Friday, 29 December 2017

An Encouraging Tale Of Christmas Disobedience

Like most, I've been overrun with Christmas stuff recently - including a rather fabulous road trip to a café with a sea in its garden - but have an observational tale to tell which I found very interesting.

This year we Puddlecotes booked a Christmas dinner at the local pub. I know from speaking to a previous Manageress (a vaper) that the chain to which it belongs has stupidly installed a vaping ban but - never having come across one yet that can't be bypassed - I had brought a simple e-cig for the duration.

I was far from alone. Once we got to the venue at around 1pm, the place was packed and I counted at least five people vaping unobtrusive devices, seemingly without a care in the world. To say that it piqued my curiosity would be an understatement. I don't often visit there so watched with a keen interest. Had they changed their policy? Did the new Manageress just turn a blind eye?

Once seated at our table, we had a clear view of the whole pub and I watched as a group of 30-something lads stood at the bar laughing and joking, with one of them considerately vaping. No-one was concerned, nor did I see any perturbed looks from anyone else in the bar around any of the others I saw doing the same.

The new Manageress was helping with waiting tables for a steady procession of Christmas guests paying £40 per head (not including drinks) and I felt pretty sure she'd seen me using my Vype at least once, but nothing was said. I went to the bar to order some drinks and my silent query was answered by the barmaid as she poured a pint and said pointedly to someone behind me (one of the group of lads) that "you can't use that in here!". He swiftly apologised, but once she went to the fridge to get the bottle of Sauvignon Blanc that I'd ordered, promptly carried on regardless.

It struck me then that the chain pub's policy is laughably unenforceable and was being widely ignored. This doesn't come as a surprise because 'stealthing' is always very easy but it was encouraging to see so many not showing any respect to a daft policy whatsoever, and absolutely no-one else caring that it was being flouted.

More intriguingly, however, a little later a new group of eight came in to take up their Christmas table. The mousey housewife who appeared to be the one who had booked it walked in with her handbag in one hand and a basic Ego type e-cig in the other, plainly on view. The Manageress came to make sure they were seated properly and to point out where the free tea and coffee was and I saw her look directly at the e-cig in wifey's hand. I was expecting her to say something about it, but there was just a brief pause - perhaps while she totted up the £320+ that this group was going to be putting into the pub's coffers - and she just smiled, had a laugh and a joke and was off without saying a word about it. The lady in question vaped openly throughout her meal and wasn't approached about it.

It just made me wonder at the wisdom of such vaping bans, I mean, what's the point? They are so incredibly easy to ignore, and it was clear that apart from a futile plea from one barmaid, the management of that pub were battling against something which is not only unstoppable, but also counter-productive to their main role of bringing in business for the brewery. Why would the Manageress risk pissing off someone providing nearly £400 of business with a pointless policy thought up by some lazy suit at HQ, and why would any employee want to throw out a group of lads spending freely over the bar when no-one gives a flying fuck about their unobtrusive friend vaping?

At Christmas, it was pretty to watch a pub policy being shown to be so ignorantly crafted and so pathetically simple to ignore. As the numbers of e-cig users increase, and the evidence of their safety continues to pile up, only the most foolish in the pub trade would continue to fight an unwinnable war against vapers. Let's hope that in 2018 we see more pubs realising that it's pretty pointless, and either dropping their policies altogether or altering them to allow "considerate vaping" which is far more realistic.

And let's also hope that any who refuse to do either lose income and go bust, as they richly deserve. 

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

"At War With The Tobacco Industry"

Well we have always suspected as much, but today the WHO's newly-installed leadership has finally admitted that it isn't interested in what works to encourage smokers to quit ... it just hates the industry.

Director General Dr Tedros Ad-hanom Ghebreyesus (an Ethiopian with a dodgy background) only took office in July this year but his genius has already seen Robert Mugabe recruited as a {cough} goodwill ambassador before worldwide disgust forced him to backtrack.

AKA Idiot
Well now, he has confirmed to us all that he is even more deranged than his predecessor Margaret "Oh I do like a Dictator" Chan. Commenting on corrective statements - that is, corrective, as in to correct what was said previously - being aired in the US, this African lunatic declares that it isn't enough, and that nothing the industry can do ever will be. So he's declared the WHO to be at war ... not with the real or perceived harm of smoking, but with the industry.
These public statements acknowledge that the companies – Philip Morris USA, RJ Reynolds Tobacco, Lorillard, and Altria – knew the damage their products cause but kept selling them anyway.
As they are obliged to do by laws which demand they have a fiduciary duty to not shit all over their shareholders. I just thought I'd add that because he seems to forget that it's not good etiquette for legal businesses to nuke pension funds and unleash a global criminal market which would make Colombian and Mexican drug cartels look like warm up acts for the Teletubbies.
And it is not just courts that are taking action against the tobacco industry. The recent decision by French bank BNP Paribas to stop financing and investing in tobacco companies – including producers, wholesalers, and traders – is just the latest sign that public health is finally being put ahead of commercial interests.
BNP Paribas have done this against commercial interests, apparently, and not because they might see an angle in it by way of increased gullible 'ethical' investors or the avoidance of shroud-waving fuckwittery from the likes of unelected extremist African-led supranational cults.

And even if so, why can commercial interests not work in favour of public health anyway? Every leap forward in the history of public health has been aided and abetted by private industry and innovation, only a cretin would think the profit motive isn't a powerful force to harness.

Sadly, Dr Tedros is that very cretin, because he is determined to prevent that ever happening.
The industry couldn’t be trusted in the past, and it shouldn’t be trusted to do the right thing in the future. 
Even today, the same tobacco companies are marketing new products that they claim are less harmful – like “heat-not-burn” devices, which vaporize tobacco to produce a nicotine-containing aerosol – and funding front groups purporting to work for a smoke-free world.
Is he sounding, you know, a bit like a Luddite to you here? The evidence isn't in yet on either heat not burn or the Foundation for a Smokefree World, but this stunning Ethiopian savant don't need no stinking evidence. He may not know much about nicotine delivery systems, but he knows what he likes.
Enough is enough; at this critical moment, we must not let the momentum slip. Governments and health organizations like ours are at war with the tobacco industry, and we will continue fighting until we beat Big Tobacco.
Not beat cancer, or heart disease, or COPD, or any other illness they attribute to tobacco. No, the very first priority is destroying the legal tobacco industry. That's it. Period.

This is the same WHO which said "help yourself" to Thailand when they wanted to prohibit vaping and bang citizens up for 5 years for possession of e-liquids, and who passed that recommendation in India which is now planning to do exactly the same.

And now, under his leadership, Dr Tedros is planning to crush heat not burn products - responsible for "one of the most remarkable events we have ever seen in global efforts to reduce cigarette smoking" in some markets - under the clunking fist of his stratospheric ignorance.
However reluctantly, these companies have called on all of us to reject their products. We think it is time to take them up on the offer.
So there you go. As I've always maintained, it's never been about health, but now we are seeing that it never will be either. These dangerous extremists aren't even giving breathing space to what might work in the future! Under the leadership of an Ethiopian with a chequered background, the WHO just declared its principal aim is one of destroying a legal industry instead of working towards improving the world's lives and health.

He, and those members of the WHO who elected him their Director General, are clearly fucking insane. 

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

The New Age Of Intolerance

As Snowdon wrote on Tuesday, there was fabulous news from Austria that their smoking ban has been stopped by the new government. The Guardian - big fans of a ban in just about every policy area - reported it in its own inimitable way, putting quote marks around the word freedom, presumably because their journos don't understand its meaning.
Austria stubs out looming smoking ban in name of 'freedom'
Austria’s far-right Freedom party has announced that a planned ban on smoking in all bars and restaurants that was due to come into force in 2018 will be scrapped.  
Party chief Heinz-Christian Strache said the reversal was agreed in ongoing talks to form a coalition with the conservative People’s party (OVP) following elections in October.  
“I am proud of this excellent solution in the interests of non-smokers, smokers and restaurant owners,” Strache, who had made the move a key campaign pledge, said on social media.  
“The freedom to choose lives on. The existence of restaurants (particularly small ones) has been secured. Thousands of threatened jobs have been saved,” said Strache, himself a smoker.
Subtle dog whistle there with the Graun pointing out Strache as a smoker, I guess hinting that he's only done this for self-interest, which is incredibly hypocritical of them.

Smoking bans trample the rights of private business owners to decide what their customers are allowed to do, and the rights of employees to decide the risks they are prepared to take. Defending those rights is very much a freedom issue so it is perfectly in keeping with a politician's job, irrespective of whether or not they smoke.

What definitely is self-interest, though, is the predictable reaction we see on social media whenever there is even a hint of a smoking ban being reversed or amended. There were a few anguished cries of "cancer!", and "poison!" once the news emerged from Austria on Tuesday - one even declared that this was a return to Austrian Nazi gas chambers - but the general thrust was, as always, about not liking the smell or having to wash clothes/hair/pillows (delete as applicable). Nobody that I could see said anything about bar workers, which is the now-forgotten reason tobacco control hung on their experiment in social engineering.

Yet all that is being proposed in Austria is adoption of the 'Berlin model' where separate ventilated smoking areas are permitted, quite sensible in a country like Austria where it can get very cold. This isn't being cooped up for 40 years with a smoker with windows shut and archaic ventilation (as second hand smoking studies invariably focussed on, and even then couldn't find a significant threat without gerrymandering the data and demonising anyone who came up with different results). 'Passive smoking' is a long-run tobacco control scam but it is enthusiastically supported by the gullible, along with hideous people who really want to believe it because they dislike the smell of tobacco so - in pursuit of their own self-interest - want to poke their noses into smokers' lives.

What is fundamentally so destructive about smoking bans, though, is that they have normalised this kind of selfish, bigoted and anti-social behaviour, and we can see this clearly in the comments to a very well-written Times article yesterday by Matt Ridley on vaping.

It is behind a paywall but to summarise, Ridley argued cogently - and referring to evidence - that Britain leads the world in the industry; that innovation was saving lives while saving consumers billions; that this has led to a sharp decline in smoking prevalence and that the vapour has no adverse affect on bystanders. What's not to like if you're an anti-smoker, eh?

He went on to suggest that advertising restrictions should be relaxed; that UK health organisations support e-cigarettes; and that there should be no vaping bans, merely discussions of etiquette around their use.

Yet the reaction he received in the comments was exactly the same as those from people who railed against Austria and their smoking ban! And I mean, exactly! Here is a selection.
"No problem with people vaping and using electronic cigs, just don't want it on public transport and enclosed  public spaces....and the work space." 
"We have got a ban on “smoking” which is brilliant . Vaping is just another form of smoking. Do not create a thin end of a wedge. Keep it clean. Vape if you want to but not in my space." 
"As a reformed smoker I find the exhaust fumes from vaping as offensive as cigarette smoke. I think vapers need to be segregated." 
"The argument that vapers should be allowed to smoke indoors with non smokers is flawed. Smokers have not been permitted to do so for years , so what are they missing by a continued ban, now that that they have found a new distasteful addiction, which while suposedly less harmful , can’t be good." 
"I accept is less harmful than normal cigarettes but I object to having perfumed stench in my face when indoors in public places." 
"Smoking, cigarettes or vaping, should be restricted to open air. Even that infringes my human rights."
And my personal favourite because it perfectly encapsulates the entire debate.
"I don't want to breathe in anyone's second hand nicotine steam. Go outside!"
Because that's what it has always been about, pure, naked intolerance ... not health. Me. Me. And more me.

This is why I have always said - and will continue to do so - that the smoking ban was the most socially-damaging piece of legislation ever bludgeoned through our parliament. In one fell swoop it spoke directly to the prejudiced, the intolerant, the lazy and the anti-social. It told them that our proud history of respecting personal and professional rights to freedom were at an end; it told them that whereas before the government would not legislate just because people didn't like something, now it was open season; and it empowered nasty little curtain-twitchers and prodnoses to swarm all over Times article comments sections spouting their ill-informed crap because the government is on their side now.

Once you convince the most vile in our society that they are important and that laws can be summoned up on the back of their intolerant whims, there is no end to the things they will demand be banned, and this is exactly what has been happening since July 2007.

Yet again, e-cigs flush out the truth from the fantasy, just as I always predicted they would. 

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Keep Smoking, Thailand Needs The Cash

The drafts have been piling up here lately due to a hectic pre-Christmas in Puddlecoteville and at Puddlecote Inc, but here's a disturbing story from Thailand last week that deserves comment.
Net Idol arrested for e-cigarette faces 5 years saying police treatment "over the top"
A well known internet celebrity who was arrested in Pattaya at a checkpoint when an e-cigarette and vaping liquid were found has said her treatment at the hands of the local cops was over the top. 
Manutsaya Yaowarat - otherwise known as Fluksri Maneedeng - went on social media after she was filmed being dragged to the cells
It was confirmed that she had just one e-cigarette and one vial of liquid in her possession. No other charges have been mentioned. 
But a top lawyer said that she could still face 5 years in jail and a fine of four times the value of the vaping equipment and fluid that was found hidden in the console of her car. 
Popular online lawyer Kertphon Kaewket reminded the public that the importation of e-cigarettes and vaping fluid was a serious offence that could land people in jail for ten years and command 500,000 baht fines. 
But even possession was serious and could generate a 5 year prison term and from half to four times the value of the goods seized.
Presumably, if she'd have been smoking there wouldn't be a problem. Well yes, because the Thailand tobacco industry is a nationalised monopoly with a clearly stated aim.
Thailand Tobacco Monopoly was established in 1939 according to the Cabinet’s resolution. TTM operates in the tobacco production and distribution business in order to contribute revenue to the State for the country development and plays an important role in the economic system of Thailand.
The girl's 'crime', then, appears to be using something which would reduce tobacco duty income to the Thai state. Interesting way of governing a country, don't you think? 

A fellow jewel robber from the country (yes, there are some) pointed me in the direction of the law that was being enforced here, and it is truly laughable.
Testing by the Scientific Services Department of the Ministry of Science and Technology and by the Department of Disease Prevention, Ministry of Public Health, has found a number of hazardous chemicals detrimental to the body in these products, including propylene glycol, menthol, cyclohexanol, triacetin, benzene derivatives, lead, and cadmium.
Presumably, everything else containing PG and menthol will also be banned? It would make for quite a list.
Testing has also found that smoking with these devices may cause or contribute to the development and spread of diseases such as tuberculosis, colds, influenza, diphtheria, pertussis, and hepatitis B. Use may also lead to other serious diseases of the mouth, since users tend to share the devices among their peer group; a hazardous practice that may, in turn, lead to use of other addictive substances including ecstasy, ketamine, amphetamines, marijuana, or cocaine. 
So anything that can be shared is highly dangerous and could lead to the user becoming a junkie? Riiiight. I wonder what their stance is on kissing?

Anyway, who is to blame for this quite ludicrous state of affairs? Who has facilitated a national government to bring in a law prohibiting a less risky alternative to smoking in order to protect the Thailand tobacco industry?

Why, it's the World Health Organisation, of course!

In November last year I travelled to India for the WHO's COP7 shindig and Thailand was prominent on the group of 'parties' who were desperate that the word "prohibit" was not removed from regulatory options endorsed by the WHO. For two whole nights they were buzzing around trying to gain support, and they were eventually successful. The WHO's final guidance included prohibition and so Thailand can point to the World Health Organisation as a reason they have banned import, manufacture, sale and possession of a threat to their tobacco monopoly, and therefore justification for dragging a girl to the cells for possession of a bottle of e-liquid.

Great work guys at the WHO! The Thailand exchequer thanks you for being their tobacco industry's biggest supporter. 

Saturday, 9 December 2017

A Healthy Dose Of Common Sense

Today I was in Puddlecoteville town centre for some Christmas shopping. Mrs P went into New Look in the shopping mall for some vouchers and - as men do - I hung around outside instead. Sat on a bench outside the shop I took a quick vape on my 18mg 50/50 Lime Zest at 8.9 watts (so no big clouds). Just as I did so a security guard - as wide as he was tall - waddled over to me; the conversation went exactly like this:

"'Ere, fella, you can't do that in here"
"Oh right, so you've changed policy then? Is that why the two vape shops have gone? You kicked them out?
"Well, they left"
"OK, you know it's not illegal don't you?"
"So why has the centre banned vaping?"
"Well, erm, the children" (vaguely waving to where some children had been but now weren't)
"You know that they're not dangerous, don't you?"
"Well, in my book they are far more dangerous than cigarettes"
"You should do some Googling then and get an education"
"I have done, that's how I know they're dangerous"

And you know what? That's not the first time that someone has said that to me. This is the false perception that years of tobacco control lies has fostered in a significant proportion of the public. I've always said that e-cigs had the potential to expose the abhorrent nature of the tobacco control industry, and that conversation shows just how much of a threat they are to the public.

That someone has been convinced of something so comprehensively untrue should make the 'public health' movement utterly ashamed of themselves, but I don't think many care.

The world in 2017 is a place where private innovation and enterprise is leading millions of people into doing what tobacco control has demanded for decades - quitting smoking - yet the main obstacles placed in front of them are the very same people who've been nagging for all that time, and the petty and counterproductive restrictions that have grown up around the incessant 'public health' lying.

Last month, the Freedom to Vape campaign produced a report on policies towards e-cigs in 391 councils up and down the UK. It showed that the attitude of authorities has got worse in the past 12 months instead of better. The steamroller of authoritarian pettiness and control - created and nurtured by disingenuous tobacco controllers - has gained pace rather than receding. So the NNA has launched a campaign entitled "Challenging Prohibition" which I urge you to read and share widely.

Also last month, in front of an audience packed to the gunwales with state-paid 'public health' grandees and activists, Sarah Jakes of the NNA was afforded a very rare (for 'public health' events) opportunity to speak as a consumer about the damage this environment of mendacity is causing, as perfectly illustrated by the ignorant security guard I had the misfortune to meet today. Or, in her words, how 'public health' is "fucking it all up".

It is 20 minutes long but I highly recommend you switch off X Factor Dancing Talent In The Jungle or whatever passes for Saturday night TV these days, pour yourself your most favoured beverage and watch what Simon Clark described as "a masterful speech" (transcript here if you prefer). I couldn't agree with him more.

Friday, 8 December 2017

So Many Questions About Glantz

So ...

Following swiftly on from Chapman being excoriated in the Aussie parliament, let's talk about Mad Stan the aircraft mechanic. Because he's in a bit of a pickle, it seems.
A former UC San Francisco doctoral researcher Wednesday filed a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment by a prominent tobacco control activist and tenured UCSF professor Stanton Glantz that spanned nearly two years. 
The lawsuit also alleges that Glantz retaliated against his former mentee, Eunice Neeley, after she complained about him to the university’s administration by removing Neeley’s name from a research paper. 
Neeley accused Glantz of consistent inappropriate behavior that included staring at her body, making comments directed at Neeley referencing sex, making sexual remarks about other women to Neeley while at the workplace, and making racist remarks about Neeley, who is black. 
Pretty grubby stuff, huh? But this was the kicker for me.
Neeley purports that Glantz used his tenure to intimidate his students from reporting his sexual harassment and emotional abuse. According to the lawsuit, Glantz was known to have told multiple students that as a tenured professor, “You can rape the vice chancellor’s daughter and still have a job.”
Using a position of power to deter complaints about behaviour is quite shocking. If this turns out to be true (and it's important to note that Glantz has denied the charges) it's Harvey Weinstein and the #MeToo stuff on steroids!

I suppose only time will reveal more, but I'd like to ask a question. Considering that Kevin Spacey was quickly removed from a film and Netflix cancelled House of Cards at the whiff of impropriety, what will the FDA make of the fact they shovelled Glantz $20m recently?
UC San Francisco will receive a five-year, $20 million grant as part of a first-of-its-kind tobacco science regulatory program by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 
The overall aim is to conduct programs of multidisciplinary research that will inform the FDA’s regulation of the manufacture, distribution and marketing of tobacco products to protect public health. 
The UCSF principal investigator is Stanton A. Glantz, PhD, director of the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. 
“We have identified serious problems in the way that the FDA has done cost-benefit analysis of major tobacco regulations, most notably warning labels on cigarette packages,” Glantz said. “In particular, the FDA underestimated the immediate benefits of smoking prevention and cessation, and based its behavioral assumptions on outmoded ideas. 
“By combining cutting-edge economic research with modern behavior studies, and studies of the immediate effects of smoke exposure on the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems, we hope to help the FDA develop more realistic cost-benefit models that will better support sensible regulation.”
It was a grant for a five year project which takes it up to 2018. Neeley was recuited in 2015. Now it's quite feasible that the FDA helped pay her wages while she was allegedly being mistreated in her time there.

But even if not, how can the FDA square giving millions of dollars to Glantz and his team when this might have been going on? Should they not be investigating the affair themselves considering taxpayer funds are tied up in it? Surely they would be ashamed if their funds were being used to indirectly facilitate abuse? If nothing else, their investment surely requires public comment? And what about Amazon? Will they pull his books, of which there are many?

Most importantly, if the allegations are eventually proven true, how can anyone trust the 'science' of someone who has been so manipulative and dishonest in his working life?

It's one to watch, isn't it? 

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Does Australia Punish Those Who Mislead Government?

Things have been busy in Puddlecoteville and surrounds, so I'm lagging behind somewhat.

Many will have already seen this, but just in case you haven't, here is Simon Chapman taken to the cleaners by Senator David Leyonhjelm under parliamentary privilege.

The central point the Senator was making is that Chapman was so woeful in his submission to the Australian Senate Inquiry into e-cigs that Public Health England took the unprecedented step of writing and correcting him.

The question is whether this was deliberate or not. Leyonhjelm obviously thinks so.

Long term readers will remember that we had a similar case here in 2009 when Lord Darzi misled the House of Lords on the cost to retailers of hiding tobacco behind screens. History has shown that policy to have been completely ineffective - hence why tobacco controllers try not to talk about it very much - but the damage was at least only an entirely unnecessary chunk taken out of the pockets of honest businesses.

However - in the parlance of tobacco controllers themselves - if Chapman's misleading of his government means that smokers are stopped from quitting because e-cigs remain banned following the inquiry, 50% of them will suffer ill-health as a direct result.

Now, Lord Darzi should have been investigated under our laws which treat misleading legislators as a serious offence. He didn't because politics is an ends-driven game. But if the end is to prevent ill-health, and Chapman is shown to have obstructed that, he should surely have to face some pretty serious charges down under.

That is if Australia has laws on misleading parliament like we do here in the Motherland, of course.

Now do you see why I say some in 'public health' deserve jail time? 

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Utter Waste Of Public Money

Just a quick one this. Let's lay to rest an inane argument that keeps repeating itself in ignorant comments sections and social media and has done for years.

On Friday, Mark Pawsey MP wrote an article on Con Home to say that vaping should be supported by government. As I was reading it, I just knew that someone would react like this ... and in fact three did in the comments.
"If this is the best thing you have to occupy your thought processes then I feel sorry for you. Its a trivial matter, compared to many big issues where the country is so obviously doing badly." 
"All-Parliamentary Group for e-cigarettes? You couldn't make it up." 
"complete and utter waste of public money wasting time on stuff like this"
Now, these dismissive arguments have cropped up for years when anyone discusses relaxing restrictions or de-regulating on lifestyle issues. For example, in 2010 when David Nuttall presented a ten minute rule bill on amending the smoking ban, the coverage was besieged by those who said he was wasting parliamentary time.

I don't remember anyone saying the same when the Health Bill 2006 was being debated in parliament. The triumphal response afterwards was that this was one of the most amazing and important things ever to have happened to the country, a massive watershed moment. I also don't remember anyone saying that the EU was wasting their time and taxpayers' money by spending two years debating how big the size of an e-liquid bottle should be.

Nor do you see many people ridiculing the government for spending its time on the pressing issue of people enjoying a Coca-Cola, or on debating exactly how far a kebab shop should be from a school. It seems to be vitally important when the ratchet is being tightened. 

But once the rules are in place and you talk about changing them, all of a sudden it's a waste of time. Something serious politicians shouldn't even lower themselves to contemplate.

See, I could agree with those who argue this if they also said that politicians shouldn't even be considering regulations on private choices and laws on what goes on in private property. But they don't. And all the while our elected reps think it's important to tell us what we should and shouldn't consume by way of legislation, it's perfectly bloody reasonable that they should also be considering that the rules could be changed for the better afterwards.

We didn't ask for these things to be included in politics, daft politicians led by the nose by state-funded troughers did that. Therefore these issues are absolutely part of politics. Saying otherwise is just a nonsense. 

Friday, 1 December 2017

Plain Failure

Longer term readers here will remember the fiasco of the plain packs campaign in the UK. The often fraudulent abuses of process, democracy and common decency were quite shocking and this article would turn into a mini-book if they were all listed here. But here is a reminder of a few highlights:

Attempting to rig the consultation; producing literature containing bald-faced lies to MPs; enthusiastically encouraging corrupt multiple signatures; and attempting to influence government to exclude any consultation responses they disagreed with and then trying to hide the evidence. Along with inviting two zealous supporters of plain packaging to review the evidence, including a far-left lunatic who simply despises marketing of any product, before producing an impact assessment document which the Regulatory Policy Committee rightly considered shoddy. This without mentioning shovelling taxpayer cash to vested interests to lobby government with, making demonstrably false claims, and blatantly misrepresenting the results of their own research.

Like I say, this is by far an exhaustive list!

It's now five years since Australia first implemented the daft idea, and it will come as no surprise to anyone that it has failed miserably. It hasn't helped the credibility of the country's politicians much either.
59 percent of Australians believe that standardized packaging has been ineffective, 80 percent of them believe the government wouldn’t change or would be reluctant to change a preferred policy even if the evidence were weighted against it.
What's more, as this five minute video from RMIT University Melbourne's Prof Sinclair Davidson shows, the Aussie government has gone to extraordinary lengths in order to hide the failure. 

When such a lot of time and money has been spent on a policy (and the subsequent desperate civil service wriggling) which has had no effect whatsoever - and the public can see it for the red herring it is - it illustrates just how wasteful, gullible and spineless western legislatures have become in the face of state-funded 'public health' troughers, doesn't it?