Monday, 31 August 2015

Drafting A Welsh Public Health Bill Consultation Response

Following swiftly on from Tuesday's post about the TPD2 consultation which finishes on the 3rd, the Public Health Bill in Wales is being conulted upon and that finishes the next day, on the 4th, as in Friday.

Specifically, this is the proposal which plans to ban use of e-cigs in public places because, well, no reason at all really, as the consultation questions make quite clear.

You can find the consultation here, there is an online survey or you can return an online MS Word proforma to instead. The survey is slightly different as it reduces many questions to just a multiple choice scenario, so is likely not to be included as a "detailed response". We've seen this tactic to ignore dissent before so I'd advise you to return the proforma by email and will use those questions for our purpose here.
1 Do you agree that the use of e-cigarettes should be banned in enclosed public and work places in Wales, as is currently the case for smoking tobacco?
No, of course not.

I must admit here to feeling vindicated by the Welsh government even considering this stupid policy. I've maintained for years now that there was no valid health reason behind the smoking ban, it was just a {cough}smokescreen for state bullying. They said it was about protecting bar workers, I said that was bullshit and just an excuse to pander to the most intolerant, bigoted and anti-social people in society. Now they are planning to ban e-cigs in Wales simply because they don't like the look of them (the 'no dogs, blacks or Irish' syndrome). I rest my case.

It's quite a simple answer then, isn't it? The ban "currently the case for smoking tobacco" is because, allegedly, there is harm to others from passive smoke. Public Health England stated quite clearly in their report on e-cigs on the 19th August that there is negligible risk to users and none to bystanders. Therefore the idea of banning them in public places is one which can only be considered by fascists. Considering the absurd nature of the Labour Party in Wales, this might not be a compelling argument - they might even thank you for the comparison - but it's worth a go.

You could also add, though, that only the most vacuous politician and pompous, self-absorbed, cretinous lobbyist would demand government coercion to enforce their personal preferences and petty prejudices on others. This could accurately be described as 'passive spite', which stinks more than acrid sulphur. In a decent society - this is assuming Wales wants to be one, of course - the likes and dislikes of one set of people should not take precedence over those of someone else without a very good reason. In the case of a ban on vaping, there isn't one, just those proposing the idea seeming to think they are more important than managers and owners of businesses who would choose differently on their private property. I'll say that again .. on their private property.

The question should be who do these arrogant prodnoses think they are to interfere in people's lives and businesses simply because they have deeply obnoxious character flaws.
2 Do you believe the provisions in the Bill will achieve a balance between the potential benefits to smokers wishing to quit with any potential dis-benefits related to the use of e-cigarettes?
No, it doesn't. You see, the benefits of e-cigs are real and documented. The 'dis-benefits' (is that a word?) are imaginary and backed up by some of the worst junk science the grubby 'public health' lobby has every produced, and even that has been effortlessly debunked.

If the Welsh Assembly passes this law, they can never again be taken seriously when they bleat about wanting smokers to quit. I've said it before and I'll say it again, if a smoker hoping to quit is forced outside he/she is not going to use an e-cig, they're going to smoke. Hundreds of thousands will do exactly that, so the policy may as well have been dreamed up round a table by Philip Morris and Pfizer. Has the big business-phobic Labour Welsh government considered this? Of course they haven't, because it is quite simply not evidence-based. A cynic might even conclude it's nothing to do with health at all, fancy that!
3 Do you have any views on whether the use of e-cigarettes re-normalises smoking behaviours in smoke-free areas, and whether, given their appearance in replicating cigarettes, inadvertently promote smoking?
They don't 'replicate' cigarettes at all. Here's my current one, you may notice it is not cylindrical, not thin, and doesn't have a glowing tip. It would also not react well if I tried to light it with fire. Only a moron could confuse it with a cigarette.

I don't know how backward the government is in Wales, but the Welsh public buy quite a lot of these. They don't "replicate cigarettes" and don't normalise smoking, they normalise using something completely different. This ridiculous statement - from a government body, no less - is like saying Linda McCartney veggie sausages renormalise steak tartare. Only a fool could think otherwise, but then Wales appears to have one posing as Health Minister.

Besides, all evidence so far (here's some) has found no renormalisation happening anyway, the Welsh Assembly may as well be tabling legislation to ban fairies from the bottoms of gardens.
4 Do you have any views on whether e-cigarettes are particularly appealing to young people and could lead to a greater uptake of their use among this age group, and which may ultimately lead to smoking tobacco products?
Yes, here's a view, the fictional "gateway effect" is exactly that, fictional. All credible studies conducted anywhere in the world have concluded that e-cigarettes do not encourage young people to smoke. This is incontrovertible and can be backed up by the fact that wherever e-cigarettes flourish, teen and child smoking rates have plummeted spectacularly (for example in France and in the USA). If e-cigarettes encouraged children to smoke, tobacco use would be increasing rather than declining rapidly, as is the case in every jurisdiction where e-cigs have not been incompetently banned. So, far from encouraging young people to smoke, e-cigs are doing the exact opposite. Why would the Welsh government want to discourage what they consider to be such a positive outcome?

It's at this point in the consultation that you may be wndering if the Welsh government looked at any evidence at all! No, I don't think so either.
5 Do you agree with the proposal to establish a national register of retailers of tobacco and nicotine products?
No, becase this is obviously designed to make businesses throw their hands in the air and stop selling popular products by adding regulatory burdens. In the case of tobacco it's none of government's business what legal products companies sell and consumers want to buy; and with e-cigs it's worse because it will hamper retailers who are doing the job of expensive stop smoking services and helping smokers who want to quit ... without costing Welsh taxpayers a penny! Just setting up a register and employing people to monitor it and update it, however, will cost taxpayers with no evidence it will have any benefits whatsoever.
6 What are your views on creating a new offence for knowingly handing over tobacco and nicotine products to a person under 18, which is the legal age of sale in Wales?
For tobacco there isn't a problem, in fact it's good to see that the Welsh government is doing exactly what Forest has been suggesting for many years now. Why it has come after variously vindictive, pointless, illiberal, and plain idiotic policies like vending machine bans, hiding boxes behind shutters, plain packaging and outdoor hospital bans is hard to fathom.

However, with e-cigs, is the Welsh government really planning to criminalise a parent who buys an e-cig for their 16 year old kid who smokes? Yes! Yes it is! Just the society Wales wants to see apparently, people being punished for the 'offence' of trying to do what they think is right. There can be no more appalling abuse of government power than that.

At this point - uless you have a view about intimate piercings, tattooing or public bogs - you might like to scroll down to question 19.
19 Do you believe that the issues included in this Bill reflect the priorities for improving public health in Wales?

The Royal College of Physicians, Public Health England, ASH (all three of them as I understand it), many stop smoking services and others all see the potential of e-cigs for 'public health' ... but Wales is proposing banning them from being used just about anywhere. What "priorities" are these then? Because after years of banging on about 'helping' smokers to quit, we're a tad confused.

That's about it really. Remember you only have until Friday so if you plan to respond, go here and have at 'em.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Their Favourite Trick

In their desperation to defame e-cigs, it seems the dinosaur section of the tobacco control industry has stopped scraping the barrel and is now crawling underneath it with the cockroaches instead.

From The Telegraph:
[The Lancet] accused [Public Health England] of falling short of its mission to protect public health. 
The Lancet revealed that three of the 11 authors of the original study were paid advisors for the e-cigarette industry. The editors of the journal European Addiction Research even issued a warning alongside the article saying there was a ‘potential conflict of interest.
Yep, just the usual. The Lancet piece doesn't bother to challenge the evidence itself, merely choosing to sling ad hominems and smears around instead, the prime tactic of bent tobacco controllers everywhere. Except this time they are attacking their own colleagues. It never ceases to amaze me how very low these disgusting rimlickers can get.

What has been apparently ignored is that the PHE report referenced 185 different pieces of research, yet the Lancet seems to think that because 3 of 11 researchers on one single paper have a potential conflict of interest - which is not even itself proof of bias - the whole thing should be disregarded. All I can say is that those 3 researchers must possess incredibly forceful personalities if they are able to convince the other 8 to abandon all principles and put their name to what The Lancet hints to be a biased whitewash.

It's also staggeringly ironic that The Lancet article puts such store on conflicts of interest but is written anonymously, thereby refusing to identify if the author has conflicts of interest of their own. Say, for example, it was penned by some fat Irish twat at, I dunno, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine or somewhere, wouldn't it be worth us knowing in order that any potential conflicts of said fat Irish twat or the school itself could be examined? The Lancet - in an astonishing illustration of hypocrisy - obviously thinks not.

Lead author of the study being criticised by The Lancet, David Nutt, has defended it on his blog, saying:
The Lancet experts or others who do not like the results should look to provide funding to repeat the analysis. A repetition would be particularly timely now the evidence base for ENDS has grown.
You mean do proper science, David? Why would any tobacco controller worth his salt want to do that when it's far simpler to gain headlines with baseless smears and pathetic innuendo?

Once again, it would appear that The Lancet is proving that the 'public health' industry has only the most flimsy of connections to health these days.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Drafting A TPD2 Consultation Response

A UK Government consultation on the EU's appalling dog's breakfast Tobacco Products Directive finishes on September 3rd so I thought we might have a bash at it, whaddya reckon?

As most of you are aware, these things are really just an exercise in government pretending it is listening to the public. The vast majority of responses come from state-funded quangos and lobby groups so they are better termed public sector consultations. However, over time we have learned the rules, as I mentioned in June last year.
So, what we can gather from what modern politicians laughably call public consultations is that if a postcard or quick click response is in favour of what they and their pet powerful vested interests want to do anyway, they'll shout it from the rooftops. But if it's not, it's time for plan B and to only look at the "detailed responses" which - of course - are mostly submitted by organisations whose only job is to do so on state-supplied wages. 
It stinks, as I'm sure you'll agree, and not something restricted to just this issue - this kind of abuse of democracy is happening every day in any number of different government departments, most of it beneath the radar of anyone but those who are paid to lobby Westminster. This is why ... you should consider adding a "detailed response" to this new second consultation. Regular readers of this blog will remember that many of us did exactly this for the original consultation back in 2012, which I'm sure had an impact in restricting the biased farce to only a narrow 53%/43% split.
As with previous posts of the same nature on this blog (see here, here, here, here, here and here), I'll give you the questions beforehand with a rough idea of how I'd answer them, just pick and choose anything you like the look of. Oh and, as many fellow jewel robbers have done before, any emails of your own submissions are always a great read so most welcome.

Firstly, the TPD2 can be found here. You can post your responses or email them via the addresses below:

Tobacco Products Directive Consultation
Department of Health
PO Box 311

However, there is also an online survey you can use which is also saveable so you can come back to it later if you wish. This is the method I'll be using for this guide. 

Now, before we start it's worth noting that this consultation is not like those previously. Before, there were questions which went right to the root of the proposed legislation, but this being an EU directive, the UK government has no choice but to implement it despite it being utter shit (doesn't that make you proud to be in the EU?). So the questions just fiddle around at the margins without actually giving an option to object to the the fundamental failures in its drafting. This is particularly relevant when it comes to the measures pertaining to e-cigs, which were laid down in early 2014, are already out-of-date, and were written by people who haven't the first clue about the devices or how they work.

Anyway, onto the questions, such as they are. 
Do you, or the business or organisation you represent, have any direct or indirect links to, or receive funding from, the tobacco industry?
The usual question designed to weed out anyone who is paid to give the other side of the debate to those who are paid by governments to bully people. The answer is obviously no, but you might want to ask why there's no corresponding obligation to declare links and/or funding from the pharmaceutical industry or, indeed, by governments to justify their existence and salaries by demanding things such as, ooh say ... the EU Tobacco Products Directive. 
1 Should the Government request peer review of any reports submitted by the tobacco industry in relation to certain additives contained in a priority list of additives?
Well, yeah, could do that I suppose. But at the same time, how about having a close look at the peer review fiasco with the tobacco control industry, which in many cases seems to be about as rigorous as checking the spelling in their unutterably mendacious junk studies. 

On labelling and warnings.
2 The Government intends to implement this provision of the Directive to mean images, targeted at consumers, that are used to promote the sale of products, such as retailer websites offering products for sale. Do you agree with this approach?
No, of course not. This, believe it or not, is about making Sainsbury's hide pictures of what they sell on their website. It's not enough that cigs are behind screens and soon to be covered in plain packaging, children have obviously not been protected enough so the government will have to step in and make sure little 8 year old Johnny doesn't inadvertently stumble across a pic of a pack of plain packaged Silk Cut while he is doing the family online shopping with the credit card he is not old enough to own. 

Yes, tobacco control really has become this barmy. They have so very little relevance now that they are reduced to striking out a virtual image of a cig packet in order to keep their noses in the trough. Pathetic.
3 The TPD2 stipulates where health warnings should appear on packs including that the general warning should appear on the lateral surface. The Government propose to transpose ‘lateral’ (Article 9) as ‘secondary’ (defined as the next two largest surfaces of the pack, after the front and the back surfaces) in our domestic legislation. Can you tell us of any packaging shapes where this interpretation would not be the most effective approach / would not work as intended?
Good question. I'm sure there are experts in the field of tobacco packaging the government could ask. Oh yeah, forgot, they are tobacco companies and trouser-stuffing tobacco controllers have bullied politicians into not being allowed to talk to them. 
4 The TPD2 requires Member States to choose between the warnings ‘Smoking kills’ or ‘Smoking kills – quit now’. The Government is minded to require that tobacco products be labelled with the warning ‘Smoking kills – quit now’ to align with UK smoking cessation messaging. Do you have any information/evidence that would inform this choice?
Who cares? No-one looks at them anyway, they're just yet another way for the tobacco control industry to justify its pointless and self-enriching existence. 
5 Are there any other pack shapes for cigarettes, Roll Your Own (RYO) and waterpipe tobacco on the market, other than pouches and squat cylindrical tins/tubs, where there may be technical difficulties in applying any of the new health warnings under Articles 9 and 10?
Ask the tobacco companies and stop wasting our taxes with this, for crying out loud! 
6 To ensure the combined health warnings are applied evenly across each brand of tobacco product, it is proposed that images should appear on between 1/24 (4.15%) and 1/12 (8.33%) of products and each set of images in the TPD2 picture library should be rotated on an annual basis. Are there any additional costs, above and beyond the current regime, imposed by this proposal?
You're proposing additional regulations which change the way companies are forced to operate and you're asking if there are going to be costs to this? Of course it's going to impose costs! Is the next question about the impact on ground cleanliness in woods where bears live? 
7 The draft regulations require producers to ensure the correct health warning is applied to tobacco products. We are minded to treat retailers who repackage tobacco products at the point of sale the same as producers. For example, loose tobacco packaged at point of sale, should comply with the full labelling provisions, including the rotation of the combined health warning. Do you agree with this approach?
No of course not. So some vile tobacco controllers tell you that they've got bored with flicking rubber bands round the office and the result is that old Bert who fought in the war has to have gory images all over the bag his pipe tobacco is served in? Just leave people alone you hideous anti-social tossbags.
8 The Government is minded to derogate individually wrapped cigars and cigarillos from the full labelling regime, requiring only the general warning ‘Smoking Kills’ or ‘Smoking Kills – Quit Now’; one of the text warnings from the combined warning list but no picture; and a reference to the smoking cessation information. Do you agree with this approach?
The only chink of light in the whole consultation. Yes, of course they should be excluded, but then so should everything else, it's just a circle jerking exercise on the taxpayer teat. 

9 & 10 are about illicit trade and how to stop it. Both can be answered in the same manner, just change the words a bit.
10 We would welcome initial views on how track and trace and security markings may impact on business, and what the key issues for businesses will be.
Erm, why not ask the businesses who make the stuff and are harmed by an illicit trade entirely caused by the tobacco control industry? Oh yeah, you can't, so instead you're asking the people who caused the problem how to solve it. Masterful stuff. 

Then we get to cross border sales, including e-cigs.
11 If a registration scheme were introduced for cross-border distance sales, the Government is minded to require the nomination of an individual to be responsible for verifying that the product complies with the provisions in the UK regulations, before the product is supplied to the consumer. Do you agree with this approach?
No, because - and this may come as a surprise to you numbskulls - if I were running a very big company with lots of money I would welcome these proposals with open arms. This is, unless I've missed something, the Tobacco Products Directive, you know, designed to tackle tobacco. So why are you considering handing a huge competitive advantage to big tobacco companies while simultaneously adding an expensive regulatory burden to small independent e-cig companies. A cynic might think this isn't about health but more about providing work for expensive tax-sponging 'public health' makeworks, eh?
12 Should cross-border distance sales of tobacco products to consumers be prohibited?
No, wasn't the EU supposed to be about free trade within Europe? I'm sure I read that somewhere, or perhaps I was dreaming, I dunno. Still, if you do, I suppose white van man is going to be very happy to add a premium to his prices, I'm sure he'll thank you. 
13 Should cross-border distance sales of e-cigarettes and refills to consumers be prohibited?
No. What is it about free trade across the EU you people don't understand? It's the only good bit about the whole Leviathan of pan-European solidarity for Chrissakes!
14 What systems to verify the age of customers are available to, or currently used by, businesses involved in distance sales to other EU Member States?
Oh now you ask eh? It didn't bother you much when other EU countries had effective age ID controls on tobacco vending machines that you banned anyway. Back then you claimed Johnny Foreigner was obviously an idiot, so why ask about their prowess now? Sheesh.
15 Should novel tobacco products be subject to a notification scheme?
If you want to close down small companies, hand markets to large ones and push up prices, yes. Knock yourself out. It seems to be a recurring theme, doesn't it?
16 Under a notification scheme the Government is minded to include provision to require manufacturers or importers of novel tobacco products to provide, with any notification, information on:

 (a) the toxicity of the product, its ingredients and emissions;
 (b) the addictiveness of the product, its ingredients and emissions;
 (c) the expected effects of the product on the cessation of tobacco consumption by existing users of tobacco products; and
 (d) the perception of the product by consumers or potential consumers (or predictions as to how the product will be perceived), including the attractiveness of the product.

 The Government believes that this information should and will be available to manufacturers and importers prior to launching all new products. Do you agree with this approach?
Because the private sector only exists to provide information to wonks, civil servants and quangos. They have staff just sitting there waiting to provide you with pointless information, their business and customers obviously come second to satisfying the state. No, of course we don't agree with this approach. When someone is harmed or dies from using an e-cig as intended, you might have a case to demand this kind of overweening bollocks, till then fuck off.

This is the first of many questions which show how very damaging TPD2 will be. It's not enough that e-cigs are helping smokers to quit tobacco and clearly providing enjoyment to millions of people, the EU and, by extension, the UK government are insisting on imposing terms. You know why? Because mad intolerant anti-smoking obsessives who derive income from being a right royal pain in the ass don't like the idea that someone somewhere might be having a good time.

On Article 20 (object to this and support a court case against it here if you haven't already).
17 The Government is minded to use the TPD2 definitions of an ‘electronic cigarette’ and ‘refill container’. Do you foresee any problems with inconsistency with the definitions in The Nicotine Inhaling Products (Age of Sale and Proxy Purchasing) Regulations 2015?
Here's where the big faffing around begins. Article 20 is a pile of steaming horsecrap which has then been placed back in the nosebag for the horse to crap it out once again. It is written by idiots, so is therefore not fit for purpose and should be abandoned completely. Or, as Clive Bates describes it ...
"a catalogue of poorly designed, disproportionate and discriminatory measures that will achieve nothing useful but do a great deal of harm."
But instead of asking us about that, this consultation just impotently asks vapid questions about the peripheries of the legislation. If you ever wanted a sure sign that the UK is in hock to the EU up to its eyeballs - whether it's good for the health of the nation or not - this is it. 
18 The Government intends to handle notifications of e-cigarettes and refill containers electronically and make all information contained in notifications automatically available to the public unless this information can be considered truly commercially confidential. What information contained in the notifications should be considered commercially confidential?
People are quitting smoking using e-cigs and it has not cost the taxpayer a penny. What is not to like? Just butt out, all this proposal will do is hamper the progression tobacco controllers claim to want to see. 
19 The Government is minded to put the obligation on ‘producers’ (which includes manufacturers, importers into the UK and those that rename a product) in the transposing regulations which will ensure that there will always be a person in the UK who collects information about suspected adverse effects in relation to e-cigarettes and refill containers. Do you agree?
No. You need one person to log adverse effects in relation to e-cigs. He can sit in Whitehall and spend all day on Facebook if he likes, they are so few and far between. Why should government demand that consumers pay more for a beneficial product by obliging companies to employ someone on the back of the hysteria of state-funded blowhards who see their tax-sponging income stream drying up?
20 The Government is minded to give the Secretary of State for Health (SoS) the power to prohibit the supply of an e-cigarette or refill container or to require producers and suppliers to recall a product if he/she considers them a serious risk to public health. Do you think there are other options that should be provided to the SoS, for example the power to require modification of a product or to require enhanced monitoring and/or reporting of company data?
No. I can't think of anyone least qualified to decide policy on e-cigs than politicians and/or civil servants who have made such a monumental cock-up with this legislation. Remember this bit of utter incompetence from Anna Soubry? According to her e-cigs were dumped from the TPD2 two years ago!

Give the SoS power over e-cigs? He or she knows absolutely nothing about them or how they work. You may as well give a fox the keys to a hen coop. 
21 The TPD2 provides Member States with two options on the wording prescribed in the health warnings to appear on packs of e-cigarettes and refill containers. Member States must choose either a) ‘This product contains nicotine which is a highly addictive substance’; or b) ‘This product contains nicotine which is a highly addictive substance. It is not recommended for use by non-smokers’. The Government is minded to require that e-cigarettes be labelled with the warning ‘This product contains nicotine which is a highly addictive substance. It is not recommended for use by non-smokers’. Do you agree?
No. You've been telling smokers they are smelly, thoughtless, unattractive, and undesirable house sharers for years, now you want to deter them from switching to something else? Never been about health, has it?

I mean, why on Earth would you do that? Is your drive to meddle in an industry you don't understand really so strong that you're blind to the consequences? 
22 Should the Government charge the industry proportionate fees to recover costs associated with the TPD2, including the following activities:
No to all check boxes. It's your ridiculous and ill thought-through TPD, if you want to back it to the hilt, do it with taxpayer funds so you're accountable for the dreadful waste. Why should consumers pay for it through the prices that they pay for products they choose to consume? 
23 Should retailers and importers be given the proposed transition period until May 2017 to sell through old stock?
Of course, anything else should be regarded as theft by the government and courts should hold you to account. 
24 Do you have any comments on the drafting of the regulations, including anything you want to draw to our attention on the practicalities of implementing the regulations, as drafted?
Yes, Article 20 especially should be ripped up and forgotten about. If the EU won't do it, how about the UK government grows some balls and tells the EU to go away and think again? This government is constantly talking about renegotiating our terms with the EU and ditching rules that are detrimental to the UK, well here is a perfect example. 

Your own health body, PHE, published a report last week which goes against almost all of the terms the TPD2 imposes on e-cigs. Are you seriously going to go with the Brussels car crash instead of listening to a quango you pay half a bill per year to fund? 

And lastly the Impact Assessment. This will make you laugh.
25 (a)What is the likely cost of reassigning or retiring capital and adjusting manufacturing processes in response to the restrictions on certain product lines and requirements for additional health warnings?
Hmm, let me think. Considering no regulation in the history of state interference has ever been cost neutral or has reduced costs, I'd say costs will increase, don't you? I'm sure the economic heavyweights in the tobacco control industry will argue that black is white again though, as usual.
25 (b)What are the likely marginal impacts of implementing the TPD2 on e-cigarette manufacturers?
There will be no marginal effects whatsoever. There will be a lot of huge, stifling, game-changer destroying apocalyptic ones though.
25 (c)We are aware that tobacco products that benefit from transitional arrangements (menthol), or are exempt from the ban on characterising flavours, will no longer be able to provide a reference to the flavour on the packet. We would be interested to receive views on the impact of this provision.
It's quite hilarious that the TPD says menthol is not allowed to be communicated on packs anymore. So what does the UK do when plain packaging comes in? How are those who choose menthol cigarettes - which will be available until 2022 - supposed to work out which ones they are buying. More to the point, how are retailers supposed to identify which packs contain menthol? You really couldn't make this kind of incompetence up, could you?

There are two more on the IA but they can be answered easy enough by pointing out that government Impact assessments are usually garbage and this is no different. 

Anyway, if you feel like having a go, do click here and have your say. It's quite cathartic and why let state-paid miserablists set the agenda, eh? You have till September 3rd so get a wiggle on, I'd say. 

Thursday, 20 August 2015

A Bad Day For Anti-Smoking Bigots

I'm sure you couldn't have missed yesterday's news about Public Health England's report on e-cigs, it was quite prominent on the front pages of some papers and received blanket coverage across the BBC.

The report was very bad news for tobacco control's scattered e-cig denialists because it effectively debunked every one of their desperate imaginary reasons why vaping should be restricted. No threat from passive vaping, no adverse health effects for users, no renormalisation of smoking and no gateway effect for children. If this was a chess game, it was the equivalent of taking the denialists' Queen, checkmating their King and then setting fire to all their other pieces, they have literally nothing left.

Well, apart from lying, of course.

Incredibly, this guy Capewell - who is a top official in the Faculty of Public Health no less - decided that an obscure eight month old study from Japan trumps a meta-analysis from the government's chosen health body! What's more, he believes the obscure study over and above his own colleagues despite the extreme formaledhyde claims it contained having been debunked as utter garbage. It was such a misleading claim that even the Daily Mail apologised for publishing it!

Meanwhile, wobbly wibbling e-cig hater Martin McKee was retweeting the very same junk claim.

Remember that these people are supposed to be public health professionals dealing in 'evidence-based policy'. No, really!

The reason for their gnashing of teeth and quite pathetic straw-clutching becomes evident with this tweet from McKee.

You see, they despise smokers so it's not enough that you quit smoking - you have to also suffer while doing so and there must be some element of force to aid the egos of these dreadful anti-smoking bigots. Taxes to bully you into quitting are fine, but enjoy the experience of quitting using e-cigs? Nope, that's unacceptable.

And if you want a prime example of how incredibly vile, power-crazy, and fascistic the anti-smoking crusade has become, check out this jaw-dropper from this morning.

Read it twice if you're unsure you'd read it correctly first time, I'd quite understand. Yes, they are actually conceding that e-cigs are a great tool to help smokers who want to quit, but still demanding government deny property and business owners the choice of whether to allow their use or not. We're a long way down the road from the 'protecting bar staff' lie now aren't we?

It's like watching a boxer having had his brain pirouetted in his head but stilll flailing around and thinking he's in the fight, it's time these truth-avoiding anti-smoking dinosaurs were counted out. I'd pity them if they weren't so contemptuous, evil and deserving of jail time.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

You Are Merely A Puppet

If you want an idea of how utterly barking the modern 'public health' cult is, you need look no further than this.
I am becoming increasingly concerned at the widespread and unquestioning use of the term “lifestyle” in public health  
This isn't strictly the truth. 'Public health' actually hate the term 'lifestyle choices' because it, quite rightly, conveys that people do make choices about their lifestyles for themselves. The state-funded prodnoses in 'public health' wouldn't have an argument if they admitted that, so they like to pretend we are puppets of industry and are incapable of choice which is, of course, bollocks.

The author then goes on to explain exactly why the word 'lifestyle' is such a problem for them.
“Lifestyle” is a loaded term that reinforces stereotypes about individuals and a world view that people are majorly or entirely responsible for their own health.
Yes, this pompous dingbat is actually trying to pretend that individuals are not responsible for their own health. Incredible, isn't it?
Indeed surely the term “deathstyle” would be better because the logical implication is that most individuals in our society are consciously choosing to lead unhealthy lives.
Well, some people do actually choose to consume products which are not entirely healthy or which carry some form of risk. Because, you see, we are all different and many people don't go through life with the sole priority of living as long as is humanly possible at the expense of everything else.

Are you open-mouthed in astonishment yet, dear reader, because it gets worse.
It is clearly nonsense to talk about smoking and alcohol dependency as a lifestyle choice when they are recognised as addictions.
Oh do fuck off! For many, smoking and drinking (a lot) are extremely enjoyable behaviours. What sort of arrogant interfering arsewipe are you to dismiss that? Everyone has different levels of acceptable risk, however just because most people are less risk averse than this state-funded 'public health' craptrumpet, he concludes that the public are therefore not making a valid choice. The sheer arrogance of such a statement is jaw-dropping.
The use of the term lifestyle essentially conveys an ideological view that risk exposure is voluntary and down to free choice. Therefore the extended logic is that individuals determine their own health futures.
It's not "ideological" to say that what the public consumes is voluntary and that it is down to free choice; it's the truth. And to deny that individuals determine their own health futures is wibble of the first water. He's clearly spent so much time within the echo chamber of say-anything-for-a-buck 'public health' that I think he really believes this shit!
It is thus a serious disservice to the public health community to peddle such terms. It is certainly a professional disservice and discourtesy to the public. It actively undermines public health interventions by ignoring upstream causes and alienates people from the services intended to help them.
Firstly, as mentioned, 'public health' would prefer we don't talk about lifestyle choices at all, it destroys their narrative. So of course they wish the the word lifestyle would disappear. And if the word "undermines" "interventions" that no-one asked for and no-one particularly wants, then that's a very good thing. If people are "alienated" from the "services" 'public health' provides it is for a very good reason, it's because they do not find them necessary so they are a massive waste of taxpayer cash. Cut them off without a penny George!
I would look to the public health community to set the standards not lower them. I cannot imagine the term “lifestyle” being included in any proper public health taxonomy. Instead, as the public health community, we should describe accurately the range of health and disease determinants or use the description “behavioural determinants” which are socially, economically and environmentally patterned. Let use evidence based language please and think more carefully about what we are (mis) communicating! 
Call them whatever you like sunshine, but the public enjoy their lifestyles and make their choices freely and according to their needs. No-one, but no-one, except a head-up-their-arse trouser-stuffing PH trougher would ever go to a bar and say "I'd love another pint but it's not good for my behavioural determinants". Good grief.

How on earth can you truly believe you are "helping" the public when you summarily dismiss the choices we make for our lifestyles as irrelevant? Yes, lifestyles, because what we enjoy is our choice and should have nothing to do with you, got that? Go away and masturbate with a knife you snobby, repellent little grotbag.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Poisoning The Well

Since I've been on holiday this week, I've not seen many articles from which to compile the usual Saturday links. Instead, though, why don't you read this enlightening article from the Ashtray blog.
It seems there’s a lot of interest in painting e-cigarettes as a dastardly ploy by Big Tobacco to continue profiting from nicotine addiction, but is it really the case? Let’s take a look at the myths of the anti-vaping narrative in contrast to the reality of the story of Big Tobacco and e-cigarettes.
Any tobacco controller who tries to pretend that e-cigs are a tobacco industry plot can safely be termed a shyster or an outright liar. But don't take my word for it, read the article I linked to for a forensic examination of why they are talking out of their 'arrises. It's really quite good.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Report Confirms 'Public Health' Has Lied For Years

To the surprise of precisely no-one, the self-work generating industry known as state-funded tobacco control is now trying to make up some old shit about why smoking should be banned in pub gardens.
The public smoking ban should be extended to beer gardens, al fresco eating areas of restaurants, parks, and outside school gates, a report says.

The Royal Society for Public Health said smoking should be seen as "abnormal" and more controls are needed to cover areas where people gather.
Where people gather? So, everywhere then.

As always, these rancid people try to tell us that they aren't attacking smokers, just smoking. But how much more insulting can you get than to use the word "abnormal" when talking about people consuming a legal product. People who, I hasten to add, pay 'public health's' entirely wasteful fucking wages.
The Society argued the 2007 smoking ban inside public places had been a huge success and encouraged thousands to quit.
Erm, but these disgusting liars insisted to us all eight years ago, and MPs too, that the ban was not about forcing people to quit smoking; that nothing could be further from the truth; that the idea was just a Big Tobacco scare story. All change now, eh?
Unlike the original smoking ban the focus is no longer on the dangers of second-hand smoke.
No. That'll be because it was never about second-hand smoke in the first place, nor has it ever been about health. It's just a bunch of disgusting anti-social maggots getting rich from taxpayer funding while inflicting unnecessary regulation and unemployment on the hospitality industry and making life generally ever more miserable. I do hope there is a hell because, if so, these people will rot in it for eternity.

It's not all that's changed either.
Its report said people needing a fix of nicotine should use e-cigarettes.
They and their colleagues have been arguing for years - some still do to this day - that a danger of e-cigs is that they "undermine the smoking ban", yet now they are saying that smokers should use e-cigs because of the ban. Once e-cigs were bad because they are used where smoking is banned; now they are saying e-cigs should be used where smoking is banned. They just make it up as they go along, don't they? Is it cos these vile little liars are now realising that people don't believe their disingenuous gobshitery about vaping anymore?

The entire RSPH report is basically an admission that the tobacco control industry has been blatantly lying for a very long time, so I suppose I should be welcoming it seeing as I've been saying as much since 2008. A more repugnant, mendacious, deceitful, insincere, cold, self-enriching, swindling, callous, fascistic profession it is difficult to imagine.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Dick Out And About In Shrewsbury

On Saturday we Puddlecotes went on holiday or, to be more accurate, we grown up Puddlecotes withdrew a ton of money which the little Ps will mostly spend on our behalf. On the way, though, we dragged them to Vapefest 2015 to put them through some excruciating boredom beforehand.

Held in Shrewsbury, Vapefest is an event which attracts much of the beard, tattoo and piercing lung-loading end of the vaping market as you can see from this overview vid.

Not exclusively though, and I was invited by Vapers in Power as part of their programme to introduce vapers to the unavoidable politics which e-cigs have prompted, and the idea of advocacy. There were a number of speakers during the two days, Simon Clark and I were scheduled for about tea time on the Saturday (you can read his write-up of the experience here). We both spoke for a few minutes before a very enthusiastic Q&A session.

I chose to speak about why vapers should support smokers in objecting to smoking bans and made a few mnemonic notes as a guide before taking the microphone. As such, I can't say that this is what I said verbatim because it was mostly off the cuff, and there was a fair amount of digression with an engaged audience, but it's not too far off the mark.
Thank you for the invitation, especially from Liam, to speak.

I'm going to explain why vapers should stand up with smokers against smoking bans. The very simple reason is that anything visited upon smokers will eventually happen to vapers too, without question. We know this because it is already happening. From memory I can only think of one case where legislators have made exceptions for e-cigs.

There have been two recent examples to speak of. In February, Scottish hospitals were told by the devolved government to ban smoking in NHS grounds and even the car park, there was nothing in the government directive about e-cigs - in fact, that decision was left entirely up to NHS managers - but all except one NHS trust included e-cigs anyway. The BBC reported one NHS spokesman as saying:
"They should be treated like any other nicotine product"
And in June, Guy's and St Thomas' hospitals in London proudly announced on Twitter that their outdoor smokefree policy included e-cigs. The trust's smokefree policy revealed the justification for their loony decision was that:
"They are currently not regulated as a tobacco product or as a medicine"
This statement illustrates the mistrust of e-cigs from the 'public health' community. If e-cigs are regulated as a tobacco product it will be banned; if they are regulated as a medicine, it will price them out of the market and eradicate the appeal. In the view of the NHS, vaping will never be accepted.

Now, some of you may know that I'm not overly keen on ASH, but I don't think vapers were pleased with them either when they eagerly retweeted the brilliant news from Guy's and St Thomas' hospitals. They have also raised little objection to other bans that include vaping.

ASH are, however, very happy with outdoor smoking bans and have supported the silly idea of a ban in Hyde Park, along with Brighton's proposed ban on beaches - which also may include pub gardens - along with outdoor bans in Bristol and proposals for the same in Leicester.

It's a fact that everywhere smoking is banned, e-cigs are included. The New York parks ban includes vaping, as have bans in Canada and elsewhere. Just yesterday, Boulder Colorado announced that their ban on smoking in social housing will include pot and e-cigs too. That's vaping in the home. Banned.

The reason why vaping is not excluded despite being completely different is that politicans, civil servants and managers cannot be bothered to make difficult decisions, they like easy rules. You can lobby them as much as you like to exclude e-cigs but the default is to just ban vaping along with smoking because it's just simpler that way.

You can see the same principle in the case of sports stadia. Wembley, Twickenham and Cardiff's Millennium Stadium already ban vaping, amongst others, and in other venues where it is not in the ground regs, it's not worth asking for a ruling because the easiest decision would be just to ban to save confusion. None of these people understand vapers or smokers so would simply write one line in the regs including e-cigs in their policy and have done with it.

Now, I'd ask you to think back to before July 1st 2007 when the smoking ban in England began. Do you really think anyone would have even the remotest objection to e-cigs inside or out if it weren't for the ban on smoking? No-one would have batted an eyelid at vaping if it wasn't for the smoking ban. There is a direct causal link between smoking bans and bans on vaping. If you're standing outside with your inoffensive e-cig, you have a smoking ban to blame it on.

I've said this before on the blog but it's worth saying again. Every e-cig ban - and I mean every one - is directly as a result of prejudice-driven smoking bans. Without exception. One follows the other surely as night follows day.

Yesterday I watched a video of a woman who had quit smoking using e-cigs and was rightly proud of it. She wasn't ashamed of having been a smoker as she enjoyed it, she even still identified with smokers much to her credit. But she described how she goes to the smoking area to vape along with others, even saying vapers outnumbered the smokers. This is just plain wrong and I worry that vapers are already self-shaming like many smokers did to allow disgraceful people to ride roughshod over them.

Vapers are a powerful vocal force and should be vehemently objecting to any ban on vaping, anywhere. To see meek submission in the face of ignorance and bigotry from anti-smoking obsessives was very disappointing and could serve to weaken the impact empowered vapers are slowly having on politicians.

Because politicians get a pat on the back from lobbyists for passing smoking bans, and - whether they put them in place by law or leave it up to the NHS, private businesses or others - the result is always the same, e-cigs are lumped in too. Starbucks, Wetherspoons, Scottish hospitals, sports stadia, you name it, the list of places vaping is now banned for no reason is endless.

Today at Vapefest we're seeing thousands of people who are proud of their kit and their innocent pleasure, they shouldn't be thinking of themselves as outcasts, nor should anyone else. Vapers shouldn't self-shame, they should be proudly and confidently rejecting and fighting vaping bans wherever they are suggested. The most effective way of doing that is to stop bans happening to smokers in the first place.
Well that's what I think anyway. Feel free to discuss.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Clash Of The Also-Rans

It's Friday, so how about something absurdly comedic.
Irish study to find best way to quit smoking for good
[T]he Tobacco Free Research Institute (TFRI) at the Dublin Institute of Technology is using a controlled sample of 300 smokers as guinea pigs to test the success rates of Allen Carr's Easyway smoking cessation programme versus the HSE's initiative.
Well, it's definitely an Irish study if it is seeking the "best way to quit smoking" but excludes e-cigs, isn't it?
The 12-month Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT), which is free for participants and funded through the Department of Health's Lottery Fund, is intended to show which programme - if not both - is the most likely to help smokers quit for good.
This is like lottery money funding a study to decide which is the best football team in the Premiership, Watford or West Brom. It's little more than pointless junk but, hey, someone's getting paid for it.
"Unusually, we have recruited publicly because we want to compare these two treatment modalities," said TFRI founder and consultant respiratory physician Professor Luke Clancy.
Oh I see, Luke Clancy is involved. An obsessed man whose dislike of smoking is only eclipsed by his utter unhinged hatred of tobacco companies. The fact that the tobacco industry owns a small proportion of the e-cig market has obviously helped him completely abandon the idea of his role being anything to do with health, not that it had much to do with it before. Standard stuff, really.
While the number of smokers in Ireland is at its lowest ever level, at approximately 20pc of the adult population, Prof Clancy, who was instrumental in bringing in the 2004 smoking ban, said Ireland still has a way to go if we are to achieve the health department's goal of being virtually smoke-free, with just 5pc of the population smoking by 2025. "We worried that no matter what we do, we won't reach this target," he said. "So we're looking to see can we improve things."
Well, you could always consider e-cigs, Luke. Erm, Luke, Luke, look over here Luke! Oh, he seems to be ignoring us.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Fighting To Stay At The Trough

See, via the BBC, this is why 'public health' is an expensive and wasteful drain on our taxes and society in general (it doesn't reflect well on the BBC as a renowned news source either, to be honest).
A sharp decline in the number of smokers using an NHS support programme to help them quit has been linked to the rise in popularity of e-cigarettes. 
The Smoking Matters service in Dumfries and Galloway helped 102 people in deprived areas kick the habit in the past year - 251 below target.
What's not to like, eh? Instead of quitting smoking the expensive way for the country - by taking up the time of public sector staff being highly-paid out of funds ripped from the wages of workers who quite need the cash right now - smokers are spending their own money on something much more effective and which doesn't cost the state an arm and a leg during times of austerity.
Public Health Consultant Dr Andrew Carnon said the trend was being mirrored across Scotland.
Public health 'consultant'? Good grief, it's wheels within wheels of waste, isn't it?
He said many people saw e-cigarettes as a stepping stone to stopping smoking.
Yes indeed, I believe the figure is 1.1 million ex-smokers thanks exclusively to e-cigs ... and counting.
That was the first decrease seen in recent years and it was also suggested this could be "partly explained" by the rise in the use of e-cigarettes.
Partly explained? Does this guy know how very big a number 1.1 million is?
Dr Carnon said that although there was still a lack of evidence about their effectiveness, the NHS might have to review and adapt its smoking cessation service in the future.
Erm, there are 1.1 million confirmed cases proving that there is, indeed, evidence of the effectiveness of e-cigs. This guy is a doctor, are they not required to be able to count?
"The position of e-cigarettes is at the moment not fully clear because they are so new there hasn't been all the research carried out," he said. 
"We actually don't know at this stage just how effective they are in helping people to stop smoking."
No, we really do. And research really has been carried out, I've linked to some of it above. There is also a dedicated report from the Smoking in England site if he would care to look, it comes to the same kind of conclusions.

Shouldn't someone being paid out of our taxes as a 'consultant' have some clue of what he is meant to be talking about?
"There is also a risk, potentially at least, that smokers may use them in certain settings where they are not allowed to smoke tobacco but without any intention of actually stopping smoking tobacco cigarettes."
That really is none of your fucking business sunshine. Are you really saying that e-cigs are bad because they offer smokers a choice? If you offer patches to a smoker and they decline, that's as far as your involvement should go. Same applies with e-cigs if they choose not to quit. The most insane and tyrannical reaction is to condemn e-cigs entirely because people won't bow to your fascist demands, you weapons grade chimp.
He said that was clearly a case where they would not be of any benefit to a smoker's health.
Utter bollocks. If they are using an e-cig instead of going outside to smoke, there is a benefit. How the tobacco control industry has evolved to believe that the theories of Paracelsus have been suspended for just one substance is quite remarkable. It's nothing short of being a cult now.
"The third possibility, which again would not be a great one, is that people who don't smoke might feel that e-cigarettes are something that are much safer that they would like to try," he added.
It's only a possibility in the minds of people whose income relies on pretending it is a possibility. All research worldwide has concluded that it isn't happening. I think Mr Carnon should take his fat nose out of the tax trough and go do something more worthwhile with his life ... like fetching shopping trolleys for Asda.
"We just don't have the research evidence at the moment to say whether there is a risk that those people who might simply be experimenting with e-cigarettes might get drawn into using tobacco cigarettes at a later stage."
No, Carnon, we damn well do! In fact, even ASH say that "there is no evidence from our research that e-cigarettes are acting as a gateway into smoking". You're on the same side, you must have heard of them, surely?
Dr Carnon said it was clear from research that people had the best chance of quitting with some support.
No it's not. There has been a dramatic uptick in successful quitting since e-cigs appeared on the scene, and considering most stop smoking services don't advocate e-cigs, it suggests you're badly wrong.
"It is not just about the nicotine replacement, it is not just about use of e-cigarettes," he said.
No, it's also about your wallet, isn't it?
"It is actually about working with somebody to help you through the difficult process - because it's not easy to quit smoking."
Well, apparently, for over a million ex-smokers, it is with an e-cig.
"So really we would encourage people either to go to the smoking cessation service which is called Smoking Matters or to one of their local pharmacies who can help them or they can ask their GP if they would like some advice."
Or they can save the country money by doing what 1.1 million smokers have done, do it on their own without shovelling wasteful cash at self-enriching parasites like you, who endorse a service which boasts an embarrassing record of failure at an astonishingly high cost to the public.

The sooner costly, inept, smug, and mendacious troughers like Carnon are unhooked from the state's teat, the better.

Follow the money, it's never been about health.

The "Negative Health Outcomes" Of Lung Cancer Screening

Carl Phillips has written some must-read articles on the extremists who exist in the tobacco control industry scam recently.

He describes anti-tobacco extremism very well in this article, but a previous post explaining why 'public health' loves lung cancer is particularly well drawn.
About ten years ago, I coined the term “anti-tobacco extremists” to refer to those who take the most extreme view of tobacco use. This was an attempt to push back against anti-THR activists being inaccurately referred to as public health, given that they actively seek to harm the public’s health. I have since given up on that, and recognize that “public health” is an unsalvageable rubric, which should just be relegated to being a pejorative. But the extremist concept remains useful. The test for anti-tobacco extremism is the answer to the following question: If you could magically change the world so that either (a) there was no use of tobacco products or (b) people could continue to enjoy using tobacco but there was a cheap magic pill that they could take to eliminate any excess disease risk it caused, which would you choose? Anyone who would choose (a) over (b) takes anti-tobacco to its logical extreme, making clear that they object to the behavior, not its effects.
Of course, this is only theory until we see something to prove Carl's point. Fortunately, though, there is always one comedy tobacco controller willing to step up to the plate.
Yes, it really does appear that Chappers is promoting a study which suggests better lung cancer screening could actually be a bad thing! But it gets worse when you look more closely at the study itself.

Firstly, it analysed a mere 35 people, so can in no way be claimed to be representative of the general public. Now, I thought Chapman was pretty hot on such derisory sample sizes, but apparently not. But then, the 'public health' movement is increasingly not much to do with health, more a deep-seated hatred of anyone who earns money selling stuff that people enjoy and choose to buy.

The body of the study Chapman found so interesting (35, dude, just 35) is yet another classic example of looking at 'intent' rather than actual behaviour, just like those pumped out by world-renowned junk scientist Mad Stan.

Tobacco control scammers like to publish on perceptions because they don't like doing proper science and following people up to look at quit rates or behaviour change, it's too much like hard work and they are addicted to easy tax-funded cash. In this case, the study conclusion is that smokers believe cancer screening can mean either they are not going to get cancer (as they haven't already) or, if they do, it will be caught and treated so they're safe. This could be useful if it leads to better conversations with patients, but the process of screening itself cannot possibly be described as potentially harmful by anyone but a blinkered 'public health' nutter who actually finds lung cancer quite useful for campaigning purposes.

Most importantly, though, the authors don't actually know if those who have been screened will actually refrain from quitting or instead if, after a little reflection and a bit of time after the screen, might actually decide that the very threat was enough and quit anyway. And the reason they don't know? Because - naturally for the tobacco control industry - they couldn't be bothered to follow people over time and find out.

Still, there you go, another day in the wibble-filled world of tobacco control, eh?

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

On Being On The Side Of The Angels

Things have been hectic in Puddlecoteville and beyond recently, so there is a lot to catch up on. I thought we might start with this from Brendan O'Neill in Newsweek at the weekend.

Commenting on Oxford students demanding a statue of Cecil Rhodes be removed, O'Neill pointed out that such denial of history is something only tyrannical regimes would even consider.
[ISIS's] English-language magazine Dabiq justified the destruction of artifacts at Mosul Museum in Iraq as a means of "erasing the legacy of a ruined nation." It boasts of having "laid to waste the...legacy of a nation that had long passed from the face of the Earth." 
What ISIS and the Oxford lot share in common is a Year Zero attitude, a desire to rewrite history. It’s a deeply authoritarian instinct: not merely to discuss the past and challenge its events and ideas, but to cleanse all remnants of it from the present. It's cultural cleansing, disguised as an Islamic duty by ISIS and as radical anti-racism by Oxford students.
I couldn't let this pass without adding another hideous set of intolerant re-writers of history to that list, they being psychotic anti-smoking nutcases.

There are too many examples to choose from to illustrate this phenomenon, it occurs occasionally when some rancid smoke-hating inadequate allows the red mist to descend and shows themself up to be incapable of living in decent society. I wrote about just such an unknown pathetic individual from the past in 2010 which you may be interested to read if you're new around here.

By the same token, a statue of Oscar Wilde in London has been so regularly vandalised by anti-smoking cocksockets that Westminster City Council gave up.
Suffolk artist Maggi Hambling's sculpture of the Irish poet, playwright and author in London has been targeted three times by vandals who have sawn off the cigarette he holds. 
Hambling, who lives near the Suffolk coast, has said she will not replace the cigarette for a fourth time until Westminster City Council installs CCTV to ensure it is protected. 
But the council has now said it cannot justify spending money on security cameras because there is not a “serious problem” with vandalism in the area. 
[Hambling said] “The way Oscar Wilde held his cigarette completes the sculpture as a piece of work. It's vitally necessary and very seldom was he seen without a cigarette. It's very much part of the portrait of Wilde. 
“It's very sad indeed if someone thinks a sculpture of someone from the past must be crucified like this because of the anti-smoking fanatics about. 
“Are people going to start airbrushing Winston Churchill's cigars or Humphrey Bogart's cigarettes?"
Well, it's funny she should say that, because that's exactly what some ungrateful socially-deficient obsessive did a couple of years after Hambling said that.

Which serves as a very apt juxtaposition. Andrew Marr, in his Making of Modern Britain documentary in 2009, suggested that "the greatest Briton of all time" would have been firmly on our side if alive today.
One phrase that would certainly have resonated with the old boy is 'health Nazi' - the interfering busybodies who instruct us on what is good or bad for our health. 
He never drank quite as much as he pretended to, but his consumption was still oceanic compared to modern recommendations, and life without cigar-smoking he would have regarded as barbaric. He came from a big-eating, heavy-drinking, tobacco-consuming generation which paid for their pleasures by dying earlier but - it might be argued - had a happier time before the final call.
Lined up with us against intolerant fascistic fucknuckles are the type of people who fought fascism; abhor censorship; condemn falsification of history; and reject denial of reality, while those ranged up against tolerance and freedom of choice can comfortably be compared with a certain smoke-hating former German dictator - who Churchill defended Britain against - and ISIS in their methods.

This is why when I say we are on the side of the angels here, and that tobacco control tax spongers deserve prison time for encouraging such hate and division in our population, I really do mean it.