Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Scotland Plans To Gold-Plate The TPD And Further Restrict E-Cig Advertising

Yesterday I wrote about the tobacco control industry's habit of cherry-picking evidence and - more recently - disbelieving real life evidence because it doesn't agree with their wild, junk science-led fantasies of how the world works.

Today sees a new low, though, as the Scottish Government released its Tobacco Control Plan. Snowdon has highlighted some of the blinkingly barmy aspects of it, so do go read his piece.

He said that he had only skimmed it and that there is bound to be more crazy in there, and he's correct. There is. For example, how much does this send your hypocrisy detector buzzing?

In the ministerial foreword, Minister for Public Health and Sport Aileen Campbell boasts about NHS services and how "there are new, more effective medications and our services are now more e-cigarette friendly", while further down the document it states:
On the basis of current evidence vaping e-cigarettes is definitely less harmful than smoking cigarettes. So, e-cigarette use as a means to quit should be seen by health professionals as a tool which some smokers will want to use. 
It also says about "smokers in mental health settings":
Raising awareness of the need to take a new approach in these settings and particularly about the possibilities which e-cigarettes being made available in appropriate non-NHS prescribed ways could have a big impact on the physical health of these patients.
So what are they going to do about these products which they have obviously recognised as being something which smokers are choosing to use and which have led to smoking prevalence tumbling?

Well, they're going to ensure that almost no-one knows about them, of course.
Providing protection through regulations and restrictions 
We will consult on the detail of restricting domestic advertising and promotion of e-cigarettes in law.
The key word there is 'domestic' because the EU's article 20 of the TPD specifically banned cross border advertising, therefore broadcast and online media. Domestic advertising such as posters, leaflets, direct mail, cinema and ads on buses are not covered by EU law.

So, the Scottish government is consulting with a view to gold-plate the EU regulations by placing further restrictions on 'domestic' advertising; that very e-cigarette advertising which is currently not burdened by the ignorant, lobbyist-led stupidity of Brussels.

With the UK's advertising regulator recently having given evidence to the UK government's Science and Technology Committee that they are looking at allowing e-cig vendors to make truthful claims about the safer nature of vaping - as in, relaxing the regulations - the Scottish government is planning to go the other way and make sure as few people know about vaping as possible.

The Calvinist puritanism being displayed in Scotland right now is jaw-dropping, but this takes the biscuit. We have a tobacco control plan for England committing to "maximise the availability of safer alternatives to smoking", at the same time that Scotland has decided it only wants safer alternatives available via state-run channels. If they can't control it, they'd prefer you don't even try.

There are also sinister hints that they intend to go even further down the rabbit hole of anti-vaping moral panic.
Over the course of this action plan it is likely that the markets for e-cigarettes and novel heated tobacco products will develop further. This could mean that the current focus of tobacco control enforcement changes over time to take account of these newer markets. For example if there were changes to the law on restricting the sales of non-nicotine containing e-liquid for e-cigarettes this would have implications for enforcement.
If markets for e-cigs and heat not burn increase, that is a good thing! But not for Scotland, it seems. There is also a hint there that there might be more regulations on the horizon for nicotine free e-liquid, again not covered by the EU TPD.

Have I got your attention yet, Scottish vape reviewers? Yep, that could be the end of short fills.
There may also need to be programmed initiatives on ensuring e-liquids are authorised products ...
Well, considering the TPD created a new category for e-cigs so they are already kinda "authorised", could they mean yet another gold plate layer on top of EU regulations? Or maybe they just mean the whole hog and enforced medicinal licensing. We shall have to see.
... and perhaps even on whether these age-restricted products are being marketed in a way which primarily appeals to young people. 
They've really swallowed the anti-vaping Kool Aid in bucket loads, haven't they?

And as for this ...
During the summer of 2018 we will work with health boards and integration boards to try to reach a consensus on whether vaping should or should not be allowed on hospital grounds through a consistent, national approach.
It's not illegal, it's not dangerous, the same document talks about smokers using e-cigs to quit. Where is the debate?

I reckon the best take I can offer to you is that if you are Scottish and a vaper, remember that ASH Scotland - who will have advised the government in detail on production of this plan - is not your friend. Neither, I would suggest, is the SNP. Worth remembering next time some politician asks for your vote.

Like Snowdon, I have only skimmed the document and - like him - I think "these people are off their heads". I'll leave it there for now, though, but I'm sure I'll be coming back to this utter insanity, maybe tomorrow. Watch this space. 



Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Inconvenient Evidence For Tobacco Control

Life is still overwhelmingly busy at Puddlecote Inc hence the lack of content here of late, plus I've just got back from Poland after another interesting GFN conference. There is lots to write, but sadly not much time to write it.

For now, your humble host would invite you to read this article at Reason which neatly highlights some textbook tobacco control fraud.
Three days after more than two-thirds of San Francisco voters agreed that mandating flavorless e-liquid was a reasonable response to the rising popularity of e-cigarettes among teenagers, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published survey data showing that in 2017 vaping declined among middle school students and remained steady among high school students after falling in 2016. E-cigarette alarmists were so flummoxed by reality's failure to fit their narrative that they insisted the survey must be wrong. "Study Says Vaping by Kids Isn't Up," read the Associated Press headline, "but Some Are Skeptical." 
The skeptics had heard that teenagers are Juuling in schools across America, and they figured all that press coverage should translate into higher vaping rates. They suggested that survey respondents might not have realized Juul e-cigarettes are e-cigarettes.
It seems we are seeing a new application of the customary spreading of misinformation and lies. For decades tobacco control has deliberately spread falsehoods by way of quack science, misdirection and hysterical exaggeration of tiny risks. They have been doing this relentlessly in the US towards e-cigs but the evidence refuses to comply with their scare stories.

So their answer now appears to be - instead of looking at the real world evidence and changing their approach - to deny that the real world evidence is reliable.

It takes a special kind of liar to rubbish hard data from unimpeachable sources and continue to advocate for fantasy and fairy tales instead. This would be bad if it were, say, in the field of finance or transport, but to urge governments to ignore what is happening in real life in an area which will have an impact on the public's health is beyond the pale.

It also shows that tobacco control either cannot, or will not, understand the concept of market share. Just because Juul is taking off in the US it doesn't mean the market is increasing. It is a tool they used disingenuously in the campaign for plain packs in the UK, as I have written about before. The trick was to highlight a tobacco industry document talking about how their market share increased and pretend this was an increase in the market as a whole.

It's bunkum, of course. The scam centres on confusing (deliberately?) the tobacco industry with a monopoly instead of a collection of companies who fight like cats with each other for market share. Only in a monopoly is an increase in one product's sales volume an indicator of an increase in the market. And tobacco control is very happy to promote this confusion in how businesses work because they are never interested in the truth.

However, it's up to you to decide, in this case, whether this is a purposeful thing or that US tobacco control honestly doesn't have the first clue about what market share is, so have therefore confused themselves.

If it is the former, they are recklessly playing games with the public's health; if it is the latter, they are woefully fucking stupid, should be roundly ignored by policymakers and defunded immediately.

But there is a deeper flaw in all this mendacious guff from American anti-vaping organisations. Because whatever they morally think about youths using e-cigs, it doesn't matter one iota.
Despite the constant warnings that increased experimentation with e-cigarettes would lead to more smoking, consumption of conventional cigarettes by teenagers stubbornly continues to decline, reaching a record low last year in the Monitoring the Future Study, which began in 1975. According to the NYTS, the incidence of past-month smoking among high school students fell from 15.8 percent in 2011 to 7.6 percent in 2017.
If all those anti-smoking organisations are so interested in people quitting smoking, why on earth are they fighting this?

Here is how youth smoking looks in the US according to the latest government data.


You'd think they'd be pleased, wouldn't you?

I can only agree with Reason when they say that tobacco control in the US is "only pretending to care about public health". Sadly, 'twas ever thus worldwide. 



Sunday, 10 June 2018

Public Health England's Ratchet

Here's a puzzler.

A hospital in Swindon wanted to get all that ghastly (dahling) smoke away from those who complain about smokers doing so. So they came up with a very calm, common sense solution.
Head of health and safety Mark Hemphill said: “The trust did have a plan to install visitor smoking shelters, and a policy was drafted and installation of three smoking shelters outside of the atrium, west and emergency department entrances were specified and costed for installation by Carillion last summer."
Wise man. Everyone is catered for and there is no longer any problem. Well, there wouldn't be until Public Health England chipped in.
“The plans changed three months ago at the direct request of Public Health England, who wrote to each trust chief executive and stated the importance of relaunching the Smoke Free NHS.” 
All NHS trusts in England will go smoke free by the start of 2019, with smoking banned from hospital grounds.
Might I remind you that there is no law against smoking at any NHS hospital so therefore they have no enforcement powers behind this. Nor should there ever be. The idea that an establishment owned by taxpayers - of which smokers are some of the highest paying personally - can ban people from using a legal product without any evidence whatsoever of harm to others outdoors, is absurd. The fact that these bans include the car park, where the NHS is happy for instantly lethal carbon monoxide to be generously spewed out, just makes the whole thing laughable.

Yet despite non-existent enforcement, PHE is issuing demands rather than guidance.

Now, the reason I find this curious is because PHE have often been asked why they cannot instruct hospitals and other organisations to allow the use of e-cigs. The stock answer is always that they can issue guidance but that they cannot demand that it be adhered to.

So why the difference here? Why are they all of a sudden able to get heavy with hospitals while not doing the same when it comes to demanding them to treat vaping favourably? I expect it's the usual authoritarian public sector disease that the ratchet only goes one way. And every time away from any semblance of liberty.

In fact, we can see this in the response from the hospital.
Dr Ian Orpen and Dr Christin Blanshard, co-chairmen for the clinical board of the Bath, North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Sustainable Transformation Partnership, which commissions NHS services, said the changes were part of a bid to stop patients and staff smoking. 
The doctors said: “We understand that some people may not wish to stop smoking and we will be providing them with assistance to ensure that during their stay in hospital or whilst at work they can abstain by using nicotine replacement therapy and support from our stop smoking advisors.”
So where the fuck was PHE's 'guidance' or demands about e-cigs to that hospital? There is absolutely no mention of other products except pharma NRT. Remember this is the organisation that announced to the world they'd be happy with vaping products being sold in hospitals.

Did they conveniently forget?



Thursday, 7 June 2018

Keep Smoking Tobacco, Says Finland

In case you are not on social media so missed this, have a gander at something quite staggering!

Remember I've said for years that one day the lies of tobacco controllers will come back and bite them on the arse? Well, I kinda relished how they seemed unable to cope with e-cigs. I always presumed that it would be that kind of harm reduction which would expose them, simply because they are too dim to understand the nuances of a concept where smokers are gently encouraged to switch - when they are ready - to something which would evolve into a valid and satisfying alternative.

They have tried their utmost to demonise vaping - leading to many jaw-dropping and amusing episodes on the way where they reveal themselves to be just a bunch of prohibitionist parasites rather than people interested in health, but with the world now boasting an estimated 44 million vapers they are fighting a losing battle.

There are still some stick-in-the-muds, but they are increasingly seen as stark staring bonkers. The proof of concept of harm reduction has been thoroughly proven with the inconvenient habit vaping has in reducing smoking dramatically wherever it is allowed to flourish.

This has, sadly for tobacco controllers, merely intensified interest in their previous crimes against humanity. Remember the ban on snus?

Snus was banned by the EU in the 90s after the UK govt had listened to absurd scare stories by ASH (yes, we should never forget this because ASH have never apologised for it). The exemption was Sweden, who made it a pre-condition of joining the EU that they be exempted from the ban. Sweden now boasts by far the lowest smoking prevalence rate in the EU and Norway - outside the EU so able to allow snus - is seeing the same effect.

All of which makes this tweet from nutters in Finland utterly astonishing!

I've screenshotted it because I still can't believe they have left this up for so long without deleting it out of shame.


They are actually saying smokers should be dissuaded from switching to snus - which carries just about no risk whatsoever - and should carry on smoking instead.

Yet tobacco companies are supposed to be the bad guys? Fuck me! What kind of messed up people are we dealing with here?

This is the modern state of play in the nicotine debate, sadly. They can complain all they like about the tobacco industry being economical with the truth 40 or 50 years ago, but tobacco control and its acolytes are are lying on a daily basis now



Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Tobacco Control Carnage

Still very busy in Puddlecoteville, but I've found a window to get down a few scribbles from what's been in the news of late.

For example, here is the kind of appalling shambles you are left with when you let ideological lunatics determine public sector policy.
Smoking will be fully banned at the Royal United Hospital in Bath by the end of the year. 
It is currently advertised as a smoke-free site but there are designated shelters for lighting up that will be removed to end the ‘conflicting messages'.
Conflicting messages? What would they be? That smokers should be bullied or else it sends the message that people at NHS institutions might be in the caring profession? Yes I suppose they have a point.
Vaping will be allowed but anyone wanting to smoke will have to leave the site - a move expected to upset neighbouring residents.
So having annoyed one set of taxpayers - smokers - this NHS trust is now going to piss off locals who pay council tax too. Isn't it far easier to just have some shelters somewhere which makes sure everyone is happy?

Of course not, we are dealing with extremists here.
"By the end of this year we have to be smoke free."
Why? There is no law saying you have to. Nor is there any danger to bystanders (please look up J S Mill).
"We have some work to do to build support for our staff around smoking cessation. 
"Probably the most challenging aspect is enforcement."
Yes, because there is no law about it so you have none.
“What expectation do we have on our staff? What sanctions could there be for repeat offenders? Enforcement is the key to this."
Ah I see, so you're going to write into your employment policies that anyone using a legal product in their spare time where no-one can be harmed by it will lose their job.

Sometimes I feel like linking a dynamo up to George Orwell's grave, it could provide free light and heat for the entire country.
James Scott, the trust’s chief executive, said: "This is a significant challenge for us and every hospital I've ever been in, including abroad. 
"Don't think this is an NHS problem. 
"We will be forcing smokers off-site - that's our patients and staff. 
“The consequence is we will get more and more complaints from our neighbours. 
"That's what's happened every time we've done this in the past.
Erm, so don't do it then. Seriously, no-one will care.
“Legally, provided staff are outside our curtilage, they can smoke."
Yep, sadly for authoritarian arseholes, this is true. And long may it continue to be so.
He said some doctors may object to the ban because of the calming effect that smoking can have in stressful situations.
Good, there are still some people in the health service who are human and haven't completely turned into vile interfering cultists.
Public Health England recognises vaping as an effective tool for quitting smoking but Mr Scott said there is some emerging evidence that it "isn't as harmless as it's currently thought to be".
What a clusterfuck of ignoramuses our NHS is.
Nigel Stevens, a non-executive director of the trust, asked if there had been any research into how smoking bans affect staff retention - which is an issue for the RUH. 
He was told the trust would look into it. 
A survey showed that staff are divided on the issue. 
49 per cent thought the RUH should go smoke free, while 49 per cent thought it should be permitted in some capacity. 
Some 90 per cent of smokers thought that smoking should be allowed. 
Those against the ban said that shelters were a good way to contain smokers; staff, visitors and patients may be under a lot of stress and need to smoke; and that people had free choice over whether they smoke. Those who supported the ban said the RUH had a responsibility to promote healthy choices.
Of course, if they just ignored the whole non-problem most people wouldn't give a shit and they could spend their apparently meagre resources on healthcare rather than blathering on about fripperies like this.

Still, plenty of objections there, maybe they will decide that way anyway, who knows?
The trust backed the ban.
Of course they did, the knuckle-dragging cowards. All objections were completely ignored; no compromises were allowed; there is absolutely no middle ground with 'public health' campaigners, it has to be a binary all-or-nothing.
A report to the meeting says that patients, visitors or residents have not yet been consulted but this is planned for later in the year.
As if that's going to make any difference. Or, as someone said in the comments ...
They tried this once before...it failed. What makes them think it will work again?
Brainwashed ideological morons will never, ever see sense. An NHS administrator recognising and addressing the needs of their visitors is about as rare as a BNP member embracing black history month.

I think we need a few more elections where we collectively vote none-of-the-above-screw-everything-and-hope-you-all-burn before these elitists get the message, don't you?



Monday, 28 May 2018

'Public Health' Crooks

If you thought this place was dormant, you'd be wrong. Yes it's been quiet but - as mentioned previously - there are potentially life-changing things going on at Puddlecote Inc and I'm also not long back from a week on a boat in Norfolk with an angry Scottish ex-squaddie frustrated at not having wifi to talk to his Argentinian girlfriend. Still, I'm a survivor so got back safe and sound.

In the past week, though, the global 'public health' community has been busy removing all possible doubt that it might have anything to do with the public's health. In the run-up to the World Health Organisation's World No-Tobacco day on 31st May, they have been doing their damnedest to ensure that the status quo is protected so they can continue trousering the lovely cash that smokers provide.

Firstly, as reported by Snowdon, not happy with banning its own citizens from using e-cigarettes to quit smoking, Australia is now trying to bully the World Customs Organisation (WCO) into making tobacco harm reduction unaffordable to millions of smokers worldwide.
Last May, Australia proposed that the WCO create a new category (24.04) in Chapter 24 for 'nicotine products for human consumption, not containing tobacco but containing nicotine.' The Aussie government admitted that e-cigarettes are not tobacco products but said that 'they are closely related to tobacco in that they are used as substitutes for tobacco products'(!). 
The WCO Secretariat seems to be sympathetic to this proposal. It appears to wrongly believe that e-cigarettes were developed by the tobacco industry and wants to put all 'new products developed by the tobacco industry as an alternative to traditional cigarettes' in the tobacco category, including those that don't contain tobacco and even those that don't contain nicotine. 
Can you think of anything more evil than this? Even the most blinkered of tobacco controllers concede that e-cigs are safer than smoking, they merely contest to what degree. Yet here is the ultimate prodnosery of Australia not content with merely preventing their own citizens from accessing vaping products, but also forcibly interfering in the affairs of other countries to make sure safer alternatives to smoking are made more difficult to buy worldwide.

Imagine the most disgusting and anti-social neighbour you have ever encountered. You know, the rotten-hearted old crone who would puncture kids' bike tyres for fun and cares not about what happens to the kid as a result? Yep, that's Australia, curtain-twitching on acid, as vile as they come.

Inevitably, the World Health Organisation is complicit.
Last week's document includes a letter from the WHO, thanking the WCO for the invitation to comment and supporting the reclassification.
Well of course they would, because the WHO long since departed from its role of protecting the public's health, it is now just a pitiful parody of the organisation that used to concern itself with preventing disease. Instead it has shut down that part of its operation in favour of attacking legitimate industry. Millions of people are threatened with disease and ill-health while the massed egos and huge salaries of the cretins behind their Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) focus on playground-level politics.

Of course, in an ideal world it would be possible to talk sense into the WHO but that presupposes that they would ever listen to it. This entirely unelected body is 100% unaccountable to all of us despite hoovering up taxes to pay for their expensive shindigs.

What's more, if you try to engage with this disgusting bunch of crooks - because that's what unaccountable cartels are called in any other sector - they simply ignore you.

Take, for example, their latest 'consultation' on non-communicable diseases (do go read here about how this is just a racket to ensure the WHO can steal your money for eternity without improving any nation's health). I put 'consultation' in quote marks because it's nothing of the sort - the WHO has decided it will only listen to organisations which it chooses to.

The New Nicotine Alliance (NNA), for example, decided to respond to their 'consultation' and were promptly ignored as "entities with which WHO does not engage", along with a number of others.


Just like that. No explanation except that the WHO claims that NNA "furthers the interests of the tobacco industry". Only the corrupt WHO could possibly work out how advocating products to replace lit tobacco can be described as that, but then the WHO is not really interested in health.

The NNA has asked for an explanation as to this baffling decision on the part of the WHO but - as is to be expected from an unaccountable perversion of a 'public health' organisation - they have not even had the manners or class to acknowledge the email, let alone respond.

Another included in the black ball list is the Swedish Institute of Tobacco Studies. The pedigree of its director, Lars Ramström, speaks for itself with Google Scholar listing a total of over 1600 academic citations, but I guess they disagree with the WHO's cosy little echo chamber so he has been thrown into the wilderness too.

The WHO FCTC is, as usual, cowering behind their misapplied article 5.3 and hoping no-one will notice what a repulsive gaggle of self-interested troughers they are, and how they are now having an overwhelmingly negative effect on global public health. For the record, the NNA makes it quite clear on their website how they operate.
NNA welcomes donations from individuals and organisations to support our campaigning work. We are however unable to accept such donations from manufacturers and distributors of nicotine products.
With the NNA being a registered charity and staffed by unpaid volunteers, the WHO - a multi-million dollar Goliath by comparison - is showing its complete disregard for the interests of consumers and others who they pretend to exist to protect.

It seems, instead, the WHO FCTC is using a rule it created itself (article 5.3) - which it claims is to advise governments to ignore commercial interests in creating legislation - to instead justify disallowing consumer charities and others from responding to the WHO which, as should be obvious, is not a government considering it has never received a democratic vote in favour of it from anyone in the world.

Unelected. Unaccountable. And making up its own rules of engagement as it goes along. The WHO isn't a health body, it's a fascist, crooked, tax-gobbling global menace.

250 years ago, the term "no taxation without representation" was coined yet here we are in 2018 and the WHO are steadfastly refusing to engage with anyone whose ideas disagree with theirs, despite sucking up multi-million pounds worth of our taxes. They routinely refuse to debate; prohibit free speech; and ban the press from their meetings, all of which are held behind closed doors.

The WHO is as secretive as the Mafia but with lesser morals. We have to wonder why our government sees fit to shovel our taxes to a body which makes banana republic dictators appear a model of transparency by comparison. Maybe some might wish to ask their MP why this is tolerated by Westminster, aren't we all supposed to value transparency and openness these days?

In the meantime, when you see the WHO proudly boasting about their World No-Tobacco Day on Thursday, allow yourself a wry smile knowing that the biggest supporter of traditional tobacco use in the world right now is ... the WHO. 



Monday, 14 May 2018

Crushing Safer Solutions For Profit

Sometimes, you really have to wonder if the whole tobacco thing with governments is just a big sham and that they really do secretly want smokers to continue smoking for the tax revenue.

Yes it sounds very much like a conspiracy theory, but how else do you explain heroically mendacious policies such as this from Korea?
Manufacturers of heat-not-burn (HNB) cigarettes, or heated tobacco products, will be required to put graphic warnings about health risks associated with smoking including cancer, similar to warnings all other cigarette manufacturers currently use. Such products will have to use graphic images of cancer-ridden organs, a much strengthened standard than the current image of a needle, which many have criticized as "unclear and ineffective."
Cancer-ridden organs? Has there been even one case anywhere in the world of cancer caused specifically by heated tobacco? No, of course not. But the lumpen-headed shitgibbons are going to plaster sick images all over the packaging anyway without even a cursory nod to reality.
The government plan seeks to dispel the conventional notion that such products are less harmful and therefore should remain exempt from stringent health policy.
Erm, it's not a 'conventional notion' that needs to be dispelled, for the simple reason that it is 100% true.

Just last week, for example, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) published a report on the emissions from HnB products, here is what they came up with.
We show that nicotine yield is comparable to typical combustible cigarettes, and observe substantially reduced levels of aldehydes (approximately 80–95%) and VOCs (approximately 97–99%). Emissions of TPM and nicotine were found to be inconsistent during the smoking procedure. Our study confirms that levels of major carcinogens are markedly reduced in the emissions of the analyzed HNB product in relation to the conventional tobacco cigarettes and that monitoring these emissions using standardized machine smoking procedures generates reliable and reproducible data which provide a useful basis to assess exposure and human health risks.
It seems the only thing that should be corrected in this 'conventional notion' is not that HnB is just "less harmful", but that it is "fuck-my-boots, off-the-launchpad and into the stratosphere less harmful". 80-99% is not just a statistical rounding, it is an abacus-shattering reduction! One which should induce in those who claim they want to save smokers' lives - because that's what they pretend it's all about - multiple orgasms of jubilation. Especially since the uptake in Korea is quite astonishing.

Korea Tobacco recently released its latest financial results, and their conventional tobacco sales make for grim reading, as do sales for all cigarettes in South Korea.

Click to enlarge

Cigarette sales plunged by a massive 10.7% (it was 14.4% the previous quarter) and HnB now accounts for a significant share of the market.
Data from the Ministry of Strategy and Finance showed about 230 million non-HNB cigarette packs were sold in January, while about 20 million HNB packs were sold, accounting for 8 percent of the market, almost a three-fold increase compared to 3 percent seven months earlier. 
So here you have millions of Korean smokers cascading away from tobacco and onto something up to 99% less harmful and their reaction is to slap gory warnings on the products - totally unjustified by the science so far - to deter smokers from switching. Instead they'd rather preserve a blatantly untrue perception that HnB is no different to normal cigarettes.

It's becoming a common theme isn't it? The same story is being played out in Japan where the government has initiated strategies to 'tackle' HnB which has had a dramatic effect on cigarette sales there too, if anything more markedly than in Korea.


The National Institute of Public Health (Japan) is one of over 20 independent organisations to have reported that HnB is massively less harmful than smoking ...
“The concentration levels of hazardous compounds in the mainstream smoke of IQOS are much lower than those in conventional combustion cigarettes."
But - as in South Korea - this is being studiously ignored by the Japanese government, which is formulating regulations to ban it in public places.

Meanwhile Sweden is now openly attacking snus - despite boasting by far the lowest smoking prevalence in the developed world because of it - and even came up with some cock and bull story about how parental leave is responsible for their low smoking rates while arguing for the EU ban on snus to be maintained.

And, of course, there are still battles going on globally over e-cigs, with India currently moving to ban them entirely, just after Singapore and Thailand criminalised not just vaping, but also possession of vaping equipment. Yes, you can now be jailed in many jurisdictions for using an e-cig whilst their governments still profit from tobacco being sold widely.

What on Earth is going on?

Well, considering science is being roundly ignored throughout the world, you have to consider two scenarios. Firstly, maybe government really are addicted to the cash that smoking generates and reduced risk products are causing immense problems for their budgets. In other words, their policy would seem to be "keep smoking, we need the money".

Alternatively, the politicians really do think they are doing the right thing and are just appallingly advised. In which case, we have to look at which disgraceful people are advising them. Oh, hello there ideological tobacco controllers, speak of the Devil, eh?

I've said for years that nothing to do with tobacco control or 'public health' surrounding lifestyle choices has ever had anything to do with health. But to see such wilful ideological opposition by people who claim to be health lobbyists against solutions to problems which - to use their own parlance - are killing people, is absolutely vile.

Of course, you may have some other explanation for why these people are conspiring to prohibit far safer products despite overwhelming evidence that they could be harming the public. If so, I'd be very happy to hear it.

Otherwise, I can only hope that there is a higher being who will one day judge these callous bastards harshly for the carnage they are causing in order that they can keep their snouts in the trough.