Tuesday’s News at a glance:
The Plague Of Public Health Part 3 – UK Smoking Rates Down Again! – The Illiberal Ruinous And Pointless Smoking Ban – Vaping is not a gateway to smoking – Calling Australian Vapers And Liberty Lovers – The desperation of ASH – Time for the Government of Sweden to get behind snus and tobacco harm reduction – More CDC data dispelling infamous “Gateway Theory” – The Smoking Ban, 10 Years On
Jester, Midnight Musings
There used to be a time when pubs, clubs, snooker halls, bingo halls etc up and down the country would be full to flowing with customers on most days of the week – and there were lots of them around to sate the thirst of such consumers. Indeed, when I started frequenting pubs in the late 1970’s, it was very rare for me to enter my local and not find at least somebody drinking in the pub whom I did not know well enough to have a long conversation with over a pint. Pubs (and clubs) in those days were usually smoke-filled venues, with the fug of cigarette smoke usually most visibly illuminated in the lights over the pool table, or in the spot-lamps lighting up the dartboard. Indeed, it was the way it had always been and the way most of us thought it always would be. In those days you were not greeted with a disgusted (fake) cough everytime you lit up a cigarette. We were all adults, and adults could be trusted to make their own choices in life. Nobody batted an eyelid at all the smoking in bars. If you did not like it, then you knew not to go there (or to go in to the Lounge where you would be less likely to see such things).
Mawsley, Planet of the Vapes
New data has been released from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which shows a further drop in the rates of adult British smokers. The decline comes on the back of a record fall last year and has been linked in many quarters to the success enjoyed by 2.9 million vapers switching from tobacco in record numbers.
Over half a million smokers successfully gave up tobacco: 680,000 people stubbed out cigars and cigarettes for the final time. It isn’t just the adults, smoking across all age groups continues to be in decline and the largest drop was with 18-24yr olds.
Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, welcomed the news by saying: “It’s now hard to believe that back in 1974 almost half of adults smoked, but now an end really is in sight and we have a real opportunity to virtually eliminate all the harm, misery and death caused by smoking. What is really fantastic news is that this steep decline is even greater among young adults, where smoking has fallen by a staggering quarter since 2010, reversing a long trend.”
As we approach the tenth anniversary of the smoking ban in the UK – otherwise known as “literally a confidence trick” by Debs Arnott – there will be a hell of a lot of unadulterated garbage in the media about how it has ushered in a world of rainbow-coloured unicorns and a national breeze of pixie dust.
So it’s good that Forest have today released a report detailing how it has wreaked carnage on businesses, freedom of choice and property rights for no valid good reason whatsoever, you can read the report here.
Written by Rob Lyons, it runs through the major issues with the ban, and is fully referenced including this quote from Lord Lawson which sums up the whole ignorant charade perfectly.
Jim McDonald, Vaping360
It’s been a tradition among anti-vaping researchers to try to prove a gateway from vaping to smoking. It’s seems like a magnet for every researcher lacking either pride or good sense, or both. And as we know, the list of tobacco control zealots limited in those areas is long, deep and continuous.
But it never gets old. The “gateway theory” is an anti-vaping touchstone. Or a cobblestone. Or something. Anyway, they really like trying to do it — and as we’ve seen many before, they can’t prove anything.
This is such a hot topic, Clive Bates wrote a blog post about the common pitfalls encountered by excited researchers writing about gateways, and how journalists can spot them — because no self-respecting gateway proponent forgets to issue a frightening press release.
I’m sure many of you will know that e-cigs containing nicotine are illegal in Australia, it’s almost certainly why the UK’s accelerating decline in smoking prevalence means that we just overtook the Aussies whose rate has stalled. Not because of a state-led authoritarian approach – that has been pretty irrelevant in this country – but because of allowing the e-cig market, which smokers choose to purchase from, to be at least a little bit free.
Well, the Australian House of Representatives and Senate are both now holding inquiries into legalising vaping, and a site has been set up to allow members of the Australian public to generate a pro-forma submission to both of them.
Action on Smoking and Health’s Deborah Arnott has always believed in the power of repetition (see photo), but has become particularly robotic in the last 18 months.
For example, here she is commenting in the ridiculous Guardian article that I discussed at the weekend…
‘We need an ambitious new government strategy to be put in place immediately if deaths from smoking are to decline as fast in the next decade as they have in the last.’
I hope they don't pay them a penny. As a consumer Sci hub is invaluable to me as I don't have an org with a sub https://t.co/nvWB7K4Q86
— Sarah J (@Twigolet) June 25, 2017
One of the more puzzling things about snus is the reluctance of Sweden’s government to claim credit for what is by any standards an extraordinary public health achievement. So here I write to the relevant ministers requesting that they acknowledge Sweden’s success, show some leadership and promote the concept of tobacco harm reduction. The challenge to the EU prohibition of snus brought by Swedish Match and New Nicotine Alliance provides an opportunity for the Government of Sweden to change its approach. I wrote the following heartfelt plea, attaching the letter that 18 comrades sent sent to the European Commission: Lifting the unjustified European Union ban on oral tobacco or “snus” in the light of ongoing legal action hoping it might encourage a more constructive pro-health, pro-trade, post-enlightenment approach.
Diane Caruana, VapingPost
The data which was released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday the 16th of June, clearly indicates that smoking rates amongst high school students were cut in half in only five years, between 2011 to 2016. Most importantly during this same time, vaping amongst the same age group increased from 1.5% to a peak of 16.0% in 2015. But this is not all!
Additionally, the percentage of high school students using e-cigarettes has also dropped. For the first time since the advent of electronic cigarettes, vaping decreased from 16.0% in 2015 to 11.3% in 2016, while smoking in that same period dropped from 9.3% to 8.0%.
Paul Barnes, Facts Do Matter
Intended consequences natch. Close a club, two pubs and at least 6 seaside café. What a score for the puritans! Three genteel watering holes, and 6 food outlets. Gone. Not only did the smoking ban double up in this area as a massive kick in the bollocks for drinkers (and general party-goers), but for the diners too.
That is just one area. Looking across the whole of the United Kingdom, there has been a large decline in the genteel watering holes (from 57,500 in 2007 to 50,800 in 2015, according to the British Beer & Pub Association). Now that really is a kick in the bollocks for us pub-goers isn’t it? Especially smoking pub-goers.