Forget the little guy, it’s all Big Pharma now

Anyone remember when the United States was all about the entrepreneur? How many sought their fortunes, the “American Dream” (including the white picket fence) and so forth?

It seems that modern day America is now home to the corporations (very Continuum-like). So who better to look after the health and wellbeing of the population, than profit-driven mega-entities eh?

You’ll remember that, around this time last year, the newly appointed FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb made an interesting, and somewhat controversial, announcement. Controversial for the likes of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids anyway. So controversial in fact, that they filed a lawsuit urging the FDA to apply the new rules.

Out of the many, many commentators on Gottlieb’s announcement last year, I and the illustrious Dick Puddlecote weren’t all that impressed.

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When told “no”, damn well listen!

Cast your collective minds back folks. June 14th 2016, these words were uttered in the House of Lords:

As far as the Treasury is concerned, it does not impose duty on e-cigarettes because tobacco is not involved and it has no plans to do so.

Lord Ashton of Hyde

A sentiment that has been echoed elsewhere (though, irritatingly I can’t find the link) by a Health Minister/Secretary/Under-Secretary.

Long story short, the UK Government has “no plans” to introduce taxation of vaping products.

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Another Ratchet Notch

Or in the words of Simon Clarkcreeping prohibition. Which is exactly what it is.

Bexleyheath town centre could become the first London Borough to implement smokefree zone

Time, and time again we see councils doing mad stunts like this. Bristol, of course, did it with voluntary bans in two town squares. Wales then banned smoking on a series of beaches. Swansea held a consultation (subsequently ignored, natch), Sheffield has done it, and of course, various NHS hospitals are banning smoking anywhere on their grounds, and finally, Birmingham Children’s Hospital proposed enforcing a smoke-free zone for nearby roads outside their grounds.

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Brian A Jackson/shutterstock.com

Social Media Snooping

Here we go again. More taxpayer funded “research” to look at what average, everyday people are saying on Twitter. I’ve written about this type of research before, and no doubt I’ll end up writing about it again, and again, and again ad infinitum.

The supposed aim of this spectacular pile of fetid, festering, dingo kidneys is to try and automatically classify Twitter users who tweet about e-cigarettes into “distinct categories”.

I guess this lot were bored or had a stack of cash floating around that was about to be nabbed by something worthwhile, or they had another study idea that needed a cash injection so they needed to waste cash to get more. Typical tobacco control “research” thinking troughing.

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The Smoking Ban, 10 Years On

As with any tobacco control milestone, you’ll hear all kinds of shenanigans bullshit from the usual suspects. But before we get into that, let’s rewind a bit. 10 years in fact.

At the tender and innocent age of 27 (snark), at (oddly enough) this exact time of year I was on the usual lads holiday. A week of sun, sand and lots and lots of beer. Well, it’d be rude not to.

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