoke is no more hazardous than tobacco-free, propylene glycol vapor, you would have assumed that the group was tied to the tobacco industry. Without question, that organization would be have been blasted by the anti-smoking and health groups.

In 2016, in an ironic twist, those organizations are the anti-smoking and health groups.

Today, we can add two more health groups to the long and growing list of supposedly anti-smoking organizations which are helping to protect cigarette profits by telling the public that smoking is no more dangerous than vaping, which is known to be a much safer alternative.

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Action and Reaction

Published on 2016-02-09 00:11:38.
Website: Frank Davis

I suppose that one of the puzzles for me in recent years has been: Where did all these antismokers came from? After all, 60 years ago there weren’t any, as far as I could see. Smoking was completely unremarkable. The … Continue reading →

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Fake Charities, From Blog To Statute

Published on 2016-02-08 21:59:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

What with the joyous news of both the imminent shutdown of Smokefree South West and the government's new rules on 'government lobbying government', it's been a marvellous few days, hasn't it?

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Washington State Department of Health Bemoans the Fact that Smokers are Switching to E-Cigarettes; Tells them Smoking is No More Hazardous than Vaping

Published on 2016-02-08 10:45:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary

In a message to smokers throughout the state of Washington, the Washington State Department of Health bemoans the fact that so many of them are switching to electronic cigarettes because they think e-cigarettes are safer and implies that they should stay with smoking, telling them that smoking is actually no more hazardous than using tobacco-free, non-combusted e-cigarettes.

The Department of Health warns smokers that: "People may be attracted to E-cigarettes because of unproven claims that they are safer and more accepted than traditional cigarettes."

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Manby, Hillary, and Plimsoll

Published on 2016-02-08 01:58:07.
Website: Frank Davis

Purely out of slight interest while eating this evening, I was watching the BBC’s Shipwrecks: Britain’s Sunken History on BBC iplayer. It recounted the story of how, during the 19th century, all sorts of ways for saving the lives of shipwrecked … Continue reading →

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Why It's Right To Rejoice At Smokefree South West's Demise

Published on 2016-02-07 20:24:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

Following Friday's fantastic news that Smokefree South West have lost their funding and are to close in six months, it seems there are many tobacco controllers who are rather piqued that some of us are delighted.

Apparently, it's considered bad form in tobacco control circles for anyone to express such a view. I've seen it variously described as "unpleasant", "unnecessary", and "spiteful" amongst other adjectives. For example:

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Fake Charities Again

Published on 2016-02-07 00:23:51.
Website: Frank Davis

My mind’s a blank tonight. And I’m very sleepy. But I mentioned CRUK (pronounced “crook”) in passing last night, so here instead is regular commenter Smokingscot’s interesting recent website posting about CRUK and fake charities. Sample: CRUK is to charities as … Continue reading →

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Le Matin Dimanche: " Faut-il interdire la cigarette en prison pour la santé des détenus ?"

Published on 2016-02-06 23:36:40.
Website: Accueil

Le Matin Dimanche: " Les médecins aimeraient bannir la cigarette, les établissements craignent les émeutes.

"C’est déjà arrivé deux fois. En 2014, le Tribunal fédéral a statué à deux reprises sur des plaintes pour fumée passive en prison. Des cas qui pourraient se reproduire, comme en témoigne la récente affaire d’un détenu alémanique qui s’est retrouvé, dit-il, enfermé «dans un enfer de fumée 23 heures sur 24».

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Link Tank 06/02

Published on 2016-02-06 10:15:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

Links of interest in the past fortnight.

Democracy, latter-day Luddites, and Uber

Mexico’s two-year-old sugar tax is failing

Should anything be 'beyond a joke'?

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The beginning of the end of the sock puppet state

Published on 2016-02-06 00:26:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

This is the best new I've heard in ages.

Charities to be banned from using public funds to lobby ministers
Revealed: A new clause to be inserted into all new and renewed grant agreements will make sure that taxpayer funds are spent on improving people's lives and good causes, rather than covering lobbying for new regulation 
Charities in receipt of Government grants will be banned from using these taxpayer funds to engage in political lobbying, The Telegraph can disclose.

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Two Items of Good News

Published on 2016-02-06 00:16:16.
Website: Frank Davis

Great news from Taking Liberties: The BBC has this morning revealed that eleven councils in the south west are to stop funding the anti-smoking campaign group Smokefree South West which will close in June. It goes on: CRUK is one of … Continue reading →

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Goodbye and good riddance

Published on 2016-02-05 17:04:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

It's always nice to see a leech being pulled off the arteries of the taxpayer...

Smokefree South West to close this summer after cuts to funding
Taking Liberties has the full details, but isn't it telling that these organisations make no attempt to carry on with private donations once the state withdraws its funding? Take away taxpayers' money and they're dead. The public don't want to know.

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Smokefree South West Just Quit

Published on 2016-02-05 10:31:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

Aww such a shame, how will we cope without Smokefree South West and their government lobbying government antics, eh? Via Simon Clark:
The BBC has this morning revealed that eleven councils in the south west are to stop funding the anti-smoking campaign group Smokefree South West which will close in June.Looks like these councils have decided to cut out the middle man and just take advice from people they don't pay to come up with biased bullshit.

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Living in the past

Published on 2016-02-05 09:30:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

"Early in life I had noticed that no event is ever 
correctly reported in a newspaper"George Orwell

Some, er, interesting journalism from Andrew Whitaker in the Scotsman...
Calls for action as Scotland records highest rate of alcohol deaths in UK 
Scotland had the worst rate for alcohol-related deaths in any part of the UK, according to figures recorded over the past 20 years. Alcohol death rates for men in Scotland have risen dramatically, according to the figures published by the Office for National Statistics. In Scotland they stood at 31.2 per 100,000 of the population, compared to 18.1 per 100,000 in England, 20.3 in Northern Ireland and 19.9 for Wales. 

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Government Lobbying Government Spotted In Bristol

Published on 2016-02-04 21:23:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

ASH organised a massive protest in Bristol yesterday.

Tobacco companies make billions in profit, more than the GDP of some countries #makethempay #imperialagm #coughup pic.twitter.com/FobNmEqQxk— ASH (@ASH_LDN) February 3, 2016
What larks, eh?

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American Lung Association Gives Middle Finger to Vapers Who Have Quit or are Trying to Quit Smoking

Published on 2016-02-04 13:25:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary

According to a statement published by the American Lung Association (ALA): "the Lung Association does not support using them for cessation, nor does it support any direct or implied claims that e-cigarettes help smokers quit."

Elsewhere, the ALA states: "The American Lung Association is troubled about unproven claims that e-cigarettes can be used to help smokers quit."

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Garbage in, garbage out

Published on 2016-02-04 12:40:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

Heart miracles are once more in the news. This story, for instance, is on the front page of the Telegraph...

Smoking ban sees 40 per cent cut in heart attacks in UK since 2007 law was introduced
Heart attack rates in the UK have fallen by up to 42 per cent since the 2007 smoking ban, major research suggests.

A review of 77 studies found that reduced exposure to passive smoking has caused a “significant reduction” in heart problems across the population.

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"Un « bouclier de la vie privée » en Europe : en carton ou en vrai ?"

Published on 2016-02-04 03:05:49.
Website: Accueil

(ATS) "Transfert des données avec les Etats-Unis examiné

"Les autorités européennes de protection des données personnelles ont salué mercredi l'accord entre l'UE et les Etats-Unis sur les transferts de données. Elles ont demandé des précisions rapides sur son contenu pour évaluer sa conformité à la jurisprudence européenne.

"L'"accord politique" annoncé mardi par l'exécutif européen concerne les transferts transatlantiques de données personnelles d'Européens. Il est censé mettre fin à l'insécurité juridique dans laquelle sont plongées les milliers d'entreprises y recourant quotidiennement.

"La Cour de justice de l'UE a en effet invalidé en octobre dernier le cadre juridique existant depuis 15 ans, connu sous le nom de "Safe Harbor". Elle a estimé qu'il n'offrait pas de garanties suffisantes pour la confidentialité des données transférées aux Etats-Unis, compte tenu notamment des pratiques du renseignement américain."

Full article

Should We Lie Like Tobacco Controllers?

Published on 2016-02-03 20:50:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

Regular readers will remember that the campaign in favour of plain packaging by tax spongers in the highly state-funded tobacco control industry Goliath was a truly astounding display of mendacity and corruption.

The level of cheating, chicanery, political manipulation and blatant, unapologetic, provable lies was quite simply off the scale, as I described in 2014.
The often fraudulent abuses of process, democracy and common decency are too numerous to list in full, but just to remind you of a few highlights: Attempting to rig the consultation; producing literature containing bald-faced lies to MPs; enthusiastically encouraging corrupt multiple signatures; and attempting to influence government to exclude any consultation responses they disagreed with and then trying to hide the evidence. Along with inviting two zealous supporters of plain packaging to review the evidence, including a far-left lunatic who simply despises marketing of any product, before producing an impact assessment document which the Regulatory Policy Committee rightly considered shoddy. This without mentioning shovelling taxpayer cash to vested interests to lobby government with, making demonstrably false claims, and blatantly misrepresenting the results of their own research.In fact, the lies are still continuing on the subject to this day. It's just what tobacco controllers do. They lie. In the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening. Heck, I reckon they even dream about lying.

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Whatever happens, we've won

Published on 2016-02-03 17:43:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

Sally Davies has been giving some more advice to drinkers (at a parliamentary committee meeting yesterday):

"I would like people to make their choice knowing the issues and do as I do when I reach for my glass of wine and think, 'Do I want my glass of wine or do I want to raise my risk of breast cancer?'. And I take a decision each time I have a glass."
If that's how she wants to see out her miserable existence, she's welcome to it. I've written a piece for the Spectator in which I argue that she can throw as many taxes and bans at us as she likes. She thinks about cancer whenever she sees a glass of wine. We don't, so we win.

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More on Failed Disclosures: Even Former Tobacco Industry-Funded Scientists Disclose their Past History of Financial Conflicts

Published on 2016-02-02 13:57:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary

In 2014, Dr. Roger Jenkins was co-author of an article published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology on acute cardiovascular reactions to inhaled particles. The study tested exposures to a variety of pollutants, including tobacco smoke. This journal uses the ICJME conflict of interest disclosure form (similar to that used by JAMA).

Background Information: Dr. Jenkins officially retired in 2004 from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he conducted research that was funded, in part, by tobacco companies. Until 2008, he served as an expert witness to the tobacco industry. However, during the five years prior to publication of this article, he did not testify in litigation and was no longer employed at Oak Ridge. Thus, he had no personal conflicts of interest for the past five years.

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The race is on

Published on 2016-02-02 12:53:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

As reported just before Christmas, the European Court of Justice has ruled that minimum pricing is illegal if other anti-drinking measures would be (a) more effective and (b) less disruptive to trade. The court strongly suggested that alcohol tax rises would be more effective in achieving the Scottish government's stated aims of addressing heavy drinking and reducing alcohol consumption across the population.

The Scottish government and its front groups (eg. Alcohol Focus Scotland) are on a sticky wicket here because one of the bugs (or is a feature?) of minimum pricing is that it will have the least effect on the rich. Since the rich tend to be the heaviest drinkers, it is hard to argue that minimum pricing is more effective than alcohol duty rises in discouraging heavy drinking, nor is it the best way to reduce alcohol consumption across the whole population.

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Wartime Giants

Published on 2016-02-01 21:27:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

When I was a small child in the early to mid-1970s we Puddlecotes used to spend alternate Sunday afternoons at my Nan and Grandad's council maisonette in south London.

After eating a slap up roast beef dinner complete with mushy cauliflower, butter beans, and a Yorkshire pudding cooked in a flan dish and weighing the equivalent of a small dog due to the fat that went into it (but boy was it gorgeous), we'd sit around watching The Big Match on ITV while Grandad alternated between telling us the score before each featured game and telling me precisely which dominoes I had in my hand. He was a lathe operator by trade but a truly gifted mathematician who ran the shop floor's complicated pools syndicate and was capable of working out the returns from an each way yankee in his head. 

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Transparent lies down under

Published on 2016-02-01 12:54:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

There was a time when the 'public health' racket used a bit of imagination when they misled the public. It sometimes took a little effort to unpick their tricks. These days, however, they just lie to your face in such an flagrant and obvious way that there is no fun in debunking them.

Flat out lying has been their only option in Australia since plain packaging flopped. The latest deceit was parroted by the gullible ABC last week...

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Violation of Conflict of Interest Principles and Seemingly Dishonest Disclosures Confirmed: Authors Should Have Revealed Past History of Funding from

Published on 2016-02-01 10:57:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary

Last Thursday, I revealed that in five recent articles on the effectiveness and use of smoking cessation drugs that were published in JAMA (one article) and Addiction (four articles), several of the authors failed to disclose the fact that they have received funding from pharmaceutical companies. For the JAMA article, the authors in question simply failed to disclose that they had received funding from the pharmaceutical companies. But for the four Addiction articles, the authors actually made a statement in which they actively denied having received pharmaceutical funding. They stated:

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More on Less on the new drinking guidelines

Published on 2016-02-01 10:30:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

The BBC's excellent More or Less programme looked at the new alcohol guidelines on Friday. Although it didn't go into the statistical tricks of the Sheffield University team who devised the new 'evidence' (ie. theoretical model), it made several important observations, one of which is crucial and often overlooked.

It also included a revealing interview with alcohol researcher Jürgen Rehm who simply laughed when asked why the J Curve has attracted more scrutiny than any other finding in alcohol epidemiology. The answer, of course, is that it is a finding which many alcohol researchers find intolerable.

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rue89: "« Les pouvoirs de surveillance sont comme du chocolat pour le renseignement »

Published on 2016-01-31 23:47:33.
Website: Accueil

Rue89: " L’Américain Christopher Soghoian, chercheur en sécurité informatique, invite les utilisateurs à protéger eux-mêmes leur vie privée, face aux entreprises et aux gouvernements.

"Il est l’une des voix les plus audibles en matière de défense de la vie privée. Ce qui a le don de prodigieusement agacer les autorités de son pays... L’Américain Christopher Soghoian, chercheur en sécurité informatique et spécialiste des questions de surveillance, se décrit comme quelqu’un qui débusque ce que les gouvernements veulent taire. Pour, ensuite, porter ces secrets sur la place publique.

"Depuis 2012, il mène ses enquêtes au sein de l’une des plus prestigieuses associations de défense des libertés au monde, l’American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). « Mon patron est l’avocat d’Edward Snowden », glisse-t-il fièrement lors de notre rencontre au Forum international de la cybersécurité, à Lille.

"Chiffrement, maman, services de renseignement et secrets en pagaille... Il nous explique ici son travail, et les grands enjeux qui se présentent aujourd’hui, à un monde toujours sous surveillance."

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Scottish obesity babble

Published on 2016-01-31 13:53:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

The latest in a long line of doomed obesity predictions in the Herald...

If things continue at the current rate, 40% of the Scottish population will be obese 15 years from now. 
So what is the current rate? According to the Scottish government...

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Enfants punis s'ils parlent des langues étrangères au préau !

Published on 2016-01-29 23:38:25.
Website: Accueil

(RTS) "SO: La commune d'Egerkingen interdit désormais aux élèves du primaire de parler une autre langue que l'allemand ou le dialecte."

(DDG) Au temps de la guerre froide, il arriva à des citoyens suisses d'être pris pour des espions en Union soviétique, au seul motif qu'ils parlaient une langue cryptée: le dialecte suisse alémanique !

À Paris, jadis, il était interdit de parler breton et de cracher sur les trottoirs...

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VIDEO: The End of Boozy Britain?

Published on 2016-01-29 07:00:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

From last year's Battle of Ideas, the panel discussion asking whatever happened to Boozy Britain?


Daisy Blench
policy manager - alcohol policy and responsibility, British Beer & Pub Association

Neil Davenport
writer; teacher; contributor, spiked

Dr Clare Gerada
GP; past chair, Royal College of General Practitioners

Sian Jarvis
managing director, Jarvis & Bo Communications; former director general of communications, Department of Health

Christopher Snowdon
director, lifestyle economics, Institute of Economic Affairs; author, The Art of Suppression

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