Our survey says….

Surveys. I’ve touched on the usual suspects upholding their own data as though it was the Holy Grail before. ASH is utterly remorseless when it comes to trumpeting their own data, usually for their own means, and they also heap scorn on data that contradicts their sacrosanct view of the populace. Typically, in the UK we have two primary sets of survey data on smoking – the ASH survey (hosted by YouGov) and of course the Smoking Toolkit Study.

Both of these, along with many others run by Cancer Research UK, consistently show that never-smoking-teens rarely pick up e-cigs. They also consistently show little or no progression from e-cigs to combustible tobacco. They also consistently show a decrease in smoking prevalence at the same time there’s an increase in e-cig prevalence. It’s hardly the silver bullet to prove (or disprove) “gateway” theories correct or otherwise; after all it is still perfectly feasible that some insanely curious folks will experiment with both. It’ll happen.

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Feel the Heat, not the Burn

In case you haven’t been paying attention, the news is awash with an announcement from Philip Morris saying that their Heat-not-Burn product iQOS is coming to the UK. London specifically – for the moment at least.

Well, so what you might be asking, why has a new product launch attracted so much press? The answer to that is two-fold. One, it’s a new product from a tobacco company. We all know how much folks are beginning to despise the tobacco industry – particularly those in tobacco control and public health. Two, it sits in the middle-ish of the “risk-profile” (if such a thing is to be believed) with combustibles at the top, abstinence at the bottom, NRT, e-cigarettes, and snus all feature.

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Another Bid to Ban Smoking: Consulting the Public

Thanks to Dick Puddlecote for reminding me about some more shenanigans from “public health” – this time in Sheffield. I had spotted this in my feed last week from Simon Clark but sadly work and my everyday life got in the way of putting finger to key.

Council chiefs are considering whether to ban lighting up outside hospitals and other NHS buildings, universities, council offices and leisure centres – and they are seeking the public’s views on the proposal.

Why am I not at all surprised about yet another attempt to impose draconian measures on an already heavily ostracised group? After all, it isn’t as if Sheffield Council have more important things to worry about is it?

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Consistently inconsistent

Readers will remember the “guidance” issued by Public Health England in a vague attempt to convince business owners, and other individuals that vaping in the workplace is not, in reality, such a bad thing, nor is it actually illegal. Folks will of course remember this post from Vapers in Power about banning smoking AND vaping on a beach. There is of course, this one where Nottinghamshire went beyond insanity and banned smoking AND vaping on any and all council owned property – including outside. I had a few words to say about that too.

Y’see, getting folks to change their mind on banning vaping in public places should be fairly straightforward right, or at least you’d think so. After all, there’s a substantial amount of evidence to support not banning it. But hey, if you’re in power who needs evidence? As demonstrated last month when Simon Cooke tried to introduce a more enlightened approach to vaping in Bradford. Simon wrote an article detailing just how far removed his fellow council members were as they put forward some daft and contrived justifications in order to dismiss the idea entirely.

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Only our data is useful, heathens!

Among many things, this really does boggle the mind. Y’see, whenever ASH or their sock-puppet ilk wave their “statistics” under the noses of our ruling elite, they claim that it is “without bias” and of course “entirely independent” – among many other platitudes.

Y’see, ASH et al are entirely free of conflicts of interest aren’t they? So their surveys must be the Holy Grail. No question about it. When it comes to knowing the smoker, ASH has all the answers. Or so they’d like you to believe.

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Attitudes towards E-Cigarettes

We all know that attitudes towards e-cigarettes are slowly being eroded in the UK by the near constant barrage of churnalism. That’s right The Sun I’m looking squarely at you, crass fuckwits that you are. I might even look towards The Telegraph too. Not for the usual reason of their “science” editor this time, though that could be considered one big reason.

Now we have an actual study, funded by the National Cancer Institute and the FDA CTP, and performed by some researchers deep in the bowels of Stanford. Well, we know how the last one turned out don’t we?

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Precisely what risks?

As part of the implementation of the Tobacco Products Directive – 2014/40/EU – and specifically Article 20, the section that relates specifically to e-cigarettes the European Regulatory Science on Tobacco (EUREST – what can I say, the EU does alphabet soup better than the Americans) – the EU wanted a report on the “potential risks” of the product. To be fair, that is a laudable goal considering the use of the product. The problem, of course is the implementation. Not to mention the cost.

The report, edited by Constantine Vardavas and Panagiotis Behrakis (and no, I couldn’t actually pronounce those names), complete with a list of experts (I’ll leave it to you to decide how “expert” they are) – Agaku Israel, Filippidis Filippos, Girvalaki Charis, Gratziou Christina, Lundback Bosse, Maciej Goniewicz, Radu-Loghin Cornel, Tsatsakis Aristidis, Tzatzarakis Manolis (and no, I couldn’t pronounce those names either), and presented to the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety Health Programme (I’m surprised they didn’t make an acronym out of that) cost EUR €180 450. You can find the grant award here, search the document for Chafea/2014/Health/17.

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A Celebration of Totalitarianism

Hard to believe it’s been a year since the sock-puppet charity ASH got their way with the ridiculous legislation on smoking in cars (with kids). Yet, a year it has been. I’m sure you’ll remember how ASH considered the passing of the legislation a “success” and how it would “drive down” smoking rates and all the usual platitudes when a state-funded charity imposes its authoritarian will by lobbying the government (with their own cash mind). Continue reading “A Celebration of Totalitarianism”

1984 is a Novel, not a Guide

1984 is a political novel written with the purpose of warning readers in the West of the dangers of totalitarian government. In 1984, Orwell portrays the perfect totalitarian society, the most extreme realization imaginable of a modern-day government with absolute power.

So why on earth are fuss-buckets still insistent on interfering with our everyday lives?

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Big Brother finds stuff

Social media. A rather quaint place. Filled with thousands of people from a variety of walks of life. You could be forgiven for thinking that social media is important, ‘cos it isn’t. Not in the least, but by that very same token it is important for Big Brother.

As I’ve written about before, researchers in the field of Tobacco Control absolutely adore social media as it gives them raw, unfettered access to a field of stuff.

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