Slouching Towards Bethlehem – 2

From Dick Puddlecote:

Australia’s decision to introduce plain packaging has aroused international attention and stimulated interest in complementary initiatives. To date, research attention has focused on external packaging and few studies have examined the physical objects of consumption – cigarette sticks.

Practical implications – As policymakers internationally consider introducing plain packaging, they should examine whether dissuasive sticks could enhance measures regulating the external appearance of tobacco packages.

This is a euphemism for suggesting government mandate that – at the same time as turning the outside of packets into a B list gore film – the cigarettes inside should look like bile, sick and shit.

Where does it stop? Once they’ve got their hands on the cigarettes themselves, they could add rat poison to them, and say that the smokers were “poisoning themselves” anyway.

And what’s to stop this being done to other products? Like alcohol, or chocolate, or coffee, or absolutely anything at all? Make them ugly. Make them poisonous. Just because they don’t approve. Just because they hate consumerism and consumer society.

Are we going to end up with everything uglified, and carrying warning messages?

Here we are, slipping ever deeper into a global economic depression, caused by a lack of demand, and these people are working hard to slow demand even further – for tobacco, alcohol, sugar, salt, fast food, and more or less everything else as well – and with the full support of governments.

Deepening economic depression will bring rising social resentment, marches, riots – particularly in countries stuck with the euro and ever-deepening debts.

What’s the endgame? Perhaps the endgame is war. The world is becoming more and more dangerous and unstable. Tensions are rising everywhere. And what’s being done seems set to make it even more dangerous and unstable:

“Before this week is up, we’ll be deploying a battalion… to the Ukraine to train Ukrainian forces for the fight that’s taking place,”stated US 173rd Airborne Brigade Commander Colonel Michael Foster said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC on Monday. Despite earlier warnings from Russia (and claims that NATO had not agreed to any such foreign ‘boots on the ground’ action’), Sputnik News reports, Foster added, “what we’ve got laid out is six United States companies that will be training six Ukrainian companies throughout the summer.”

This comes a week after PM David Cameron confirmed Britain will be sending 75 military personnel to help combat Russian military aggression.

There was a time, not very long ago, when the world seemed to be largely at peace, and there were just one or two wars bubbling away in places like Vietnam. Now there seem to be wars almost everywhere. More or less the entire Middle East is in a state of war. There are wars raging in Africa. And now Ukraine. And refugees pouring into Europe across the Mediterranean. It all seems to be slowly coming to a boil.

These times seem more and more like the 1930s to me. We have our own new Prohibition movements. And rampant anti-semitism. And a deepening global slump. And the growing threat of war

Wars are, of course, ways of diverting attention away from troubles at home. They are also ways of discovering social unity in the face of shared peril. And they stimulate demand, in the form of weapons production. And they give the unemployed something to do, as they’re conscripted into armies.

What would be better for the EU than a war which diverts attention away from its deepening internal divisions, and provides an enemy (Russia? ISIL?) against whom all Europe might be united, and boosts the economy with arms and matériel production, and gives the restive unemployed something to do?

And if we are re-living the 1930s, that’s exactly where we’re heading.

If so, we can at least expect the eclipse of the Prohibitionists. When we all face shortages and rationing, the killjoys will be out of a job. But we’ll have other things to worry about, anyway.



About Frank Davis

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29 Responses to Slouching Towards Bethlehem – 2

  1. Well I read today Kentuckys ban is dead and in another state the governor cut off tobacco control funding from the whining it sounded like the governor cut it all off too. West Virginia is likely to pass a statelaw giving private clubs and veterans groups along with casinos a waiver to any local bans.

    Meaning bingo will be back again and you might even see a restaurant club in places too……..

    Things are coming apart for most of the prohibitionists though a few are still getting more worthless bans here and there like Churchill park today……….

    Anyway it goes,it simply cant last much longer.


    Smoking Bans Don’t Lead To Smokers Quitting

    Picking cultural winners in the name of public interest is a time-honored tool of government and the social engineers giving them input, but the reasons for bans are often suspect. Banning cigarettes in bars and restaurants rather than creating an evidence-based ventilation requirement was going to cut smoking, it was said, but that hasn’t happened no matter what sociological Laffer curve was invoked.

    Pundits wanted to create a ghetto-ized underclass but now smokers happily step outside at bars and restaurants, and they meet new people and create their own sub-culture. Less freedom and a more authoritarian government has not caused people to smoke less behind their own closed doors or quit altogether, finds a paper in Nicotine&Tobacco Research.

    There is less smoking in homes, and less smoking overall, but that is not due to public bans, it is due to living with a non-smoker who now has science and culture on their side about the impact of cigarettes.

    After Quebec announced a smoking ban to take effect in May 2006, researchers were able to collect data from a representative cross-section of the population a month ahead of time. They then followed up a year and a half later. The ban didn’t so much except make the proponents of bans happy.

    Instead, greater inspiration to kick the habit likely came from having friends or family who set an example by giving up cigarettes themselves, says co-author Sylvia Kairouz, an associate professor in sociology at Concordia University, but trends over the past decade suggest a much broader range of factors have reduced the number of nicotine addicts beyond simply forcing smokers to huddle outdoors more often.

    It’s a factor, though, along with higher taxes – and government reliance on those taxes are why cigarettes are not just banned altogether and instead politicians everywhere are planning to introduce more smoking they can tax, like marijuana.

    Th research was supported by an operating grant from the Canadian Tobacco Control Research Initiative and a contribution from the Ministère de santé et services sociaux.

  3. Nightlight says:

    EU is falling apart and it needs a war to build cohesion.

  4. wobbler2012 says:

    The way I see it is with the absolute plethora of these public health groups that have mainly all sprouted up in the last 10 years are all trying to outdo themselves seeing who can come up with the most batshit crazy idea. I’m hoping that it comes to a head soon, surely there is only so much more of this bullshit that the general public can take?

    I would give anything to go back to the 80’s which was a great decade with no fucking wankers telling me how I should be living my own life, and far away from the ban-crazy nation that we have become.

  5. prog says:

    The tobacco endgame – a critical review of the policy ideas

    • Rose says:

      Clive Bates is always thought provoking.

      One desirable end state might be everyone being at ease with their nicotine habit (just as I am at ease with my caffeine habit)

      In these troubled times when so many things we enjoy are under attack, why do people just accept that the thing they like most about a substance is the natural pesticide chosen by it’s detractors in days gone by to show it’s consumers in a bad light.

      It’s lazy thinking.


      “Nicotinic acid or also known as vitamin B3 (niacin) is produced by the demethylation of trigonelline at temperatures above 160oC-230oC where approximately 85% is decomposed. But when compared to green coffee – there is an overall net increase of about 10x from green to roasted.

      According to lab experiments formation of nicotinic acid depends more on the roasting temperature than on the actual duration of the roast.

      Interestingly, coffee has been found to contain a significant amount of niacin – providing 10-40mg of niacin/100g of coffee and far exceeding the daily recommended dosage.”

      The caffeine is more likely to be something you have to put up with.

      • prog says:

        Bates is an out and out ex-ASHite anti. Pro-choice advocates should not forget or ignore this. And anti-tobacco vapers can go to hell as far as I’m concerned.

        • Rose says:

          Yes indeed, Prog, but he was good enough to reply to me when I took him to task over his previous activities on Dave Atherton’s blog.

          You may find this interesting.

        • Rose says:

          Anyway, if he wants to keep on drinking that coffee he needs to be wary of casual remarks about his “caffeine habit”

          “In 1941 Hitler Youth handbook declared that for young people at least, caffeine was a poison in every form and in every strength.

          (Fritz Lickint declared coffee a carcinogen but Hermann Druckey challenged the idea, pointing out that Lickint’s coffee beans had been roasted at artificially high temperature, producing tars and carbonized chemicals that would not normally occur in the routine process of coffee making.)”
          – Nazi War on Cancer

          “For the plants, caffeine acts as a natural pesticide. It paralyzes and kills insects that attempt to feed on the plants. The molecule was first isolated by the German chemist Friedrich Ferdinand Runge in 1819.”

        • prog says:

          Yes, he is polite, articulate and honest. Honest enough to take on the antis who are not. But only when it suits his own slightly different agenda – basically, the eradication of smoked tobacco through the support and promotion of NRT, including e-cigs. I may be mistaken but I don’t think he regards vaping as anything other than a means to an end. What’s in it for the rest of us who have a more liberal ethos? Vaping is OK, albeit a bit naff (but each to his/her own), but some regard it as way to further deny me choice.

        • Rose says:

          Prog, I have wondered if his support of e-cigarettes is by way of atonement for the damage he helped cause, without ever admitting he might have been wrong.
          Much like Dr Siegel.

        • roobeedoo2 says:

          Sounds like second-hand atonement ;)

        • Some French bloke says:

          Third-rate atonement…

      • prog says:

        I disagree Rose, it’s just that there is no ‘science’ to justify the demonisation of ecigs and he knows it. He’s no fool – he’s actually trying to help TC fulfil its gaol of total dominance over tobacco related products by pointing out how it is derailing/embarrassing itself by lumping in vapers with smokers. And, he’s a diehard fan of the SHS shite and will never, ever, back peddle over that. Same as Seigal.

        • Rose says:

          There’s plenty of “science” trying to demonise ecigs, it even seems to be having an effect, but this time both of them resist and try to refute it.
          It’s fascinating to watch.

          Don’t get me wrong, Prog, I know them for what they are.
          At least some vapers can see that what’s happening to ecigs is just what happened to tobacco but a lot faster this time.

          For my part, I would never inhale raw nicotine any more than I would eat a raw chicken but for now in this matter at least, it’s still a free country.

        • EPA & FDA: Vapor Harmless to Children

          April 3, 2014 matt black

          In the continued war on e-cigarettes, we hear about the “potential dangers” of e-cigarette vapor and the “unknown public health risks.”

          First, I find it absolutely absurd that we’re attempting to pass laws based on unknowns, but what makes it even more absurd is the fact that there’s very little that isn’t known about e-cigarette vapor at this point. The primary ingredient of concern to those who wish to see e-cigarettes banned is the propylene glycol vapor, which has been studied for over 70 years.

          I recently came across a document titled, “Reregistration Eligibility Decision For Propylene Glycol and Dipropylene Glycol“, which was created by the United State Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

          Catchy title. I was intrigued.

          This quote caught my eye:

          Propylene glycol and dipropylene glycol were first registered in 1950 and 1959, respectively, by the FDA for use in hospitals as air disinfectants. (page 4, paragraph 1).

          In a previous post, I had shared the summary of research that had been done in 1942 by Dr. Robertson regarding the antibacterial properties of vaporized propylene glycol, but I had never heard that the FDA wound up approving it for the purpose of an air disinfectant in hospitals.

          Indoor Non-Food: Propylene glycol is used on the following use sites: air treatment (eating establishments, hospital, commercial, institutional, household, bathroom, transportational facilities); medical premises and equipment, commercial, institutional and industrial premises and equipment; (page 6, paragraph 2)


          Method and Rates of Application


          Air Sanitizer

          Read the directions included with the automatic dispenser for proper installation of unit and refill. Remove cap from aerosol can and place in a sequential aerosol dispenser which automatically releases a metered amount every 15 minutes. One unit should treat 6000 ft of closed air space… For regular, non-metered applications, spray room until a light fog forms. To sanitize the air, spray 6 to 8 seconds in an average size room (10’x10′). (page 6, paragraph 6)

          A common argument used to support the public usage ban is that, “Minnesotans have become accustomed to the standard of clean indoor air.” However, according to the EPA and FDA, so long as there’s a “light fog” of propylene glycol vapor in the air, the air is actually more clean than the standard that Minnesotans have become accustomed to.

          General Toxicity Observations

          Upon reviewing the available toxicity information, the Agency has concluded that there are no endpoints of concern for oral, dermal, or inhalation exposure to propylene glycol and dipropylene glycol. This conclusion is based on the results of toxicity testing of propylene glycol and dipropylene glycol in which dose levels near or above testing limits (as established in the OPPTS 870 series harmonized test guidelines) were employed in experimental animal studies and no significant toxicity observed.

          Carcinogenicity Classification

          A review of the available data has shown propylene glycol and dipropylene glycol to be negative for carcinogenicity in studies conducted up to the testing limit doses established by the Agency; therefore, no further carcinogenic analysis is required. (page 10, paragraphs 1 & 2)

          Ready for the bombshell? I probably should have put this at the top, as it could have made this post a lot shorter, but I figured the information above was important, too…

          2. FQPA Safety Factor

          The FQPA Safety Factor (as required by the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996) is intended to provide an additional 10-fold safety factor (10X), to protect for special sensitivity in infants and children to specific pesticide residues in food, drinking water, or residential exposures, or to compensate for an incomplete database. The FQPA Safety Factor has been removed (i.e., reduced to 1X) for propylene glycol and dipropylene glycol because there is no pre- or post-natal evidence for increased susceptibility following exposure. Further, the Agency has concluded that there are no endpoints of concern for oral, dermal, or inhalation exposure to propylene glycol and dipropylene glycol based on the low toxicity observed in studies conducted near or above testing limit doses as established in the OPPTS 870 series harmonized test guidelines. Therefore, quantitative risk assessment was not conducted for propylene glycol and dipropylene glycol.

          In a paper published in the American Journal of Public Health by Dr. Robertson in April of 1946, Robertson cites a study published in the Edinburgh Medical Journal, which was conducted in 1944:

          The report of the 3 years’ study of the clinical application of the disinfection of air by glycol vapors in a children’s convalescent home showed a marked reduction in the number of acute respiratory infections occurring in the wards treated with both propylene and triethylene glycols. Whereas in the control wards, 132 infections occured during the course of three winters, there were only 13 such instances in the glycol wards during the same period. The fact that children were, for the most part, chronically confined to bed presented an unusually favorable condition for the prophylactic action of the glycol vapor.

          An investigation of the effect of triethylene glycol vapor on the respiratory disease incidence in military barracks brought out the fact that, while for the first 3 weeks after new personnel entered the glycolized area the disease rate remained the same as in the control barracks, the second 3 week period showed a 65 percent reduction in acute respiratory infections in the glycol treated barracks. Similar effects were observed in respect to airborne hemolytic streptococci and throat carriers of this microorganism.

          I don’t expect the prohibitionist lawmakers to delve this deeply into this subject on their own, but I certainly hope that when presented with this data that they reevaluate their stance on the subject and consider what science has to say. If they don’t, they’re simply basing their judgement off of rhetoric, misinformation, and personal bias and we all know where that gets us.

  6. Fleckenstein – We Are Now Set Up For One Of The Most Spectacular Financial Disasters In History

  7. Endgame: the Islamic State approach to tobacco control

    Posted on 4 March 2015 by Carl V Phillips |

    Ruth Malone (editor of Tobacco Control) among others, took to Twitter to praise Islamic State for pursuing beheading-based anti-tobacco policies, and lamented when they backed off. When you start feeling all right about “this choice might kill you, so we must stop you from making it, even if we have to kill you ourselves to do so”, it is probably time to rethink your life’s work.

  8. Frank NEWS FLASH

    Obama EPA Chief Can’t Say Whether Climate Models Were False Or Not

    Published on Mar 4, 2015 PUBLISHED BY SEN, SESSIONS himself

    Sen. Sessions: “This is a stunning development, that the head of the Environmental Protection Agency—who should know more than anybody else in the world, who is imposing hundreds of billions of dollars in cost to prevent this climate temperature increase—doesn’t know whether their projections have been right or wrong.”

  9. beobrigitte says:

    Here we are, slipping ever deeper into a global economic depression, caused by a lack of demand, and these people are working hard to slow demand even further – for tobacco, alcohol, sugar, salt, fast food, and more or less everything else as well – and with the full support of governments.

    Who says that politicians are bright people? They go with anything they are being told by lobby groups will give them votes…. Their own dicks must hurt when they try to start thinking for themselves; it’s got to be something like that – or their personal bank account maybe has something to do with that lack of backbone we have seen for many years now?

    I long suspected that the anti-smokers’ brains aren’t wired like normal peoples’ – the obsessional behaviour of dreaming up the weirdest things for people who have questions about this obsession must be some sort of short cut in their grey matter. The area of our brains that makes us all HUMAN does not seem to receive any signals whatsoever?

    This is a euphemism for suggesting government mandate that – at the same time as turning the outside of packets into a B list gore film – the cigarettes inside should look like bile, sick and shit.
    I actually had to laugh reading this. *priceless*.
    So, you create cigarettes of “bile, sick and shit colour” and do hide them inside a packet so that the buyer does not know whether he/she buys bile, sick or shit coloured cigarettes. And you crank up the price for a packet even further.
    I love it when anti-smokers’ brainstormes (?funded by the tax payer) backfire.
    1. the more expensive – the more a must-have for youngsters.
    2. the more “dangerous” – the more a must-do.
    3. the more gory, sick and shit looking – the more a must have.
    4. the more forbidden – the more reason to belong to that forbidden club.
    We all remember how long it took (actually, I met enough people around my age who still haven’t lost that teenager trait) until we reached the age when our brains finally matured and more rational thinking took over.

    That does remind me of a question the anti-smokers never answer: WHY am I still alive and perfectly healthy?

  10. beobrigitte says:

    where has my comment gone to?

  11. County does about face, scrapping nicotine fees

    At least three Pima County supervisors appear to have had buyers’ remorse over their just-approved policy imposing insurance surcharges on employees who use tobacco.

    Supervisors Sharon Bronson, Richard Elías and Ally Miller all reversed their votes on the policy when the matter came back before the board Tuesday.

    The policy, placed on the agenda for clarification of the Feb. 17 vote, included waiving the 30 percent insurance surcharge for employees who participate in tobacco use cessation classes.

    The question was whether employees had to take the classes on their own time or do so while on the clock.

    “It was my intent that it would be mandatory and on county time,” Supervisor Ramón Valadez said.

    Deputy County Attorney Thomas Weaver told supervisors if attendance in the classes was part of an employee’s job description they would have to be paid to attend.

    But since attendance — and avoiding the insurance surcharge — was optional, not mandatory, they would have to attend on their own time.

    Elías asked that the item be revisited for a second vote Tuesday.

    “I’ve come to the conclusion that Supervisor (Ray) Carroll was correct in his no vote on this entire policy,” Elías said.

    Carroll cast the only dissenting vote on the policy last month.

    Valadez was the only vote on Tuesday to keep the recently adopted policy in place, saying the two-thirds of non-smoker employees subsidize the health-care expenses of the one-third who do smoke.

    County officials sestimate that the health-care costs of employees who use tobacco could be as much as $9 million per year.

  12. beobrigitte says:

    Frank, can you please delete my question underneath my comment? Thank you! (Computer maintenance is in order….)

  13. Cecilie says:

    The UN is building up to something very big. Through Agenda 21 it it building up to having a global government. It realised that white countries would resist this and so it has ensured Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are flooded and would soon become minorities in their own countries.
    Here’s the UN’ special rapporteur, in the same speech, I think, as the one where he said it would be “uncool” for us to vote for UKIP.

    “European Union attempts to “seal” borders will continue to fail and more migrants will lose their lives at sea if fleeing refugees aren’t given the right to settle where they want, François Crépeau said on Thursday from New York.
    “I don’t see any other solution for Europe,” he said. “They need to open the borders.”

    “The EU can’t escape it. This is their future. They should actually embrace it,”

    “Crépeau wants the EU in partnership with the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to commit to resettling 1 million refugees over five years.”

    Anyway, what does this have to do with smoking?

    Agenda 21 is a 40-chapter UN document to reorganize the world around socialist, command and control regulation. In China and parts of Africa, huge ghost cities are being built in preparation for the huge mass engineering of society.

    It struck me that of COURSE Margaret Chan said tobacco control was the most important thing and that Ebola was meaningless. Of COURSE they’re going to oppose electronic cigarettes, snus etc even if those things were found to cure cancer. Of COURSE she was impressed by the “lack of obesity” in North Korea. Of COURSE the WHO is going to step up the fight against sugar, salt, alcohol etc. Because in the “New World”, where everyone is run for profit, these “dirty” pleasures simply won’t be allowed.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Of COURSE the WHO is going to step up the fight against sugar, salt, alcohol etc. Because in the “New World”, where everyone is run for profit, these “dirty” pleasures simply won’t be allowed.

      I don’t see where the “of courses” all come from. Nor do I understand how “everyone is (to be) run for profit”.

      And Europe’s migrant problem is really an African problem. People are heading for Europe because they want to escape war and starvation and poverty in Africa.

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