Thursday, 19 July 2018

Love Island Idiocy

It's still a bit busy in Puddlecoteville, but things are clearing so I may be able to write more on issues I have wanted to for quite a while .. perhaps.

As a quickie, though, this is a gobsmacker.


Remember that the UKCTAS is funded entirely by your taxes. And they believe a good way of spending your money - so much so that they are boasting about it - is ensuring that people watching Love Island don't see anyone smoking.

Can you think of anything more utterly pointless than that? Because I can't.

What's more, these highly-paid people sat down and watched 21 episodes of the show to count how many times someone smoked a cigarette; catalogued the brand used; and spent time on an exercise to work out how many "impressions" were created as a result. So we appear now to be paying organisations out of taxpayer funds to spend time and our resources on stopping reality shows showing reality. Seriously, this beggars belief.

I would ask UKCTAS how many people, exactly, they have stopped smoking with this brave new idea, because it hasn't even stopped the contestants. I don't know what the show is about, but - yet again - it seems tobacco control is having a harmful effect on people's lives. Here are some quotes from the show's fans.
“Am pretty livid the smoking area has been banned in #LoveIsland Thats where all the kick offs, strops, bitching and secrets come out.” 
“Not seen a single person smoke yet. I miss the chain smoking and gossiping area of the villa #loveisland,”
I love the justification for this too.
The reason that the show no longer airs people smoking is that the islanders have been banned from smoking in public areas due to the barrage of complaints the show received last year.
Oh really? Well UKCTAS just claimed credit for that. Do you think that they are claiming credit for this massive upswell of outrage from concerned private citizens or - as I think is more likely - the "barrage" of complaints came from UKCTAS and their equally miserable state-funded allies?

This is the state of affairs right now, it seems. We've seen recently how health extremists - and health extremists alone - attacked adverts for chocolate by demonising the Easter Bunny and complaining to the ASA. And now we see UKTCAS boasting about how they got smoking banned in Love Island and it being passed off as some kind of public movement.

It's not. There is no public movement. Just about no-one cares about smoking in Love Island and some fans are pretty pissed off that it has lessened their enjoyment of the show.

I'm sure UKCTAS could have some use somewhere, but paying for researchers to watch TV for hours on end, before sending staff to a conference - on taxpayer funding - in order to boast farcically about how they got smoking banned on Love Island, I would suggest, is a fucking shit waste of our money.

Still plenty of cuts needed. We've barely scraped the surface. 



Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Grandad's New Resource

A few months ago I met with a city analyst who read your humble host's offerings and was keen to meet. We enjoyed a liquid lunch in Threadneedle Street but before going our separate ways, he asked if I could put him in contact with Grandad, of Head Rambles fame, as he was a regular visitor to Ireland.

It would appear that they did, indeed, get in touch and the link-up has produced something very useful. Today Grandad explains on his blog how this new project came into being. The result is a glorious website - based on an extensive investor report - which delves into the murky dealings of the tobacco control industry over decades.

Entitled "Smoking - On Ethics" the site calmly runs through the grubby and disingenuous past of tobacco control, and explains how their industry of grifters, charlatans and snake oil salesmen has hoodwinked and conned the public for decades over tobacco. Moreover, it tells the whole story right up to the present day and the continuing misinformation and garbage that is being touted by the global tobacco control cult towards e-cigs, snus and other safer products.

It is impeccably put together by Grandad with easily-navigable links throughout, and the text is straightforward, expertly-written and very readable. It is a great resource for myth-busting the hysterical tone of anti-smoking lunacy we see today, and how it has developed over the years while the public has mostly been oblivious to the chicanery, neatly encapsulated in this short para from the section on harm reduction.
It appears that some in Public Health have adopted an approach which dismisses science which is unhelpful to them and will attack opponents as being paid stooges. It begs the question as to whether this is a new approach, or actually one that is now simply out in the open.
Indeed.

I can heartily recommend the site, I think you will enjoy it. So pour yourself a beverage or two of your choosing, go read here and enjoy. 



Thursday, 12 July 2018

EU Wants To Tax Vaping, Don't Let Them


Via new vaping media source Vapetrotter (which you should bookmark, by the way), it won't surprise you to learn that a vast impenetrable bureaucracy which lives solely on the basis of tens of thousands of employees earning their living by doing nothing but regulating, wants to regulate e-cigs further than the absolute shit-shower they did with the TPD.

The EU seems to have decided it wants to tax e-cigarettes. They don't have any moral or scientifc basis for doing so, but hey, salaries have to be paid and vaping is killing the treasuries of many an EU country.

They have published a consultation and - whether you vape or not - please respond to it and tell them (nicely) that they are taking the right royal piss.

There is also a petition organised by the Collective of EU Vaper Associations which is quite cool and and has been translated into a number of different languages. It's up to about 18,000 so far so do consider supporting that too.

Oh, and remember, as you can see from this, the state is not - and never will be - your friend. 



Wednesday, 4 July 2018

The Grey Miserable World of 'Public Health'

Life still exceptionally busy with Puddlecote Inc, I'm afraid, but I see that the 'public health' bandwagon is still accelerating down the slippery slope they claim doesn't exist.

I find this kind of thing quite staggering.
Cadbury, Chewits and Squashies sweets have become the first companies to have online adverts banned under new rules targeting junk food ads for children. 
The Advertising Standards Authority said the companies did not do enough to prevent under-16s seeing the content.
Now, if you were around in the 80s or 90s, did you ever think we would be in a position where kids are not allowed to see adverts for things that they like to eat, and have for decades? All based on a fantasy panic whipped up by repulsive self-enriching tax thieves?

The Telegraph carried an article which is equally astounding.
The Easter Bunny cannot be used to market chocolate to children, the ASA has ruled after finding against Cadbury. 
The chocolate company marketed a storybook, featuring eggs and the Easter Bunny, on its website, which broke the rules against promoting food that is high in fat, salt or sugar to children under the age of 16. 
Cadbury was banned from marketing The Tale Of The Great Easter Bunny, written by pop singer Frankie Bridge, on its website, after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), decided it was aimed at children.
The Easter Bunny? This is a character that parents have thrilled their young kids with for hundreds of years, but in the new joyless, grey, miserable world that 'public health' have planned for us, this is now illegal.

The hold that 'public health' has over politicians is astonishing, but then it's because politicians are weak, cowardly, and ultimately incredibly stupid, as I have mentioned before.
Chocolate Oranges are one of life's little treats. The overwhelming majority of the public like them. Indeed, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn't like chocolate. 
Yet here we are with two leading politicians arrogantly competing to be the one who appears toughest on making that treat more difficult to enjoy. This isn't a mind-altering drug we're talking about here - legal or otherwise - merely a fucking Chocolate Orange!
But back to today. The trouser-stuffing tax spongers were elated, of course.
Obesity Health Alliance lead Caroline Cerny said: "Whilst today's rulings should be celebrated, the complaints demonstrate the blatant ways in which the food and drink industry attempts to exploit loopholes in the rules."
They are 'celebrating' another little bit of joy being eradicated from children's' lives just so they can keep their snouts in the trough. There is little more vile than that.

And who, pray, was it who complained anyway? What disgusting type of person is so miserable as to be driven to complain about something kids like? Well, fortunately, the rulings are on the ASA website. Here is the one ruling against Cadbury.
The Obesity Health Alliance challenged whether the ads were for products that were high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS product ads) that were directed at children.
In other words, no-one at all cared about the ad except the Obesity Health Alliance themselves, a collection of mostly state-funded organisations who would be out of work if they didn't continually promote scares to keep their funding stream.

The complaint about Chewits is much the same.
The Children’s Food Campaign (Sustain) challenged whether ads (a), (b), (c) and (d) were ads for products that were high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS product ads) that were directed at children.
Sustain is a taxpayer-funded parasite which is also, strangely enough, a member of the Obesity Health Alliance.

And who complained about Squashies? You guessed it.
The Children’s Food Campaign (Sustain) challenged whether the Squashies World advergame was an ad for products that were high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS products) that was directed at children.
In each case, there was only one complainant, and it was from people who fabricated the moral panic in the first place and took government money to lobby the government to come up with rules to take as much joy out of children's lives as possible.

It is surely about time politicians woke up and realised the destruction these self-centred bastards are doing to society. They are draining the joy out of kids lives for financial gain and are entirely unrepresentative of public opinion.


Where is this bonfire of the quangoes we were promised? It's the least that should happen because some of these obnoxious parasites deserve to burn for eternity.  



Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Scottish Tobacco Control Plan Hypocrisy

On Wednesday, I promised to revisit the Scottish Tobacco Control Plan at some point, so better late than never.

In particular, let's examine this knuckle-headed nonsense from the document.
There is some evidence that dissuasive colour or dissuasive messages on cigarettes could reduce the attractiveness of, and therefore the potential demand for, cigarettes. Other studies have considered composition – reducing the nicotine level or flavours that mask the true taste.  
For the same reasoning which led to the introduction of standardised cigarette packaging, legislation could be made to make cigarettes less attractive. This could be done through changes to colour, composition and/or warning messages on each stick.
So what is this "some evidence" of which they speak? Well, it's the brainfart of one weird individual in New Zealand called Janet Hoek who is a botanist, zoologist and Beowulf expert and - amongst other ideas she hopes will launch her into global nanny state stardom - would like to see plain packaging for fast food and fizzy drinks and processed food to be treated like tobacco. Oh, she's not  a fan of vaping either, but that's hardly surprising from so-called 'public health' these days.

The "some evidence" is a study of 'Poo Sticks' in 2014 which drew on interviews with 14 adult social smokers aged 18 to 24, followed by another in 2015 which examined "two focus groups and 13 in-depth interviews". Compelling stuff, huh?

That's it.

Now compare that with the new advances in heated tobacco which have seen literally millions of smokers quit smoking in Japan and South Korea and which government inquiries in the UK, US, Russia, Germany and Japan have conceded will dramatically reduce harm.

Also, consider that there are approximately 40-50 new pieces of research on e-cigs coming out every single week, and none of them are finding any great danger, only hinting at innuendo and smears about those who use them, simply because the tobacco control junk scientists behind the research are shitting themselves at being out of a job.

Which does the Scottish government find compelling? Yep, the random isolated study of a handful of people by a zoologist obsessed with irony in an ancient text.

Their policy towards e-cigs is to further ban advertising and the approach to heated tobacco is to put it in plain packaging.

This is, quite simply, government by imbeciles.

It's almost like they find it more attractive to ban stuff and piss on the public's liberties than protect their right to make their own health choices by providing accurate information.

That's not government by consent and it's not evidence-based policy. It's authoritarian abuse of a population worthy of some backwards banana republic. If you're Scottish, I pity you. 



Sunday, 24 June 2018

The Snobbery Of Banning Sweets At Checkouts

On an otherwise glorious day of electrifying sunshine and impressive football success, let's nail this distasteful sophistry from the embarrassing Department of Health and its massed ranks of tax-troughing government lobbyists, shall we?

Via the BBC:
[Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt] said the cost of obesity was too great to ignore. 
"Parents are asking for help - we know that over three quarters of parents find offers for sugary sweets and snacks at checkouts annoying. 
"It's our job to give power to parents to make healthier choices, and to make their life easier in doing so."
Parents are asking for help to, erm, say no? Government is now passing laws - and effectively creating criminal offences - because some parents find something annoying?

Jesus Christ, I find Coronation Street annoying but it's a minority view. So is the annoyance at the display of sweets at checkouts. And how do we know this? Because if it was a widespread problem with consumers, businesses would have got rid of them decades ago. The Conservative Party should know this, but then they seem to have abandoned conservatism in favour of big state interventionist stupidity of late.

The overwhelming majority of parents are perfectly able to say no to their children. The overwhelming majority of consumers are fine with sweets being sold at checkouts, maybe even finding it a nice impulse buy as a treat after doing the chore of a weekly shop. What is absolutely certain is that banning sweets at checkouts will have no impact whatsoever on the prevalence of obesity, nor on an 'epidemic' which is entirely fictional, and it won't save the NHS one penny of a gerrymandered and fictional cost.

So what is really going on here? Well, it's just good old-fashioned snobbery, as I have written about on very many occasions in the past couple of years.

If you questioned these parents who are apparently "asking for help" and asked why their parenting skills are so pathetic that they can't say no to their children, I wager you'd find that they tell you they're brilliant parents! And how dare you suggest otherwise! They are more concerned about "our children", as in everyone else's children.

Tom Paine wrote most eloquently about this a few years ago when discussing a quite rancid authoritarian snob who was rightly termed "the all-round worst person at the Battle of Ideas" of 2012.
My choice is Dr Michael Nelson, director of research and nutrition at the Children's Food Trust (a "social business" working with the "charity" the Schools Food Trust). ... it wasn't the advice he would give parents as to what their children should eat but his contempt for their ability to make choices and their right to do so that was the problem. He ... complained that parents (as witness the contents of packed lunches they sent with their children to school) could not be trusted to make good choices for their children's health. Government attempts to improve nutrition by requiring catering contractors to offer healthy choices had failed because those choices were simply not taken up. If we care about "our children" he said (oddly as he and I have no children together) then we must help parents who;  
...we know from experience do not themselves have the the power of executive decision when it comes to their own diet... 
In other words, these people are too stupid to be parents. I asked myself (but did not dare to articulate the suggestion unless it gave him ideas) why he stopped short of taking all of British childkind into care. After all, their parents are too stupid to raise them properly and are jeopardising their families' health irresponsibly.
Now, if you put the views of Dr Nelson to those who Hunt says are "asking for help", you would find that they would agree. It is not their own kids they want help with, but other people's. If you don't believe me, try this experiment. As above, if you hear a parent say they are in favour of this policy, ask them why they are so bad at parenting they need a law to help them say no. I guarantee you they will instantly talk about other parents and children who are not their own.

How a Conservative government has contrived to place itself in a position where one of its core beliefs - personal responsibility - is being obliterated by its adherence to the vile and the judgemental in society who like to tut and sneer at other people's lives, is a mystery.

Still, at least it's made them popular with the tax-sucking bastards who pander to society's most repulsive snobs, eh?
Government's New Plan To Halve Child Obesity 'Is An Absolute Travesty', Say Health Campaign Groups
For pity's sake, when will these oak-brained politicians realise that appeasing 'public health' only excites them more? Just ignore them!

Fucking idiots. 



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. 



Thursday, 10 May 2018

Smokers As Cash Cows

I think this is the longest gap between blogs ever on this site but believe me I've had a lot going on. Puddlecote Inc is taking up a hell of a lot of my time but someone it is actually good. OK, I've been cursing the EU yet again for the dog's breakfast of GDPR (honestly, look it up, it's a stinker that will cost every consumer for absolutely no benefit whatsoever) but there is also something momentous we are working towards which will be a game-changer for the business.

Anyway, while I've been struggling for time, the Moose has been using his wisely and turned up something you might like to have a read about.
In October last year, Blackburn and Darwen council announced they were hiring a private company, Kingdom Environmental Services, to 'target litter louts and dog fouling' with £75 fines for offenders. 
I fired off an FOI request to B&D council and asked exactly what they had issued fines for in the last six months.
Now, as an aside, can I just say that this is excellent and more people should do it. Tony Blair once said that:
The truth is that the FOI Act isn’t used, for the most part, by ‘the people’. It’s used by journalists. For political leaders, it’s like saying to someone who is hitting you over the head with a stick, ‘Hey, try this instead’, and handing them a mallet.
But it should be used by the people. And, if you turn up what the Moose has turned up, that's when you hand the mallet to the press, which I hope he has done because the response he received was shocking.
These are the figures in full: 
Litter – black bag = 2
Litter – cigarette = 4113
Litter – food = 16
Dog fouling = 26
Litter – other = 110
Litter – printed material = 9
Smoke free = 151 
I confirmed with the council that 'Smoke Free' relates to the indoor public place and work vehicle smoking regulations. Apparently Kingdom are now enforcing those for the council too. 
If it was just about litter, if it was only about 'taking back the streets for law abiding citizens', why would Kingdom also be involved in enforcing smoking bans in indoor spaces and vehicles? 
No. In my opinion, it's not about litter and it probably not even about the fines. These people were brought on board as another weapon against smokers and smoking.
I wouldn't put it past them, would you?

Do go read the Moose's article. he makes a good point that demonising smokers has opened up opportunities for local and national politicians to make cash cows out of them. We are starting to see the same towards drinkers (with minimum alcohol pricing), people who like fizzy drinks (with the sugar tax) and I have no doubt whatsoever that sooner or later the government will start taxing kids' sweets and feel smug about it.

How did we get to this vile state of affairs? 'Public health' tax scroungers peddling fake fears to MPs, of course. Wholesale defunding of the troughers wasting our cash to dictate how we live cannot come soon enough. 



Monday, 30 April 2018

Banning Things People Want To Buy

Last week the Washington Examiner carried a very astute article by Tim Worstall. The main point he makes cannot be emphasised enough because it cuts right to the heart of why bansturbators are bansturbators.
Local mayor wants to ban McDonald's, therefore admits people want McDonald's
The thing is, the ban (in the form of adamantly denying planning permission) is just proof perfect that the mayor knows that his constituents actually want a McDonald’s. Banning something always is an acknowledgment that people want that thing. 
Consider what happens if they don’t want that item? No sane businessman tries to provide it, and the insane one who does try goes bust very quickly. The absence of consumer desire means that the thing doesn’t need to be banned. And the need to ban shows precisely the opposite: the existence of that consumer demand. 
There’s no reason at all to ban some consumer choice other than the knowledge that if it were available some would pick it. Given that this is obviously so, we liberals should be telling the progressives to go boil their heads. Really, why are you trying to ban something that people so obviously desire?
Why are they trying to ban something that people so obviously desire? Well, it's precisely because people desire it. That's it.

This is true of every so-called 'public health' campaign that has ever been embarked upon. The smoking ban was not about health, it was simply because intolerant people didn't like others who smoke. The desperate wriggling by health zealots to pretend passive smoking is a thing - most recently outside for which there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever - is regularly betrayed by cheerleaders of the ban gloating about how smokers now have to stand outside and talking about how they never have to wash their clothes again. It was a pre-meditated attack on other people driven by anti-social snobbery.

Entire highly-paid 'public health' movements have grown up around pandering to the irrational prejudices of a hideous minority of pompous, curtain-twitching finger-waggers. The sugar tax isn't about health, because it will have zero effect just like it has had zero effect anywhere else in the world. It is about a bunch of elitist snobs insisting the state stop others from enjoying drinks that they personally don't like. In any other area of government policy, it would be shocking to propose regulations which punish the poor, but the sugar tax will do precisely that and politicians are crowing about how good it will be at doing it. In fact, it is a proudly-trumpeted feature of the policy.

Likewise minimum alcohol pricing which directly targets drinks the less well off tend to drink. The rich will be completely unaffected either because they don't drink those 'common' drinks or because the impact on their disposable income is negligible.

Can you imagine an MP proudly announcing a policy to absolve the rich from taxes and putting the burden exclusively on the poor? He would be drummed out of polite society in very short order - yets that is exactly what 'public health' advocates on a daily basis.

In the case of vaping, it's even worse. Health campaigners care more about banning far safer e-cigs than they do about smokers deriving improved health benefits. They would actually prefer that smokers die than allow something to be sold that millions of people would like to buy.

In pursuit of securing the approval of some of the most vile and disgusting in society, politicians are clambering over themselves to ban products for the sole reason that a majority of people want to buy them, as Timmy describes.
It’s that very insistence on not allowing us to make the choice which proves, perfectly, that those denying us think we actually want what they’re not going to let us have.
There can be nothing more vile than that.

And, I'm sorry, I'm not buying this idea that 'public health' does this because it is a well-meaning but flawed movement. They know exactly what they are doing. We see it in the deliberately manipulated junk science; the press released scare stories which bear no resemblance to the research they have conducted; the blatant denial of truth; and the frenzied assaults on anyone who might dare to offer a differing opinion.

There is no public clamour for 'public health' initiatives. They are driven solely by those employed in that industry in order that they can profit from banning things that the vast majority of the public have proved they want to buy because they vote with their wallets and purses. If the 'public health' movement was confident that its messages were robust, it would simply deliver information to the public and the products they deem to be unacceptable would slowly wither and die. They don't because they know that the risks are so minimal that the public will make a calculation - as they have always done - between the enjoyment they derive from buying the products and the risks .. and would probably go on buying them.

Hence why 'public health' must obfuscate, lie, manipulate data and research, silence dissent and - most importantly - never engage with the public. 'Public health' is not only a huge drain on the productive part of the world's economy, but is also a net negative to society in general by causing division and obliterating the public's enjoyment of life by banning things simply because the public wants to consume them.

Of course, those in 'public health' might disagree but there is a perfect test to decide if they are correct. Let's defund the bloody lot of them and see if the public makes up the shortfall. See, just like a 'public health' ban is not required if people really don't want to buy something, so funding is completely unnecessary if the public properly valued 'public health'.

Go to it, politicians, believe me you'll be popular if you do. Just think of those majorities you could benefit from. 



Thursday, 26 April 2018

Secretary Of State For Health Says Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em

You may have watched this already, but the Science and Technology Committee of the House of Commons held a further session on e-cigs the other day. You can see the whole thing here.

Chaired by Norman Lamb, a former Minister of State, it was investigating the role of not just vaping but other harm reduction avenues. There were many revealing moments which tie in with my regular refrain that new nicotine products are scaring the living daylights out of the establishment because they simply cannot work out which way to turn. As disruptive technologies go, this new suite of nicotine products - for which e-cigs has been the catalyst - is causing entrenched and turgid civil servants a whole host of problems and they keep being tripped up.

Here, for example, is John Newton of Public Health England having to admit that snus - a product which his government funders fought to ensure remained prohibited in the EU at the ECJ - is the reason that Sweden has a lower smoking prevalence rate than the UK. By a country mile, by the way.


How embarrassing is that? Sweden is better at preventing people from smoking because "they have snus". Erm, which our government is determined stays banned. Isn't our government terribly committed to stopping people smoking? I'm sure I've heard the fuckers saying that quite a lot.

So why strive to stop snus being sold in this country? I've heard the arguments that we don't have a culture of it here, but does that mean the UK shouldn't even try? When did "if it just saves one life it's worth it" cease to be applicable in 'public health' circles? It seems to work very well for them when they want to ban something for some bullshit reason. Is it because the ratchet only turns one way, perhaps?

This was also very telling from Steve Brine - the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health - at Tuesday's hearing.


Got that? "Generally hospitals do not allow vaping however there is no legislation to enforce that". It seems that in trying to give an excuse to the committee as to why his department is so schizophrenic over vaping, with a nudge and a wink he has said vapers are free to ignore the pathetic rules. So a mischievous blogger, if there was such a thing, might suggest that he has implicitly implied that smokers are quite welcome to ignore bans on smoking in hospital grounds too.

The alternative, of course, would be that he would prefer the rules to be observed by everyone, including vapers. It's a tangled web, isn't it, once one tries to justify policies that simply don't add up to a coherent strategy?

The problem for Brine is that he has one set of taxpayer-funded people at Public Health England saying that e-cigs should be widely encouraged and even sold in hospitals, while another set of state-funded people under the DoH's control - the NHS - is busily installing bans on vaping.

So the department is funding highly-paid employees to issue guidance that vaping should be allowed, while simultaneously funding other highly-paid employees to completely ignore the guidance. We are paying for people to produce reports that other people we pay for will put through the shredder.

It truly beggars belief that anyone can think this is a decent way of spending our money.

He later went on to say that the NHS trusts ignoring the exhortations from PHE were "not short on guidance", as if they should probably be adhering to it, but at the same time defending their right to treat the guidance with contempt.

But then, I don't think Steve Brine is much of a fan of e-cigs anyway and appeared to be at the committee under sufferance. "I get a lot of criticism for not being a cheerleader for e-cigarettes, I don't think I should be", he said, seemingly completely forgetting that his department's Tobacco Control Plan - which he boasted about pushing through as soon as he was appointed - specifically talked about the importance of reduced risk products like e-cigs.

If he is not going to be a cheerleader for his own Tobacco Control Plan, then who the hell else is supposed to be bloody doing it?

And how about this, from the foreword of said plan, signed by Steve Brine himself?
For its part, the government will provide leadership and guidance on the most effective interventions, ensure that the new legislation is implemented well and that organisations with national responsibilities are joined up and effective. I know that this ambition cannot be achieved without a collaborative effort.
Erm, where's the leadership in saying that you can't really do much about one organisation saying one thing and another completely ignoring it? Doesn't sound like leadership to me, and certainly isn't a "collaborative effort".

Look, I don't think government should have any say in whether people smoke or not, they should just provide information and leave it up to the public to make their own decisions.

But if we have a government that wants to insert itself into every aspect of our lives, it could at least make some effort of being joined-up about it and get actions at NHS trusts which reflect the guidance they are given. We pay a shit load of money for them to do exactly this, it's laughable that Brine says
he has no power to make them. 

But, in the meantime, if you want to, just smoke on hospital grounds. As the Secretary of State says, there is absolutely nothing to stop you. 



Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Screw Bar Workers, What About Middle Class Diners?

Remember that there smoking ban that was all about protecting bar workers from the terrors of secondhand smoke? Well apparently now it's more about protecting middle class pub diners from being slightly inconvenienced. But then we kinda knew that all along, didn't we?
Smoking ban to be extended to outdoor areas where food served 
The Government is to extend the ban on smoking where food is served to include outdoor areas.
Fine Gael Senators have tabled a private members motion calling on the Minister for Health Simon Harris to change legislation or issue directions via a statutory instrument to address the gap in current legislation. 
The initiative was spearheaded by former minister for health James Reilly, who has said it should no longer be acceptable for people to smoke where others are eating.
Personally, I don't know why they don't eat inside if they're that bothered. They were given every fucking indoor space in Ireland in 2004. It seemed quite important to them back then.
An unintended consequence of the smoking ban has been the prevalence of smokers in the outdoor areas of bars, cafés and restaurants, Mr Reilly said.
It was quite obvious that this was the only possible consequence. In fact, it was a feature of the legislation, not a bug. Who's to blame for that you hideous prohibitionist fuckstick?
“Anyone spending their hard-earned money in a restaurant or café should be entitled to enjoy their meal in a smoke-free environment.”
Why? Do they own the business? Why are they 'entitled' to anything more than other customers who pay the same money for the same goods and services? Smoking outdoors is not harmful so it should be up to the business to decide, not a sweaty, gurning, obese dangle-belly politician with a pathological downer on smoking.

But the idea he should butt out of business decisions "horrifies" this particular odious walking heart attack.
Forest’s John Mallon told RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show that the market should decide if restaurant owners are willing to make this decision. 
However, former Minister for Health James Reilly, who is calling on the Government to extend the ban on smoking where food is served to include outdoor areas, said he was horrified at the suggestion that the market decide health policy. 
Mr Reilly said it was no longer acceptable for people to smoke where others were eating.
No it's not. Most people couldn't give two shits about it. Only vile bloviating pissbags care that much. And if their limp sensibilities are offended so much, perhaps they should go have lunch with Aunt Maud in the local day centre instead, a pub is really not the place for them, or shouldn't be anyway.

But this, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the pièce de résistance in the latest piece of anti-smoking lunacy dressed up as health concern.
Mr Reilly said he was not saying there shouldn’t be outdoor areas for smokers, just that the area should be separate from where food is being served. “This is a killer product.”
So it's only a killer product when there is food around? Do these cretins ever listen to themselves?

It's quite simply just yet another 'public health' attack on things that those 'common' people enjoy. It's a class war by the elite directed at those who they find a bit icky. Snobbery of the very worst kind, driven by a nasty overweight fascist who should look in the mirror occasionally and sort his own health out before passing bullying legislation against others. They never cared about bar workers, it was just a ruse. Now they care so little about them they are happy to see their employers go out of business so middle class snobs can enjoy their one two-for-a-tenner meal once every two months without being bothered by those frightful regulars who keep the pub afloat.

The Augean Stables had nothing on the amount of effluence swilling around 'public health' circles at the moment. It's going to be a Herculean task to rid the corridors of power of nasty dictatorial arse-wipes like Reilly. Where are the brave politicians who will stand up for the people and just say fuck off?

May God rot every one of these vile meddling bollock-chinned bastards. 



Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Tobacco Control's Retarded Understanding of Economics

Things have been hectic at Puddlecote Inc recently hence the lack of content here, but some of that busy-ness is down to something quite momentous which could be on the horizon. The drafts have been piling up but I'll get round to them sometime.

Starting with this. Oh boy!

Next time any tobacco controller tries to tell you they understand everything about how the world works - because they always claim to - simply point them at this hilarious nonsense.


This is in response to a crash in Altria shares following less than expected growth in the iQos HnB platform. Yes, growth, because sales are still on an upward trajectory, just less dramatic than was forecast.

Previous to this, sales of iQos in Japan have been phenomenal, wildly better than any tobacco control initiative in history. According to the Financial Times ...
Shipments of traditional cigarettes fell more than 7 per cent, following an 11.5 per cent decline in the first quarter of 2017, while shipments of alternative “heated units” rose to 6.4bn from 1.2bn in the same quarter last year. 
During the quarter, almost 9 per cent of Philip Morris’s worldwide revenues came from “reduced risk products”, compared with 1.8 per cent a year earlier, with much of this shift occurring in Japan.
This is quite simply unprecedented. The biggest sea change in shifting smokers away from lit tobacco in the world. Ever.

As CNBC reports, the correction to stock prices was just a market reaction to growth - yes growth - slowing.
Philip Morris International shares plummeted 16 percent in the company's worst day since it spun off from Altria in 2008, after PMI posted mixed first-quarter results and said growth of iQOS, its heat-not-burn tobacco product, slowed in Japan.
However, in the cult-like battle that tobacco control is waging against tobacco companies, this was a straw that had to be clutched. So the {cough} wise and knowledgeable 'experts' in the tobacco control industry duly did so, retweeting this hilariously ignorant article with knuckle-dragging enthusiasm.

How stunning success in Japan which has dramatically reduced the sales of cigarettes can be described as "no-one wants" these products anymore is anyone's guess. But then, tobacco control has lived in its own wibbly-wobbly world of mendacious woo for so long that it must be difficult, after a while, for them to work out what is real and what is not. It's not like they're that bright to begin with, after all.

What is actually happening here is that the tobacco control industry is embarrassed that after decades of sucking on the taxpayer teat to the tune of hundreds billions of pounds, they have never once been able to produce results anywhere near as dramatic as this.

Graph pinched from this article, do go read it

And nor will they ever. Because they're morons who have completely abandoned any fig leaf that they are interested in helping smokers and improving public health. As we saw in Cape Town recently, they don't care what smokers do, they only care about bashing industry.

And if they have to support vacuous and incorrigibly retarded articles written by people who have about as much business savvy as a three year old, then that'll do for them, Tommy.

It's quite scary that governments listen to cretins like that, isn't it? 



Monday, 16 April 2018

Forget Your Customers At Your Peril

I've had a busy start to a busy Puddlecote Inc week, so am a bit late on this. Snowdon has already had his say but - as a former loyal customer of Lucozade for decades - I want to chip in something too.

Via The Grocer:
Lucozade Energy has lost £62.6m in value over the past year - the largest loss in the soft drinks category - as consumers turned away from the new lower-sugar formula. 
According to IRI figures, Energy’s value sales were down 18.6% to £273.6m, while volumes fell 18.9% to 162 million litres, after Lucozade changed the recipe last April to avoid the levy.
Good. I'm glad to have been one of those who abandoned them for their cowardly and contemptuous decision to shit on their best customers. I hope they go under.

Meanwhile their rivals are doing rather well.
Conversely, rival Red Bull added £20.5m to sales of its standard variant, taking its value to £279.6m and assuming the title of Britain’s bestselling energy drink.
Assuming the title of bestselling energy drink from ... Lucozade Energy! Forget about sugar, for a very pissed off former customer, could anything be sweeter than that?

Amusingly, the sales director in charge of this huge fall in, erm, sales is thrilled about losing nearly a fifth of revenue in the space of a year.
“We’re proud to have taken a leading stance and believe these steps have ­future-proofed our brands for our customers and their ­consumers,” said sales director Scott Meredith. 
Future-proofed the brand? It's just lost its top ranking spot. What kind of alternative world are these people living in?

The simple reason that Lucozade are - rightly - being deserted by swathes of their former happy customers is that Lucozade completely forgot the very first rule of business; that the customer is always right. Their customers, like me, enjoyed the product as it was. They changed it, not because customers were demanding it as their lame Twitter feed continually bleats, but because their CEO is a snivelling coward.
'Jamie Oliver was beating me up, so were other celebrities, NGOs and the media. They were demonising me as though sugar were the new tobacco,' says Peter Harding
Aww, poor thing. What was Don Jamie "two chins" Oliver doing to terrorise you, Peter? Firing pine nuts at you out of a carbine? Maybe you should go take charge of a jumble sale instead of a multi-million pound company, because the spidey business sense isn't that acute.
“Our retailers and suppliers have been really supportive,” he says, “because they recognised that we were motivated by doing right by the consumer, responding to the demand for more low-sugar and no-sugar drinks.”
And how is that demand working out for you right now, you cretin?
We’re 9pc of the UK soft drinks market. We’re probably not going to change the world ourselves but if we can demonstrate that it’s possible to make these changes and provide a lead for the rest of the food and drink industry and show that it can be done, then maybe other people will come with us.”
I think you're a little less than 9pc now, sunshine. And I hope you continue to fail so you can provide a lead for the rest of the food and drink industry not to be so spineless in the face of adversity as to abandon their core consumers.

Lucozade customers have had their say at the tills for their preferences being dismissed, now we can but hope shareholders will react accordingly to having their hopes of growth and increased dividends dashed on the altar of cowardice and stupidity.