Various News Items

H/T Simon Clark for the Manifesto Club report, Smoked Out: The Hyper-Regulation of Smokers in Public Places:


Tobacco Control advocates shaming smokers:

Methods Across a qualitative phase and an ad testing phase, shame was found to be highly salient to current smokers and those who had quit recently. On the basis of these results, a television advertisement featuring a shame appeal was developed and broadcast. The ad featured various scenarios of individuals hiding their smoking from others. The campaign was evaluated using the measures of awareness, believability, perceived relevance and smoking behaviours.

Results The shame appeal television advertisement was found to resonate with smokers and encourage quitting/reducing behaviours. Around 4 in 5 (78%) smokers surveyed recalled seeing the ad, almost all of whom could nominate at least one correct take-out message (94%). Around three-quarters (72%) found the ad to be personally relevant and half (53%) reported that they had successfully quit, attempted to quit or cut down the number of cigarettes they smoked since the start of the campaign.

In Israel:


In the last few years state efforts to prevent illegal smoking and enforce existing laws have had very little impact, according to lawyer Amos Hausner, head of the Israel Council for the Prevention of Smoking.

He told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday that “80 percent of the public don’t smoke. But the Health Ministry has failed to create an atmosphere that discourages smokers from lighting up in public areas and owners of premises to enforce no-smoking laws, even though that is their obligation and interest. The state doesn’t invest at all in smoking prevention; the ministry must demand tens of millions of shekels from  the Treasury for education, anti-smoking advertisements and enforcement.”

I couldn’t help but think that Hausner was a very sickly-looking man, with a shirt collar several sizes too large for his neck.

Christopher Monckton:

BRISBANE, Australia, October 18, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – According to Lord Christopher Monckton, a former policy adviser to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Monday’s Canadian election will decide if Prime Minister Stephen Harper, whom he calls the last man standing against the establishment of a ‘one world government’, will remain against a deliberate international effort to remove him. The second last, Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott, was overthrown, as predicted by Monckton in 2014, in order to clear the way for this international scheme.

With Harper out of the way, warned Monckton, world governance will finally begin with a successful December, 2015 Paris Climate Conference. Another major factor for the Climate treaty’s likely success this time, after many past failures, is the unprecedented, strong public support of the Roman Catholic Church under Pope Francis.

H/T Tony, here’s a (rather scary) video of Monckton speaking about the effect of the fall of Abbott and Harper:

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27 Responses to Various News Items

  1. Smoking Lamp says:

    Antismoker propaganda is running rampant these days. Just today, I saw a post at “Smokers Against Discrimination” containing an Egyptian sign “Respecting Choices” showing smoking and non-smoking options. The poster noted that, “Egipt (sic) still respects freedom of choice,” to which an obvious Antismoker responded, “And has one of the highest rates of lung cancer, just ahead of China.” This struck me as suspect so I did a little fact checking and found it is an outright lie.

    Not only is Egypt not ahead of China for lung cancer, it is far behind. In China Lung Cancer is the #4 cause of death with 6.54% of total deaths with a rate of 38.84; ranked 8th globally. In contrast in Egypt Lung Cancer is the #19 cause of death with 0.96% of the total with a rate of 7.22% and is ranked 111th globally. (Source: May 2014 WHO data at World Health Rankings:

    Of course facts shouldn’t get in the way of the Ministry of Truth.

    • Some French Bloke says:

      in Egypt Lung Cancer is the #19 cause of death with 0.96% of the total with a rate of 7.22%

      SL, I think you meant “a rate of 7.22 per 100,000”, and you should also keep in mind that these are “age-ajusted” rates (and furthermore averaged for both sexes). According to IARC, in 2011, crude death rates for LC in Egypt were: 5.39/100,000 for males, 2.52 for females.

      http: //

      As to Egypt having “one of the highest rates of lung cancer” just check these graphs of time trends for LC in 8 countires:

      • Smoking Lamp says:

        Yes, The rate is 7.22 per per 100,000. The 0.96% was the percentage of total deaths (4,429) in 2014. And your graphs illustrate the point rather well that Egypt is no where near above China in lung cancer deaths. Thanks for the additional data. The real issue is how can the Antismoker lies be countered?

        • waltc says:

          Isn’t it true that China, Mexico and Russia have some of the most dangerousky polluted cities in the world? To what extent does that affect the stats? Then too, what’s the smoking rate in Belgium that it seems to top everyone else in lung cancer? Could it be tulip fumes?

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        definitely more than smoking going on in the US and Russia by the stats above ……….
        Higher HPV rates Id imagine

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        one thing I can see nuclear above ground testing was during the highest rates shown. Then after that was ceased the rates declined.

        • Some French Bloke says:

          Then after that was ceased the rates declined.

          They actually kept on rising for women almost everywhere, especially after 1980. There’s the exception of Russia, where female LC death rates have mostly been hovering around 12 per 100,000.
          Even for men, rates only declined (and they did not in France and Germany) to reach similar levels to those recorded during the 1955-1975 period, i.e. when 60 to 80% of males had been smokers for several generations…

    • smokingscot says:

      Walt asked about smoking rates in Belgium. I believe these might be the latest figures for the entire world.



  2. waltc says:

    :Ed, wherever you are–
    The points you were making about the arming of the Islamic badguys seems to have come out on the news tonite in relation to the Benghazi hearings .. What I heard (came in in the middle) was that the US CIA and State Dept were well aware that Libyan bombthrowers were shipping materiel to Syrian bombthrowers and ‘turned a blind eye.” and, yes, for the strategically idiotic and dangerous reasons you posited. So, I hereby apologize to you for my reflexive blanket skepticism. Still, in fading hope that my country isn’t really THAT creepy, I’ll wait to see further developments, which doesn’t diminish my apology.

    • Ed says:

      No apologies necessary waltc. My wife never believes a word I say either and usually tells me to go put my tinfoil hat on! You have been infinitely kinder in our little discussion :)

      • Frank Davis says:

        I was listening to Richard Feynman earlier today, and for the first time ever started wondering what his accent was. He was born in Queens, NYC, and seems to have retained a Brooklyn/Long Island accent (according to this). I shall now think of Walt and MikeF (and also Chris Sorochin) talking like Richard Feynman. :)

        • waltc says:

          Ah but remember I grew up in California which is nearly accentless. In fact I can’t really think of what a CA accent is (smokervoter, what would you say?) i only recall that when we moved to NYC when I was 13, i noted that while we in CA pronouced ot ORange, NYers sait it AREnge.

        • Frank Davis says:

          Is anyone ‘accentless’? I’m trying to think of a notable Californian who I’ve heard speaking, and the only person who comes to mind is the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, and I’m pretty sure he had an ‘American’ accent (or what this Englishman would think is an American accent). Smokervoter would be an ideal candidate, and since he’s a musician with recording equipment, perhaps we could get him to provide a sample.

          But another thing about accents is that they change. I remember distinctly when I was aged about 8 and living in Rio de Janeiro, I picked up a slight American twang from my American chums. And after living in the West Country of England for a long time, I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve picked up a slight hint of that. But then, I mostly have no idea what I sound like. Nisakiman would know. And so would GaryK. They’ve talked to me on Skype.

          So probably after living in NYC for 30 or 40+ years, you’ve picked up a hint of a New York accent.

          Which brings me back to Richard Feynman

          Feynman’s accent, one of America’s more stigmatized, becomes a strength rather than a weakness. It is a sad fact that we easily underestimate people because of their accents. But in Feynman’s case, this prejudice becomes an advantage: his students are perhaps disarmed, feeling they are talking to a man on the street rather than a stuffy professor.


          But what stood out to me—and what makes this different from all the old!Feynman videos I’ve seen—is the persona his younger self projects. Born and raised in Queens, the young Feynman comes across, at least in accent and physical mannerisms, like some big mafia palooka straight out of central casting. Most likely, my startled reaction to this is due to Midwestern bias and being raised in an era where American regional differences in accent and culture have been largely flattened out. But it’s still fascinating … and amusing as hell to hear a guy who looks and sounds like he should be guarding hostages or threatening shop owners instead talking about gravitational theory.

          Actually, Feynman was a famous safecracker. He would have fitted into New York’s underworld very easily, I imagine.

          Now I suspect that that other notable New Yorker, Donald Trump, who hails from Brooklyn/Queens, may also have the same or similar ‘stigmatized’ accent as Feynman, and it may be this which acts as an impediment (and also an advantage) to his acceptance. I’m sure if there was a British politician who sounded like he came from London’s East End gangland culture, I’d hesitate to put my cross next to his name.

  3. kin_free says:

    Smoking Lamp;
    The UN and its offshoot, the WHO (sponsored by the pharmaceuticals) is the organisation that for me, most closely resembles the ruling party in Orwell’s ‘1984’; ‘INGSOC’. When I see statistics, comments etc from the WHO, I immediately think of their version of Winston Smith sorting out the ‘truth’ in terms of the information fed to the public – old stats. are consigned to the memory hole and the new ones, replacing them, published and sent out as the ‘new’ truth. These WHO stats. fit with that perception. (Should you believe anything that comes out of the WHO, given their antecedent history?)
    Beware of taking any statistics at face value, they are infinitely malleable.

    These ‘new’ truthful stats need to be compared with those produced earlier. Remember that the WHO is the leading organisation pushing the tobacco CONTROL agenda worldwide, with the ultimate goal of total tobacco prohibition – regardless as the any collateral damage and truth is the first casualty.
    If you are not aware, places like China are now the number one target for the anti-smoker industry. They need to be brought to heel to consolidate the anti-smoker position in the West.

    Re-read this blog of Frank’s please;
    In it I wrote a comment that is also still relevant; copied and pasted here;

    You may have already seen these raw lung cancer figures for USA 2000 and 2008; (Screen prints from ACS website but no longer found there but can be seen in the appendices here; (Scottish public consultation document))

    ACS stats: NEW CASES of lung and bronchus cancer in the USA 2000 there were 164,100 new cases – in 2008, there were 215,020 new cases; 31% increase! (US population increased by 8% over the same period)

    It is becoming increasingly difficult to find official raw figures such as these but when we compare these figures showing a substantial increase in LC, with the graph above that suggests a substantial reduction, we can begin to understand why! The difference between ‘actual’ and ‘adjusted’ new lung cancer cases is a massive!

    As we see by the Ukraine / US graph, age adjusted figures can be of use when comparing different countries and their respective tobacco use.

    Here’s another;
    USA has double the Cancer rate of China;
    USA – 407 cases per 100,000 / China – 205 per 100,000)\

    BUT HALF of the male smoking rate:
    China – 60% / USA – 25% – or less?

    and China has only two thirds the lung cancers of USA.

    More can be found here; ‘The burden of cancer in Asia’:

    Click to access cancer_in_asia.pdf

  4. Radical Rodent says:

    Does anyone remember the acceptance speech by the first EU “president”, von Rumpoy? He gave it in English, and included this statement: “This is a major step towards world government…”

    I do not know why no-one else seems to have to picked up on this.

  5. harleyrider1978 says:

    Air Force One crashes in the middle of rural Kentucky –

    A large jet plane has crashed on a farm in the middle of rural Kentucky, feared to be Air Force One. Panic stricken, the local sheriffs department has mobilized and descended on the farm in force. By the time they got there, the aircraft was totally destroyed with only a burned hull left, smoldering in a tree line that bordered the farm. The sheriff and his men entered the smoking mess but could find no remains of anyone. They spotted the farmer plowing a field not too far away as if nothing had happened. They hurried over to the man’s tractor. “Harley,” the sheriff yelled, panting and out of breath. “Did you see this terrible accident happen?” “Yep. Sure did,” the farmer mumbled unconcerned, cutting off the tractor’s engine. Do you realize that is Air Force One, the airplane of the President of the United States?” “Yep.” “Were there any survivors?” “Nope. They’s all kilt straight out, “the farmer answered. “I done buried them all myself. Took me most of the morning.” “President Obama is dead?” the sheriff asked. “Well,” the farmer grumbled, restarting his tractor, “He kept a-saying he wasn’t, but you know how bad that sumbitch lies.” –


  6. harleyrider1978 says:

    If the boyz still chewing he is still smoking………….

    Obama cites past smoking habit

    During an event on stopping drug addiction, President Obama made a rare reference to one of his own past habits: Smoking.

    “Think about smoking,” Obama said Wednesday — “and I can say this as an ex-smoker who still chews on Nicorette.”

    As the crowd in Charleston, W. Va., chuckled, Obama said the nicotine replacement chewing gum is “expensive, but I can afford it.”

    Obama also told the crowd the best way to stop smoking is not to start in the first place.

    “And Nicorette is — or nicotine is — as addictive as any of the drugs we’re talking about,” the president said.

  7. harleyrider1978 says:


    Passive smoking can rot baby teeth, study finds
    A group of Kyoto University researchers have found that babies exposed to tobacco smoke have a more than twofold risk of developing tooth decay by the age of 3.

    The research was conducted by a study group led by professor Koji Kawakami and associate professor Shiro Tanaka of the Department of Pharmacoepidemiology at Kyoto University’s Graduate School of Medicine.

    The findings were published in the U.K.-based international online medical journal BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) on Thursday.

    The study was based on dental exams of more than 75,000 infants born between 2004 and 2010 in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, who received health checkups at birth and at 4, 9, 18 and 36 months.

    The researchers analyzed whether infant exposure to secondhand smoking at 4 months led to dental decay or loss of teeth that required dental care at the age of 3.

    Of all the cases studied, 55.3 percent of children lived in households with at least one smoker. Dental caries, or tooth decay, occurred 1.46 times more often among such children compared to those in nonsmoking households. The risk was 2.14 times higher in households where children were exposed to tobacco smoke.

    However, the researchers said, the effect of maternal smoking during pregnancy was not statistically significant.

    Researchers who conducted similar studies in the past have studied saliva in children and found a link between passive smoking and higher rates of dental plaque and tooth decay, but the number of subjects was small.

    Children in Japan have a 25 percent chance of having tooth decay at the age of 3.

    “Adults should pay more attention to their lifestyle habits and how that affects children’s development, for the sake of their health,” Kawakami said.

    • garyk30 says:

      That news item left out a bit of what the authors said.
      Headline should read:
      Passive smoking might/could possibly/maybe will cause baby teeth decay, study finds

      Study had these statements.

      “Although these findings cannot establish causality, they support extending public health and clinical interventions to reduce secondhand smoke,” the authors concluded.

      Then, of course, the call for more funding. :)
      However, further investigation is necessary to conclude whether a smoking prevention program would reduce the risks of caries, since the size of effects of secondhand smoke was not large.”

      • Some French bloke says:

        “further investigation is necessary to conclude”

        In other words:
        1) We suggest
        2) You fork out the monies
        3) We ‘conclude’.

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    Peer-Review Fraud — Hacking the Scientific Publication Process

    Charlotte J. Haug, M.D., Ph.D.

    October 21, 2015DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1512330

    Comments open through October 28, 2015

    In August 2015, the publisher Springer retracted 64 articles from 10 different subscription journals “after editorial checks spotted fake email addresses, and subsequent internal investigations uncovered fabricated peer review reports,” according to a statement on their website.1 The retractions came only months after BioMed Central, an open-access publisher also owned by Springer, retracted 43 articles for the same reason.

    “This is officially becoming a trend,” Alison McCook wrote on the blog Retraction Watch, referring to the increasing number of retractions due to fabricated peer reviews.2 Since it was first reported 3 years ago, when South Korean researcher Hyung-in Moon admitted to having invented e-mail addresses so that he could provide “peer reviews” of his own manuscripts, more than 250 articles have been retracted because of fake reviews — about 15% of the total number of retractions.

    How is it possible to fake peer review? Moon, who studies medicinal plants, had set up a simple procedure. He gave journals recommendations for peer reviewers for his manuscripts, providing them with names and e-mail addresses. But these addresses were ones he created, so the requests to review went directly to him or his colleagues. Not surprisingly, the editor would be sent favorable reviews — sometimes within hours after the reviewing requests had been sent out. The fallout from Moon’s confession: 28 articles in various journals published by Informa were retracted, and one editor resigned.3

    Peter Chen, who was an engineer at Taiwan’s National Pingtung University of Education at the time, developed a more sophisticated scheme: he constructed a “peer review and citation ring” in which he used 130 bogus e-mail addresses and fabricated identities to generate fake reviews. An editor at one of the journals published by Sage Publications became suspicious, sparking a lengthy and comprehensive investigation, which resulted in the retraction of 60 articles in July 2014.

    At the end of 2014, BioMed Central and other publishers alerted the international Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) to new forms of systematic attempts to manipulate journals’ peer-review processes. According to a statement published on COPE’s website in January 2015, these efforts to hijack the scholarly review system were apparently orchestrated by agencies that first helped authors write or improve their scientific articles and then sold them favorable peer reviews.4 BioMed Central conducted a comprehensive investigation of all their recently published articles and identified 43 that were published on the basis of reviews from fabricated reviewers. All these articles were retracted in March 2015.

    The type of peer-review fraud committed by Moon, Chen, and third-party agencies can work when journals allow or encourage authors to suggest reviewers for their own submissions. Even though many editors dislike this practice, it is frequently used, for a number of reasons. One is that in specialized fields, authors may be best qualified to suggest suitable reviewers for the topic and manuscript in question. Another is that it makes life easier for editors: finding appropriate peer reviewers who are willing to review in a timely manner can be both difficult and time consuming. A third reason may be that journals and publishers are increasingly multinational. In the past, the editor and editorial board of a journal knew both the scientific field it covered and the people working in it, but it’s almost impossible to be sufficiently well connected when both editors and submissions come from all over the world. Having authors suggest the best reviewers may therefore seem like a good idea.

    In the aftermath of the recent scandals involving fake peer reviewers, many journals have decided to turn off the reviewer-recommendation option on their manuscript-submission systems. But that move may not be enough, as the publisher Hindawi discovered this past spring. Although Hindawi doesn’t let authors recommend reviewers for their manuscripts, it decided to examine the peer-review records for manuscripts submitted in 2013 and 2014 for possible fraud.

    The peer-review procedure used in Hindawi’s journals depends mainly on the expertise of its editorial board members and the guest editors of special issues, who are responsible for supervising the review of submitted manuscripts.5 Since the peer reviewers selected by the guest editors were not subject to any sort of independent verification, editors themselves could undermine the process in much the same way that authors or third-party agencies have done elsewhere: by creating fake reviewer identities and addresses from which they submitted positive reviews endorsing publication.

    And that’s exactly what happened — Hindawi’s investigation revealed that three editors had engaged in such fraud. When all manuscripts handled by these editors were examined, a total of 32 articles were identified that had been accepted thanks to the comments of fake reviewers. It is unclear what motivated the guest editors to engage in such fraud, nor has it been determined whether the authors of the manuscripts involved participated in the deception in any way.

    There are several lessons to be learned from these instances of peer-review and peer-reviewer fraud. One is that the electronic manuscript-handling systems that most journals use are as vulnerable to exploitation and hacking as other data systems. Moon and Chen, for example, both abused a feature of ScholarOne: the e-mail messages sent to scholars (at whatever address has been provided) inviting them to review a manuscript include log-in information, and whoever receives those messages can sign into the system. Most other electronic manuscript submission systems have similar loopholes that can easily be hacked.

    The most important lesson is that incentives work. The enormous pressure to publish and publish fast — preferably in the very best journals — influences both authors and editors. This pressure exists almost everywhere but is particularly intense in China. It is therefore no surprise that the most inventive ways to game the peer-review system to get manuscripts published have come from China. The companies mentioned above that provide fake peer reviews all come from China and countries in Southeast Asia, and most of the authors involved in these cases come from the same areas. But it would be a mistake to look at this as a Chinese or Asian problem. The problem is the perverse incentive systems in scientific publishing. As long as authors are (mostly) rewarded for publishing many articles and editors are (mostly) rewarded for publishing them rapidly, new ways of gaming the traditional publication models will be invented more quickly than new control measures can be put in place.

  9. Pingback: Stigmatized Accents | Frank Davis

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