Sunday, 15 October 2017

Drafting An ASA E-Cigs Consultation Response

Tomorrow sees the deadline for a consultation by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about regulations placed on ads for e-cigs.

The ASA claim this has come about due to products becoming more reliable, but it's fair to say that their rules have been pretty much overtaken by events. What with the Tobacco Control Plan recently putting emphasis on e-cigs being part of the government's future strategy, and with Stoptober prominently featuring vapers in their ads, the rules as they are currently laid out are quite absurd.  Reason being that the CAP & BCAP rules both prohibit claims which are demonstrably true.

The accompanying consultation document states that the purpose of the rules on e-cigs are to make sure ads are "not misleading". Well, it is not misleading to say that vaping is less harmful than smoking because the same has been said by Public Health England, the Royal College of Physicians and it is mentioned in government documents too. It's a bit of a nonsense, therefore, that business can't say such things just because a bunch of idological anti-vaping extremists lobbied dullard MEPs in 2013 to protect the makers of useless pharmaceutical patches and gums.

So the ASA is consulting on bringing the rules back into the realms of reality by relaxing the wording to possibly allow general claims of relative risk. Here is the wording they intend to change ... very slightly.

click to enlarge
The simple deletion of those two words would technically permit an e-cig vendor to put an A-frame outside his shop saying that e-cigs are 95% less harmful than cigarettes (although, to be fair, the ASA were always fighting a losing battle with this because I've seen vendors do it anyway. They can hardly fear a court case when they can safely back the claim). Common sense really, isn't it?

So it's a fairly simple consultation to respond to.
Question 1 
Do you agree with CAP and BCAP’s proposal to remove the prohibition on health claims from unlicensed nicotine-containing e-cigarettes? If not please explain why. Please also provide any relevant evidence not already taken into account by CAP and BCAP in making this proposal.
Well of course.

Remember that the ASA is running a campaign on the tube claiming that they are there to ensure adverts are truthful.

So what could be more appropriate than having rules which allow e-cig business to tell the truth? It's a no-brainer.
Question 2 
Do you agree with CAP and BCAP’s proposed changes to the wording of the rules, as set out above? If not please explain why
Seems fair enough, yes. It removes the blockage and will help counteract much of the fake news put out by certain tobacco control liars which has led to a majority of the public thinking vaping is just as bad as smoking.

The consultation then addresses the confusion in its rules which could feasibly mean health groups couldn't make the same claims in their adverts. The ASA proposes this qualification.

click to enlarge, again
Well, I suppose if it's fair enough that businesses can make those claims, we mustn't be churlish and say that the nannies can't.
Question 3 
Do you agree with CAP’s proposal to add qualifying text to the introductory text of the ecigarette section of its Code as set out above? If not please explain why.
Sigh, I guess so, yes.
Question 4 
Do you agree with the wording proposed? If not, please explain why and provide your suggestions as to how it should be amended.
Yes, it seems straightforward enough.
Question 5 
Do you have any other information or evidence that you think might be relevant to CAP’s consideration of its regulation of public health advertisements which refer to e-cigarettes?
Well, I think some organisations should be prohibited from calling themselves 'public health' groups, but that's a different issue, so no.

Talking of which, in case you're wondering why this consultation is worth taking part in, I think I only have to tell you the groups who have registered their objections to the relaxation of these advertising rules.
1. Blackpool Council
2. British Medical Association
3. Johnson & Johnson Ltd (What a surprise! - DP)
4. Proprietary Association of Great Britain
5. Royal College of Radiologists
6. The Welsh Government
They may be few - and laughably miguided - but the more responses we who are on the side of the angels submit in favour of the rules being changed, the more their pathetic voices are drowned out.

Responses are due in by 5pm on Monday 16th October 2017, that's tomorrow of course, so don't delay. Responses should be submitted as a Word attachment to or by fax to +44(0)20 7404 3404.

Go on, you know you want to. 

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Signage And The Anti-Vaping Status Quo

In July, the government released its Tobacco Control Plan (TCP). It claimed to be supportive of e-cigarettes, including this part about vaping in public.
Public Health England has produced guidance for employers and organisations looking to introduce policies around e-cigarettes and vaping in public and recommend such policies to be evidence-based. PHE recommends that e-cigarette use is not covered by smokefree legislation and should not routinely be included in the requirements of an organisation’s smokefree policy.
As vaping bans sweep up and down the country without a whimper of objection from 'supportive' tobacco control groups we could mention, it doesn't appear that many employers or businesses are taking much notice of the TCP. In fact, it doesn't even appear that NHS Trusts have bothered to read it either, here's a telling picture of two ghastly goons from Chesterfield unveiling their retarded policy to the media earlier this month.

The very next day, Darent Valley Hospital in Kent went one better. They didn't just completely ignore the TCP, they also celebrated the Stoptober campaign ... by banning the products Stoptober said smokers could use instead of tobacco!

Of course, as we have come to expect, these creeping bans on vaping were met with complete silence by those in the tobacco control industry who claim to be onside. 'Twas ever thus.

In the meantime, Transport for London - which, again, is a state-funded arm of government - insists on these signs on all its taxi and private hire vehicles in the capital.

It is the legally-mandated no smoking sign, just with the addition of vaping as if to imply that using e-cigs is against the law - which it is not, of course - but they tweet regularly about how you can be fined by a court anyway. As I understand it, if a vehicle does not carry this sign, it will fail inspection and not be licensed.

Don't you have to wonder about how sincere the TCP and the tobacco control industry is about supporting vaping when these signs are going up without so much as a stern word from anyone in 'public health'?

Recently we have also seen private companies pretending that e-cig use is against the law when it isn't. I wrote last month about London Midland trying to brazen it out when challenged that - despite what their policy says - vaping in public is not a criminal offence. Yet here we have Aldi claiming the same thing.

Greggs, too, either think vaping is against the law, or just like pretending that it is.

Now, in light of this apparent support of vaping recently from 'public health', how can it be that so many organisations - both private and public sector - can be allowed to bastardise the law to insinuate that using e-cigs is a criminal matter rather than just a boneheaded policy decision by lazy and/or stupid people?

Surely making claims, either directly or indirectly, of law-breaking when it is nothing of the sort should be subject to some kind of sanction in a country that supposedly values freedom? Well, apparently not, because you see the government itself has said that this kind of fraud is perfectly OK.

Their update to the The Smoke-free (Signs) Regulations in 2012 states:
"While it remains a legal duty to display at least one legible no-smoking sign in smoke-free premises and vehicles, the owners and managers will have discretion as to the design and location of no- smoking signs."
In other words, you can change the legal no smoking sign however you choose, and many have chosen to include e-cigs in theirs.

How about that for joined-up government, eh? The TCP makes a pledge to support vaping, PHE provides advice saying that policies should distinguish between smoking and vaping, but all the while a government statutory instrument allows a wild west affair whereby just about anything can be described as illegal alongside smoking ... and the same state-funded organisations claiming to be in support of tobacco harm reduction just whistle and look the other way.

A cynic might conclude that seeing as tobacco control gets its grants from advocating tax hikes, bans and pseudo-prohibition, it is quite happy for vaping to be demonised in this way, considering how e-cigs have clearly been far more successful in creating former smokers - without any cost to the taxpayer whatsoever - than anything they have done at huge cost to the public purse.

Every week we see research studies from tobacco control about safety of e-cigs, liquids, views of children on vaping, even social media scrutiny of vapers themselves. I have yet to see a single study, though, which touches on the derogatory effect of vaping bans on smokers switching. It's almost like they are happy with the way things are going and really couldn't care less, isn't it?

The status quo is very profitable for tobacco control, don't expect their 'support' to be anything more than a few words here and there designed to con vapers that they actually care, when they really don't. 

Monday, 9 October 2017

Another Irrelevant E-Cigarette Summit

Towards the end of proceedings on Friday 17th November, Sarah Jakes of the New Nicotine Alliance (NNA) will speak to the fifth E-Cigarette Summit at the Royal Society and describe vaping consumers as "true experts in this field", but note quite rightly that "yet often their voices are missing from the debate".  It couldn't be a more timely speech, because for the whole day that precedes it there will be no consumers involved whatsoever.

Consumers are not included on any of the panels, no consumer has been invited to present to the event, and there is not even a consumer rate given on the registration page.

Click to enlarge
The website effectively screams that vapers are not welcome.

Instead, it is the usual who's who of tobacco control and 'public health' to discuss the precautionary principle, regulations, nasty Big Tobacco and how to make all smokers switch to e-cigs (and maybe even then off those too). As a result, it will skirt round many of the topics that actually matter to vapers. The whole event will only discuss vaping in the context of health and will therefore be fundamentally flawed and irrelevant. You can read the day's schedule here but I don't think you need to look further than the post-lunch presentation to get a comedic flavour of how it is going to go. You see, Deborah Arnott of ASH is going to give her expert opinion on "regulation of ‘heat not burn’ versus e-cigarettes", which shouldn't be difficult to guess considering she has already declared that heat not burn devices should be treated the same as cigarettes.

What's more, those selected for the stage will be speaking to a room full of government, local government, and other state-funded activists, all spending a very pricey day out in London on expenses courtesy of the taxpayer.

Contrast this with Andrew Allison of the Freedom Association's Freedom to Vape campaign. If the E-Cigarette Summit wasn't such a one-sided and blinkered event - dedicated to handing 'public health' a microphone and not asking for it back - he might have been considered as a panellist. Imagine the subjects he could talk about. Why local authorities are ignoring PHE advice on vaping policies as discovered by Freedom of Information requests last year, perhaps, or how regulations imposed by the TPD are causing potentially dangerous unintended consequences. But not only is he not given a free place by way of being involved, he has also not even been afforded a press pass without having to pay for it, despite possessing a national press card issued by the Chartered Institute of Journalists, of which he is a member.

This pass may be good enough for being admitted to political party conferences and press briefings, but it's not good enough for the E-Cigarette Summit, apparently. Now, considering I don't reckon national and international media organisations are beating a pathway to the Summit's doors in droves, it's fair to say press passes on the day will probably be as thin on the ground as the contents of a rocking horse's dinner the night before.

If you've ever been to a Freedom Association event, you'll know they have to work hard at raising money and hasn't got any to burn. I've been to events where they literally rattle buckets to pull in spare change. Andrew hasn't got the unending tax tap that state-funded NGOs have, but then it would seem that the Summit doesn't really want his sort around anyway. Unlike the far superior GFN conference in Warsaw, the E-Cigarette Summit treats consumers as an inconvenient afterthought, carefully selects industry voices so as not to upset the 'public health' grandees it panders to, and therefore contributes just about nothing useful to the whole debate.

Vapers have regularly voiced the motto "nothing about us, without us" to remind 'public health' that they should be talking to and listening to the public they are supposed to serve, not haughtily talking about policy in their echo chamber and pronouncing from on high. Vapers are absolutely right about this, yet November's summit goes against all of what the vaping movement has always been about.

Basically, the whole day will be a load of people who mostly don't vape or smoke talking about what to do to people who do. In other words, yet another public health conference, and all the more pointless for it. Still, it'll suit tobacco controllers not to have to field any awkward questions, and further prove that this sphere of policy is now controlled, dictated and owned by 'public health'.

I wish Sarah well trying to convince the room that consumers should be first on the invite list for these events, because she is absolutely right, but I don't reckon many delegates - if any - will take much notice. She will be trying to make herself heard through a thick wall built with stubborn and lucrative vested interests.


The UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies (UKCTAS) has blogged on this today too, it is pretty clear what they believe the event is about and which sections of society they think should attend. Here's a clue, consumers aren't one of them.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Who's Standing Up To Stop Vaping Being Used As A Tool Of Coercion?

For years, many smokers have expressed concern about e-cigs to me. They are obviously quite happy for others to exercise their choice to vape, but they are worried that e-cigs - if accepted by the authorities - will be used as a tool to bully them into quitting smoking. I have always said that these fears are far-fetched, and I certainly would never agree with the idea of any organisation being so crass.

In the UK, acceptance of vaping is arguably more advanced than anywhere else in the world, but it is still true that it is only spoken about by 'public health' in terms of smoking cessation. Yes, there are a very few who understand that long term vaping is fine, but they are just admirable outliers. Remember that this is the official government line on vaping, as expressed in July's Tobacco Control Plan.
The best thing a smoker can do for their health is to quit smoking. However, the evidence is increasingly clear that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful to health than smoking tobacco.  
DH will monitor the impact of regulation and policy on e-cigarettes and novel tobacco products in England, including evidence on safety, uptake, health impact and effectiveness of these products as smoking cessation aids to inform our actions on regulating their use.
The word "recreational" does not appear once in the whole 32 page report. E-cigs are seen solely as something that will help smokers quit. The whole category is viewed through the lens of health, entirely ignoring the fact that it is continued enjoyment of nicotine that is the foundation beneath the huge success of vaping.

It is still good that our country is leading the way - albeit with ridiculous caution - on this kind of subject, because we are seeing other jurisdictions looking awkwardly our way and realising they are being a bit, well, prehistoric.

So recently we saw the FDA in America marginally relax their hardline stance on risk reduced products and - very surprisingly - now Australia is starting to move on the matter too. It's all the talk over there right now.

It's like some in Australia's health community have finally buckled. They tried to brazen it out as the last (allegedly) enlightened nation to resist common sense, but the comparison of their e-cigs policy to knuckle-headed candlemakers resisting the advance of electricity must have finally told.

The transformation has been incredible though! Dr Marita Hefler - a woman not previously noted for any particular positive stance on e-cigs - has changed the conversation from one extreme (prohibition of vaping) to another (prohibition of tobacco).
A leading Australian health researcher has called for a total ban on cigarettes as a new study finds millions of deaths could be prevented if smokers switched to electronic cigarettes.  
Menzies School of Health researcher Dr Marita Hefler says the rapid evolution of alternative nicotine products, such as e-cigarettes, meant outlawing combustible tobacco, including cigarettes, was now possible.
Just a few weeks ago 'public health' Australians were queueing up to tell a government inquiry that e-cigs were rubbish. Now they are apparently so effective that vaping justifies the government banning smoking altogether. Exactly what smokers have been telling me they have been afraid of.

How has this kind of fascistic nonsense - which I'm sure other tobacco controllers worldwide, however supportive of vaping they are, secretly dream of - happened? Well, it seems pretty clear that vaping is being considered by 'public health' solely as a cessation tool. I've long argued that e-cigs can be viewed as both a way to quit smoking, if one chooses, but also as a recreational device one would choose to indulge in. Both arguments are persuasive so I've always been supportive of both.

But with the first open admission that tobacco control want to use e-cigs to force smokers away from tobacco, it's clear that the other side have no intention of honouring the freedom of choice approach, they exclusively regard e-cigs as a method of coercion, nothing more, nothing less. They feel they have captured the idea and are now promoting it - see Stoptober - as just another tool in their armoury on the way to the 'endgame' and full prohibition of tobacco.

At the end of December, Carl Phillips described 2016 as "The year tobacco control officially came to own e-cigarettes", and this new development only serves to prove that he is correct. The whole debate has become a clusterfuck.

'Public health' talk about cessation, vaping industry associations talk about cessation to 'public health', tobacco companies talk about cessation to 'public health', vaping advocates talk about cessation to 'public health'. Where are the advocates for choice for vapers and also for smokers?

As Paul Barnes said today, quite rightly:
I’m sure I don’t need to remind you, but vaping isn’t a stick to go around beating smokers with.
No, it's not, but no-one seems to be that bothered about stopping it being used as such. 

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Common Sense Spotted In Canada

A mayoral candidate in Edmonton, Canada, doesn't seem to be adhering to the dumb politician script. In fact, he's talking sense.
Edmonton mayoral candidate Don Koziak says the city should revisit the "failed experiment" to ban smoking inside public spaces. 
"I think it's probably a suicidal type of position because everybody wants to be seen as righteous, but I think reasonable voters can see the benefit to a reasonable bylaw that allows for all of the citizens of Edmonton to enjoy what they want to enjoy," Koziak said in an interview Thursday.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone could do exactly that, enjoy what they want to enjoy? But, as he says, it is a natural instinct of humans to want to be seen as righteous and the gullible amongst us tend to believe that smoking bans are actually about health, sadly.
"I think that the smoking ban was an experiment, and we've tried it, and there's still people smoking," he added. "And I find it frustrating when I see people outside in the dead of winter, trying to keep warm, because we've decided that we can't accommodate them."
Well, "we" didn't decide we couldn't accommodate them, a ghastly clique of political wooden-tops and state-funded grant-gobblers did that, the public were excluded entirely as were any industry voices with the clout to counteract the lies. That's, therefore, a big fat "they" who decided that comprehensive bans were the only way.
In the interview, Koziak said he doesn't smoke cigarettes but enjoys the occasional cigar. He has a degree in civil engineering, which helps him view the issue from a technical viewpoint, he said. 
"It's really a ventilation problem. It's an engineering problem, not a social ills thing," he said. "The total ban on indoor smoking is not supported by sound engineering logic. I mean, we can ventilate a room."
Not if you're a tobacco control careerist, you can't. According to them (or, more accurately, a raving lunatic called James Repace) only catastrophic weather conditions can possibly clear a bar of secondhand smoke, it's a classic of anti-smoking junk science. They only disagree about whether it would take a tornado to do it or a hurricane. I'm not making this up, by the way.
The city should consult with mechanical engineers, Koziak said, to determine the level of ventilation required to mitigate the smoke in some indoor areas. 
Business owners who are prepared to spend the money could be certified to allow smoking in designated areas, he said. That would allow some restaurants, bars and patios to accommodate smoking clients.
Well yes, considering vicious and dictatorial anti-smoking lunatics are a minority of the public, this looks to be a sensible solution acceptable to all, eh? It's not mandatory, after all.
He said he finds it "horrible" that smokers aren't accommodated at the new Rogers Place arena downtown, and also suggested that smoking could be permitted in the top 10 rows of seats in the stands at Commonwealth Stadium.
Here is the Commonwealth Stadium, I'd say that only suggesting the top 10 tiers is being extremely cautious. There has never been any science, even of the junk kind, to say that secondhand smoke is remotely harmful outdoors, and the stadium has a shit load of outdoors.

In fact the stadium has no discernible indoors whatsoever.
[He said] "There is a football game on Saturday. There's going to be … a couple thousand people standing outside smoking, and I think more than one of them is going to think, 'Geez, that would be a great idea, why can't we be up there watching the game instead of standing out here?' "
They can't be up there watching the game because a bunch of vile state-funded zealots have said they can't, and a load of woolly-minded politicians are too cowardly to stand up to them, so illiberal and science-free bullying has - up till now - won the day.
Koziak is the general manager of the Chateau Louis, a hotel and conference centre at 11727 Kingsway. 
"I have a lot of smokers that I employ," he said. "We have to accommodate them by sticking them outside the back door of the hotel, and I don't have a choice in the matter because the city has tied my hands. 
"If it were up to me, we would have a smoking room … that the employees could use, and we would put in better ventilation so that it wouldn't offend other people."
Oh, but it would offend other people, Koziak, and that is entirely the problem. It would offend people who would never have to go anywhere near the smoking room, and they will be offended because smokers are being given somewhere comfortable and humane to smoke instead of being bullied.
Koziak's idea didn't meet with approval from the manager of a popular Old Strathcona nightspot. 
"If that is coming to an option to come back, I would be against it," said Jezzy Letros, general manager of The Pint, at 8032 104th St. "It's not fair to people who don't smoke to be in that kind of environment."
Well here's the amazing thing, Jezzy, people who don't smoke would not be forced to be "in that kind of environment" because they could be in your smokefree one instead. Well, I presume you'd stay smokefree anyway considering you think it such a bad idea and that customers would desert places that permitted smoking in their droves. Surely it's a till-ringer if other businesses want to choose to allow smoking and tobacco controllers are telling the tuth about smokefree venues being massively popular. What's not to like?

Or, hmm, do you quietly suspect that maybe it could be a popular thing that might threaten your business? It's a puzzler isn't it?

The article ends with a telling description of Edmonton's slippery slope when it comes to smoking bans.
In July 2003, Edmonton banned smoking in public places that permit minors, including restaurants, billiard halls and bowling alleys. Bowling alleys and casinos were allowed to have designated smoking rooms. Smoking was also banned on outdoor patios. 
Two years later, the ban was extended to include total restrictions at all establishments, including bars, bingo halls and casinos. No designated smoking rooms were permitted.
Don't forget to mention big fuck off open air 56,000 stadiums for no reason whatsover except someone might be afflicted with a hand-flapping condition. And the cherry on top?
In October 2015, Edmonton banned the use of electronic cigarettes in all public spaces where smoking is prohibited.
It has never had anything whatsoever to do with health. Merely ignorance, rent-seeking, cant, lies and snobbery.

Good luck Mr Koziak, I think you'll need it. You should be a shoo in for the mayoralty, but common sense has fallen like litter into the hedgerows beside a thundering road of scheming careerists and selfish, intolerant human beings. Those of us who are not gullible intolerant fools salute you though, and wish you well. 

Monday, 2 October 2017

More Vile Lunchbox Snooping In Yorkshire

Some cynical types hinted in the comments under my last article about a Bradford School's ban on sausage rolls - which really ground my gears if you hadn't noticed - may have had more to do with the pork than health.

Sadly, it seems it's not that simple, there appears to be something very rotten in the county of Yorkshire.
A fed-up mother of four, whose children attend Westgate Primary, in Otley, says she is considering launching a petition urging the school to review its strict packed lunch policy 
The mother, who does not wish to be named, said: “The teaching assistants take at least half-an-hour inspecting children’s packed lunches in the morning while wearing rubber gloves.  
“Kids as young as eight are being given the responsibility to ‘advise’ and tell on their friends if they have inappropriate items in their lunch. 
“If an item is removed it is bagged-up with the child’s name and given to parents at the end of the day.
Teaching assistants acting like prison guards; young kids egged on to become snitches; confiscating perfectly legal and benign products? It's quite staggering and shows just what a cancer the rent-seeking 'public health' industry is to have driven our public sector institutions to such insanity over fripperies.

As I said last week, a child's lunchbox is firmly in control of the parent and - as such - is a private space between the child and home and therefore out of bounds to teaching assistants, so I really struggle to understand how any school can believe this is acceptable behaviour.

Incredibly, the school head seems to think it is, though.
Helen Carpenter, headteacher at the school, said: “Encouraging healthy eating amongst our pupils is really important to us here at Westgate Primary School, therefore we have adopted a packed lunch policy, like many other schools, with a view to ensuring our pupils have a healthy, balanced and nutritious lunch."
And there's that word 'encouraging' again. Mandatory lunchbox inspections, the use of informers and forced confiscation is not encouragement' by any definition of the fucking word. It is hardline coercion. You'd think a teacher - even a hellbeast as vile and gullible as this one - would know that.

You'd also expect her to be using school resources better. There is no point her, or any other teacher, squealing about how their budgets are squeezed while they are wasting time and money on such vacuous and sinister nonsense.

Still plenty more to cut in her school's budget, of that there is absolutely no doubt. 

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Psst! Come Here Little Boy, Lemme Look In Your Lunchbox

A Bradford teacher, pictured today
Considering the habit that the 'public health' movement has of dressing their puritannical snobbery up as some kind of concern for kids (which it isn't, kids are just a tool they use to further their rent-seeking agenda), there is nothing more vile than when their policies actively contribute to detracting from the enjoyment of childrens' lives.

Here is one such example, via the BBC.
Bradford school bans sausage rolls from packed lunches
The new policy at Shirley Manor Primary Academy in Bradford states parents will be called if banned foods are found in packed lunches.
By "banned foods", they mean things that are readily available from every supermarket in the country, some of which - like sausage rolls - that have been in the British diet for hundreds of years.
[The policy] states pork pies, sausage rolls and pepperoni sticks should not be included and neither should fruit squash or flavoured water.
I'm wondering if these educators are aware of how brilliantly they have mirrored the antics of Mr Bumble, the "cruel, pompous beadle of the poorhouse" which Dickens used to "characterise the meddlesome self-importance of the petty bureaucrat".

Because that's exactly what these odious teaching professionals are. This part - carefully worded to mask their bullying - is particularly vile.
The policy says pupils are encouraged to show their packed lunches to staff before and after they have eaten.
Encouraged? What if they say no? Are they left alone to go about the rest of their day? I think we all know the answer.

The reason these bansturbating teachers use the weasel word "encouraged" is because they know that a kid's lunchbox is a private place between the parent and their child. It has always been a little piece of home brought into the school. How many Mums have packed their kid's food along with a little note to their loved one to keep the parental link during the day? By wanting to peer inside what should be between parent and child, this Bradford school is forcing its way into private family life.

They know this, or else they would have used the word "ordered" instead, because that is precisely what they mean and it is exactly what it will be in practice.

Yes, teachers are bestowed the role of in loco parentis while kids are at school, but it is only a role given by consent, and only in areas where the parents can have no control themselves due to their being absent. The lunchbox does not fall into that category because, well, parents know what their kids like to eat far better than a teacher, they give their permission for that food to be eaten, and they also paid for the fucking contents. They are very much parents in that space and teachers have no right whatsoever to interfere with that. None. Whatsoever!

You should go read the policy, it's a work of art. It kindly says that "parents and carers will receive a letter detailing healthy choices that are permitted in a packed lunch". If I was a parent at that school, I'd be writing back to say that what is "permitted" in my kids' lunch is what I fucking choose to put in it.

In a decent educational establishment this policy would be pinned to a wall as an example of what not to do if you want to avoid being seen as a seedy, heartless curtain-twitching cunt. What's more, it has taken man hours to produce, which is odd considering today the BBC also tells us that there is a teacher complaining about school funding, saying "the system is under massive duress" due to "not enough money, not enough teachers".

Well, considering this Bradford school is fannying around with obnoxious and sinister shit like peering into kids' lunchboxes to see what they can take away to make the kids cry, it tends to suggest they have ample resources. If not, they'd be using their time more efficiently by focussing on teaching rather than what Mum put in a Disney lunchbox they shouldn't be snooping into anyway.

What with Jamie Oliver being the modern equivalent of the dinner lady serving up gruel, and teachers confiscating sausage rolls, Club bars and Fruit Shoots, I bet it's a real blast being a kid these days. Wouldn't it be nice if, occasionally, these bollock-chinned prodnoses actually thought of the things that children enjoy rather than their own lofty self-importance?

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

North Korea: Tobacco Control's Latest Role Model

Remember this picture of WHO Director General Margaret Chan a few years ago?

DG of the WHO Margaret Chan, all of a flutter in Moscow 2014
She was holding court with Vladimir Putin during the FCTC's bash in 2014 about the time the country was persecuting gays and shooting down passenger planes. She should have been in Manila doing something about the Ebola outbreak but decided taking tea with Putin, encouraging pointless plain packaging and trying to ban e-cigs globally was more important.

But consorting with dodgy countries is a bit of a thing for tobacco controllers. Who can forget this tweet by Chan's replacement before the COP7 meeting in India, congratulating Philippines dictator and advocate of mass murder (7,000 and counting), Rodrigo Duterte?

I've written before about how the FCTC does very much love a dictatorship so, including countries like Zimbabwe and Turkmenistan which boast shameful human rights records; they also said Syria should prioritise plain packaging of cigarettes because it is presumably far more important than worrying about a horrific death at the hands of ISIS; and last year Guido published a picture of FCTC delegates all smiles on a Maldives beach treating delegates from North Korea and Burma amongst others.

However, this week they have excelled themselves. Jagdish Kaur, South-East Asia Regional Advisor to the World Health Organization - and persistently insane anti-vaping prohibitionist - says that not only should North Korea be accepted into their grand world tour of dictatorship's greatest hits, the rest of the free world should also take their lead!
Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) are being marketed to tobacco smokers for use in places where smoking is not allowed or as aids similar to pharmaceutical nicotine products to help cigarette smokers quit tobacco use. These are often flavored to make them more attractive for youth – ENDS use may lead young nonsmokers to take up tobacco products. Neither safety nor efficacy as a cessation aid of ENDS has been scientifically demonstrated. The adverse health effects of secondhand aerosol cannot be ruled out. Weak regulation of these products might contribute to the expansion of the ENDS market – in which tobacco companies have a substantial stake – potentially renormalizing smoking habits and negating years of intense tobacco control campaigning. The current situation calls for galvanizing policy makers to gear up to this challenge in the Southeast Asia Region (SEAR) where the high burden of tobacco use is compounded by large proportion of young vulnerable population and limited established tobacco cessation facilities. Banning ENDS in the SEAR seems to be the most plausible approach at present. In the SEAR, Timor-Leste, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and Thailand have taken the lead in banning these products. The other countries of the SEAR should follow suit.
Where would the tobacco control industry be without these evil dictatorships, eh? It's lucky their PR gurus have never encountered one they didn't like, isn't it?

But then, anti-nicotine mouth-frothers are such fine, upstanding, decent people, don't you find?
No, me neither. 

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Regulate In Haste, Repent At Leisure

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.

Yes, you should. Yet the ASA has a history of having a blind spot about truth when it comes to e-cigs.
An advert for an e-cigarette brand has been banned after the advertising watchdog ruled that claims including that it was "the healthier smoking alternative" could not be substantiated. 
In its ruling, the ASA noted the two claims in the ad were understood to mean the Ten Motive's products were less harmful than conventional cigarettes.
But it ruled that the ad should be banned
That was from 2014. It was true then and it's true now, but regulators gotta regulate. Reason being that - despite what they say on their tube ads - it doesn't matter what the truth actually is, the ASA will regulate according to rules laid down to them. The ASA's own advert saying they are "here to put it right" when an ad is wrong could be deemed as misleading too considering they are banning adverts which are absolutely correct.

Today's article is bizarre because only the other day, one of the Department of Health's highest-ranked staff made a claim that no vaping business is allowed to do, and she was happy to be filmed saying it on the BBC.
The government's deputy chief medical officer Prof Gina Radford said e-cigarettes were playing an important role and, as they had "95% less harmful products" in them than normal cigarettes, it was only right that they were promoted during Stoptober.
Promoted? Oh dear. That's not allowed, I'm afraid, the EU's TPD put paid to that, and health claims - such as the 95% figure - are banned too. Barmy, yes, but that's how fucking ridiculous regulations are in this area of government policy.

To make matters worse, though, the Department of Health - which lobbied in favour of these daft regulations at EU level - now thinks they and their friends should be given a free pass!
[T]oday it emerged the Department of Health had stepped in to say public health campaigns should be exempt from the Brussels ruling. 
[T]he Department for Health believe “the prohibition would not cover public health campaigns about the relative risks of e-cigarettes verses tobacco products by Public Health England or local stop smoking services.
No, DH, it doesn't work like that. It's long been a fundamental plank of UK justice that no-one - not even the monarch - is above the law. If you want to be exempt, why don't you go delete the execrable crap that was stuck on our statute book after your pharma friends swarmed the EU to lobby for it, and which you supported wholeheartedly.

In fact, may I remind you that your representative at those discussions not only favoured these stupid rules, but also claimed to have provided the casting vote!

It is quite astonishing to see the Department of Health - the government department which caused the mess in the first place - saying that their friends should be exempted from regulations that the ASA has been told to enforce even though they are enforcing falsehood.

The simple thing to do, for the good of the public and for businesses which are currently banned from telling the truth, would be to repeal the regulations so that everyone can say what is actually correct. That way, the DH would not need any exemption; Cancer Research UK could promote vaping without the ASA poking their noses in; and the ASA could hold their heads up high when stating that they are promoting truth in advertising instead of claiming - falsely - that they are, while doing the very opposite due to regulations imagined by morons and passed by dickheads.

The Sun article has come at a very opportune time, though, because the ASA is currently consulting the public about these very regulations, and asking if advertising claims about relative risk of e-cigs should be allowed. I think this omnishambles shows that the answer is an emphatic and resounding yes.

You can go and have your say on the ASA's consultation by clicking here.

Of course, even better would be if the UK repealed these incompetent, laughable and pointless regulations in their entirety the moment we exit the EU. Wouldn't that make life for all concerned so much easier? 

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Scream Test Update

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.

At time of writing, there are 116 'health groups' who have signed a letter to PMI demanding that their initiative can only be taken seriously by the company "immediately ceasing the production, marketing and sale of cigarettes". It's the kind of maturity and considered understanding of the world you'd expect out of an eight year old, but then you have to take into account that they are all very scared, bless 'em.

These people are supposedly 'experts' in the field of public health, and so will have studied the industry intensely over the years. They know very well that instantly cutting off supply of cigarettes would cause carnage. Organised crime would burgeon overnight, pension funds would be decimated, supply chains of wholesalers, packagers, retailers, and even entire national economies would be destroyed. Enforcement costs would skyrocket, perfectly law-abiding people would be criminalised and imprisoned, and people would - undoubtedly - die, in their thousands.

They know this, but suggest something absolutely inconceivable and irresponsibly damaging anyway. Complete prohibition of tobacco is an extreme position that not one of those 116 groups would ever advocate openly, but they are pretending to suggest that PMI do it. Yes, that's how very scared they are.

They are scared because - despite their lame protestations that the tobacco industry is only interested in alternative products because they want to drag people back to smoking - they know that industry is only doing what any other sector would do when faced with a "Kodak moment": following the consumer. What's more, they know very well that innovative products are more profitable and that any business would be foolish not to pursue the opportunities, as these graphics from Bloomberg show.

Cigarette profit margins v E-cig profit margins
Cigarette profit margins v Heat not burn profit margins
I don't remember 'public health' complaining too much when food companies took salt out of their products, in fact the salt loonies actually took credit for forcing them into it. But when the tobacco industry invests heavily and produces new products which take harm out of consuming nicotine, the tobacco control lot scream. You have to ask why. It's because they are scared.

They are scared because they know that they have fucked up. 'Public health' science ceased to be real science a very long time ago. They have simply spewed out all manner of partial bullshit for decades. They discovered that persuading politicians to do their bidding didn't rely on actually producing academically admirable work, it just relied on sounding plausible and getting politicos to believe the lies.

So we entered the era of research that generally went like this, if they were honest:
"Taking funding from a source which was seeking a biased conclusion, we took a pre-conceived policy idea and decided to carefully design a study which promoted it. We threw out any data that didn't fit, and scoured what was left to find something - anything - that remotely hinted at an association with what we wanted to do. We did send it for peer review on this occasion - though sometimes can't be arsed - but only after we released it to the press to grab a cheap headline. We don't even care if what we told the press is true, because if the study says something completely different - which it very often does - no-one will read it anyway, especially since we keep most of it behind a prohibitively expensive paywall so the public can't see the shit we send MPs for free. And even if they do, by the time our scam is debunked the headlines would have already flown around the world and millions will believe it.
We then concluded from our bollocks study that this is incontestible proof that the public need to be battered by more illiberal laws; that we want more cash more research is needed; and that if politicians don't listen to us we will tell everyone they want to kill little children."
It is into this stultifying and perverse environment of professional liars that e-cigs just happened to stumble.

Here was an alternative that was attractive to smokers and was threatening to make the tobacco control industry look a bit foolish. Their tired 'quit or die' gravy train was stalling, public sector cash was being squeezed, and along comes a product which, for many, was just as much enjoyment but without the harm. It even prompted forums, vape meets, festivals, and competitions, something never seen with patches and gums for some weird reason.

Faced with this clear threat to the livelihoods of many a comfortable, ruddy-faced 'public health' careerist, there was only one option. Attack it.

So they did. They believed that the same approach they used with smoking would work with vaping. Why not, it did before, didn't it? So they lied, and lied, and released junk science, and press released scary stories, and, and, and ... showed themselves up to be liars to a far bigger cohort of the public. Because, for the most part, the public don't care about e-cigs like they did about smoking, so they saw that they were being lied to.

The lies were so gobsmackingly ridiculous that some of their own even splintered off, perhaps wisely noting that history would judge who was being at least superficially sincere and who was just protecting their income to the detriment of the public's well-being.

In the case of reduced risk products, though, tobacco companies were employing proper scientists and doing proper science. The kind of stuff that may as well be written in Sanskrit as far as the assorted sociologists, psychologists, public policy advisors, aircraft engineers and self-declared 'experts' in tobacco control are concerned. Big Tobacco employed true global experts in their field, tobacco control just relied on their tried-and-tested ploy of pretending tobacco controllers were experts despite being woefully underqualified {waves at Martin McKee}.

But despite producing real science, the tobacco industry was ignored and sidelined because Big Tobacco, innit. The charlatans were gaining headlines for their biased crap, while the real deal was being ignored. If the tobacco control industry hadn't been so arrogant as to think that they could lie their way to banning e-cigs and other less harmful products, the PMI deal would probably not have happened.

It's said that Aristotle was the first to note that "nature abhors a vacuum", so considering that tobacco control were so cavalier about how they imagined, conceived, tabled and presented reseacrh in this area - while imploring everyone to ignore far better quality stuff from industry - is it any wonder that PMI said "Fuck it! Let's shovel a load of cash at people who will do it impartially".

'Public health' had their chances to do impartial science; proper science. But instead decided to just lie and cheat their way through it. Well, now there are a billion reasons why they should have acted more honestly in the past instead of deciding that with risk-reduced nicotine their policy should be "doubt is our product".

We know that they will scream - as the 116 stuck pigs mentioned earlier are doing - but this just shows that the research is something they are terribly afraid of. Why else try to obfuscate with something as facile and pathetic as a demand for a new worldwide Prohibition which would cause chaos? It's a last flailing of a cabal which is fearing its sepulchral end.

If those 116 'public health' organisations want to blame anyone for why it has come to this; that a tobacco company is firing a billion crispy oncers towards real unbiased research with no conditions, they only have to look at the garbage they have been foisting on the public for the past 30 years, then look in the mirror. 

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Fake News: Transport Edition

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.
Uber licensing costs in London to rise from £3,000 to £3m in next five years
Helen Chapman, TfL general manager of Taxi & Private Hire, said the cost of regulation is rising due to a “huge” growth in the industry. 
She said: “There has been a huge growth in the industry in recent years and it is only fair that the licence fee reflects the costs of regulation and enforcement.” 
TfL said that the costs of enforcement over the next five years will reach £30m, up from a previous estimate of £4m. 
According to the regulator, the number of licensed private hire drivers has grown from 65,000 in 2013-14 to more than 116,000 this year.
The first thing to ask is why an increase of 78% in licences leads to an increase in enforcement costs of 650%. Looks like a cash grab already, doesn't it?

Still, let's take that extra £26m they need to raise as gospel and see what the new fee structure is, shall we? This is from their website.

Now, I've just run this through Excel and used the numbers TfL provide above. Taking as read that the variable cost for Uber and Addison Lee (the two operators at the top of the scale) will be in the region of £3m, it's fairly easy to see that the new income over and above what was gathered before this change is around £41.5m (to cover claimed increased costs of £26m).

That is an increase in fees income to TfL of 460%.

So how did they spin it? Well, apparently, this extra £41.5m will pay for an additional 250 compliance officers, which works out at an average of £33k per annum each. Quite a hefty salary for ticking boxes, don't you think?

But it was reported a bit differently in the Standard print edition.

"Will see larger firms pay higher fees to cover increased costs" isn't strictly true. Operators with only two vehicles will pay more for their licence than before, as will every other operator unless they are in the sweet spot of only owning between three and ten cars. Yet how many would have read that article and nodded about how the big guys are being bashed, eh?

If you are lucky enough to use a cab company in London which is in the three to ten vehicles bracket, they will be saving a princely sum of £838 over five years; if they are altruistic they might knock 10p off your journey. But the other £41.5m has to be paid for by someone and you know it will be the customer who will have to foot the bill, especially since the increased fees are so huge that they will drive many suppliers out of the market (which seems to be the point). And when fares increase across the board, they increase, well, across the board.

It's a simple transfer of funds from the public's wallets into the salaries of box-tickers and rubber band-flickers in the public sector, and it's done by using exaggerated costs, false information, and barefaced lies posing as PR.

Still, at least some highly-paid public sector desk jockeys will have some new - similarly well-remunerated - colleagues. You, however, will be paying more to get home on a night out.

How are those cuts coming along Chancellor? I think a new avenue would be to cull some managers at TfL to save us all a good sum*.

*Who have also banned e-cigs from all taxis, by the way, for no reason whatsoever. 

Friday, 15 September 2017

It's Not About Health: A Potted History

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.
In a bizarre historical twist, the public-health establishment is protecting the cigarette industry with the same infamous techniques that Big Tobacco formerly used. Just as tobacco apologists once argued that no conclusive scientific evidence showed that smoking was harmful, American public-health officials now insist that there’s no solid evidence that smoking is worse than vaping. No tobacco executive today would dare make such a ludicrous claim about cigarettes—he’d fear the resulting lawsuits—but government officials enjoy legal immunity that lets them engage in deadly deception, without paying the consequences.
It's true that vaping has brought the tobacco control industry's disgusting, inhuman and venal rent-seeking out into the open, but - as we know well here - it isn't a new phenomenon; they have always been disgusting, inhuman and venal rent-seekers. Tierney recognises this and accurately runs through some of the lies and egregious abuses of liberty that went before it.
But the vaping story is part of a much bigger and longer-running scandal. It is the most flagrant example of how a once-noble enterprise became corrupted by ideology and self-dealing. 
It redefined its mission to include just about any social problem or individual behavior that might pose health risks and provide a rationale for the government to intervene in people’s lives, as James T. Bennett and Thomas J. DiLorenzo chronicle in their history of the public-health movement, From Pathology to Politics
Now that the World Health Organization has redefined its mission to be the achievement of “physical, mental and social well-being,” the field has boomed with new jobs—not just for medical researchers but also for psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, environmentalists, and assorted activists.
Jobs and salaries. Because selling your services as an 'expert' is a lucrative enterprise.
Many smokers were persuaded to quit, but not enough to satisfy the progressives who came to dominate public health. They shared the passion for social engineering of the original Progressives, who had helped lead the movement to ban alcohol in the 1920s, and they adopted the same prohibitionist approach to tobacco. In Jacob Sullum’s history of the antismoking movement, For Your Own Good, he describes the profession’s new philosophy: “The public health perspective, which seeks collective prescriptions to reduce morbidity and mortality, does not take individual tastes and preferences into account. Having noted that smoking can lead to illness, public health specialists now identify smoking itself as a disease, something inherently undesirable that happens to unwilling victims.” 
To rescue these victims, public-health officials sought a “smoke-free society.” They lobbied for bans on smoking in indoor public spaces, reasonably enough—why should taxpayers using public property be involuntarily subject to a nuisance that’s smelly and can irritate respiratory ailments? But the activists also successfully fought for state and local bans on smoking outdoors and in private restaurants, bars, and workplaces, an expansion of government power ostensibly justified by the deadly menace of secondhand smoke. 
That claim, unlike the surgeon general’s landmark warning in 1964, wasn’t based on rigorous empirical analysis. Led by the Environmental Protection Agency and the CDC, the new generation of public-health activists cherry-picked studies and massaged data to support claims that secondhand smoke was causing thousands of cases of lung cancer annually and that banning it in some towns brought dramatic declines in the rate of heart attacks. Prominent researchers contested those claims at the time, leading a judge in 1998 to rule that the EPA had grossly manipulated “scientific procedure and scientific norms.” 
Long-term studies have subsequently debunked the alarms, but antismoking activists remain unapologetically convinced that the ends justified the means. In 2013, when the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published an exceptionally rigorous study that tracked 76,000 women (including wives of smokers) and found no connection between secondhand smoke and lung cancer, the results were dismissed as irrelevant to public policy. The journal quoted one expert explaining that ending the health risk of secondhand smoke was never really the point of the bans: “The strongest reason to avoid passive cigarette smoke is to change societal behavior: to not live in a society where smoking is a norm.” Science should never get in the way of social engineering.
Tierney's piece goes on to detail how these charlatans subsequently perverted science to demonise smokeless tobacco and snus, along with their routine defence tactic of smear, innuendo, ad hominem and professional sabotage, and he also touches on the role of Prohibitionist pharma organisations in the colossal deceit.

It is a great piece of work which illustrates how the pursuit of funding and profit - not the good of the public's health - is why nicotine in e-cigs is now categorised as harmful by people who self-describe as 'experts', but should rightly be in prison. It should be required reading in Ministries of Health the world over to show how a corrupt movement is playing politicians like gullible chimps on a daily basis.

I urge you to go read the whole thing here. It's highly possible it might make you angry, but go read it anyway.

UPDATE: Tierney also published a shorter piece in the Wall Street Journal on the same subject. The response from Mary Bassett, Commissioner at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene confirms his article is correct more than a thousand further words would.
John Tierney is incorrect in his criticism of New York City’s new e-cigarette regulation (“New York’s Mayor Gives Smokers Another Reason Not to Quit,” Cross Country, Sept. 9). E-cigarettes are a serious public health concern, especially for young people.
These people are barking mad lunatics. 

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Sinner, Keep Sinning - We Need The Cash

"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 15:7
My 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.

And what is tobacco control's reaction to this?

Physically sick. Yep, Chappers' right hand muppet (Chuppet?) is sick that research might be taking place towards methods to help people find ways of quitting smoking without her salary being paid help.

Ok, that's just another of those Aussie nutjobs, but what about our own?
While the new foundation appears to be a rare example of a consumer-goods company supporting efforts to undermine sales of its own products, its creation was greeted with skepticism by one anti-smoking organization. 
“The tobacco industry has a terrible track record of funding research designed to support its efforts to block policies to cut smoking,” Deborah Arnott, chief executive of London-based Action on Smoking and Health, said in a statement. “Tobacco industry claims can never be accepted at face value.”

There are many who claim to be in favour of THR yet strangely get an attack of the willies once big industry gets involved. I think we can safely say that ASH is full of just such people.

What ASH should have done (if they were interested in health at all) - considering they have spent the last few decades condemning 'Big Tobacco' for not helping smokers to quit - was to welcome this huge amount of money and to congratulate PMI for changing course.

Instead, ASH decided to pump out what is basically a conspiracy theory. Apparently PMI are spending $1bn simply as a diversion. Does Arnott recognise how ridiculous that is?

As for the statement that “Tobacco industry claims can never be accepted at face value". Erm, her own industry has lied so much about e-cigs (and everything else) that she herself has openly opposed them at times. The tobacco control juggernaut is lying on a daily basis about vaping. It's not even being hidden, Arnott has the most amazing cheek to accuse others of being disingenuous when her global colleagues last said something truthful about 1975, the time the UK last held a referendum on Europe.

Rather than welcome a positive initiative from a tobacco industry which ASH and others have painted as irretrievably evil, they have chosen to slam it. This is the same bunch of people who have demanded that 'Big Tobacco' must pay a "polluter pays" levy, it has been a central plank of their demands to government for the past few years. But when just one company does so voluntarily, they jump to condemn it {whisper: could it be that this particular billion is not going to them like the plan they had in mind?}.

We've speculated before that the tobacco control industry has lost sight of its stated goal to reduce the number of people smoking, and instead has morphed into a movement which just despises tobacco companies, but I don't think we can call it speculation any longer after today. It's stark and blatant truth.

It goes to prove, yet again, that tobacco control has no care about health at all. To them, it's just a game and a means of feathering their cosy nest with cash. A tobacco company could devote its entire profit to THR and the likes of Arnott would still criticise. In fact they would criticise more because not only would it destroy their dated ad hom - that they never cease to lazily apply - about industry being untrustworthy, but it would also show that ASH would arguably have no further need to exist. Likewise the execrable Freeman who lied through her teeth at the Australian e-cig inquiry last week.

Oh hold on, do you think that could be why the scream test has been failed by tobacco controllers after this announcement? If you're not familiar with the scream test, here is Simon Chapman to explain:
Experienced tobacco control advocates have long spoken of the “scream test” of policy impact — if a new policy gets no reaction from the tobacco industry it rarely has an impact, but if the industry screams blue murder the impact will be large.
Barely a few hours in and they're already howling like stuck pigs. Must mean that the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World will be making a lot of people quit tobacco, and a lot of formerly comfy state-funded tobacco controllers redundant, eh? For tobacco control to profit, they need a sinner, and their chosen one just threw one billion problems their way.

Still, I must thank ASH and their international colleagues - yet again - for proving me 100% correct when I say the tobacco control bandwagon is absolutely nothing to do with health. On days like this it just gets too easy. 

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

A New Voice Of Freedom From Nags

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.

I had to ask about this because I couldn't believe such an endearing photo was being used by joyless 'public health' plankton, but yes it was. They are chasing the dream of the "no safe level" status - unsupported by common sense and against the rules of physics and biology - that tobacco control has disingenuously bestowed on smoking.

What's more, they have hypnotised ordinary folk into coming out with the most incredible load of bollocks.
The PM has been branded "irresponsible" for the photo, which showed him holding his granddaughter Alice, with a beer in his other hand at the AFL final between the Swans and Bombers at the SCG yesterday. 
He captioned the image "multi-tasking". 
Another wrote: "Does anyone see anything irresponsible with an adult hold(ing) a baby and juggling a beer? And when was drinking while holding a child OK?" 
The backlash continued: "I find it disgusting to see people breathing grog all over baby’s but sadly I’m not surprised by Malcolm doing it."
"And when was drinking while holding a child OK?"? Erm, well it's always been OK. Has the person saying that never been to a wedding?

Sadly, there are some catastrophically gullible people in this world, as well as a massive amount of intolerant bigots. They are the type of person 'public health' targets and actively cultivates. Tobacco control employs the useful hand flapping idiots, the temperance crusaders tend to rely on crusty old Aunt Mauds whose idea of a life is peering through their curtains and criticising their neighbours while cats spray up their sofas and their relatives make excuses to be unavailable at all times.

Some uncharitable types might say that's quite a good description of most 'public health' advocates, but I digress.

Look. Australia is this mad place where their chief anti-smoking, anti-drinking, anti-vaping, anti-industry bellend comes out with crap like "if you're thirsty, drink from the tap, why do you need Coke?". Where they ban Carmen the opera for crying out loud! It is a country rushing headlong into eradicating all joy out of all lives, led by people who belong in an asylum.

That the reaction to a beautiful picture of a grandparent kissng a child while enjoying a beer at a sporting event should prompt such ridiculous comments shows that the place has thrown its soul to the wolves.

Is there any hint that Turnbull may be drunk? No. Is there a hint that the child could be in danger? No. Is there a health threat from "breathing grog all over baby’s (sic)"? No.

It's school playground thinking promoted by people who are salaried to spread irrational fear about alcohol. We have the same type of anti-alcohol careerists here who would love to cultivate the same bovine mentality in the UK. My entirely personal view is that they should be given long prison terms and then kicked out of the country, but I know I may be an outlier with that.

Instead, then, how about a fight back? Just after hearing about this latest piece of Australian bedwetting nonsense, I was alerted to a new online campaign from an organisation calling itself Drinkers' Voice. In their FAQs they have this very astute raison d'être.
For too long, the anti-alcohol lobby has dominated the conversation on alcohol and your health, resulting in misleading statistics and scaremongering news headlines. This has left those of us who want to enjoy a drink without the fear of judgement out of the conversation.
Fucking too right they have! 'Public health' likes to leave the public out of their conversations because they know that we don't like them or the fact-free crap they spout. If they were confident that they would win an argument they would enagage in debate, the fact they always avoid doing so and purposely exclude the public from everything they do tells you all you need to know about them.

Drinkers' Voice is only a few days old but has already attracted the attention of BBC radio, Sky News, The Sun, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail and the Sunday Times. It looks like a goer. One of its spokespeople is Richard Harding, who I have written about before.
Next up - and my personal favourite on the night - was Dr Richard Harding, a member of the 1995 committee which came up with the previous alcohol consumption guidelines. He was so calm and laid back that you could almost have missed the subtle contempt he has for Sally Davies and her ridiculous "no safe level of alcohol consumption" nonsense.
Here he is on Sky News yesterday talking about this subject.

Having looked into Drinkers' Voice, it appears they have been set up by CAMRA (meh), have refused industry backing, and will therefore be impossible to ignore via 'public health's' usual avenues of misdirection and ad hominem, although I fully expect the anti-alcohol lobby to be scrambling around trying to find a few lies to fling at them anyway. Anything, in fact, to avoid accepting the indisputable fact that moderate alcohol consumption is beneficial to health.

You can learn more about Drinkers' Voice by going to their website here. I'd like to think that whatever premises they have chosen as a base was christened with a nice smashed bottle of Bolly. Let's hope that they will be an inconvenient thorn in the side of 'public health' lunatics everywhere, and that no UK politician has to put up with shite about how they drank a light beer in the presence of a baby as if it's anything more than irrelevant orgasm fodder for rust-hearted, interfering busybodies.