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Sat, 23 Mar 2019
The World for People who Think



Cardiff, UK prison smoking ban blamed for rise in violence, disruptive behavior

HMP Cardiff prison
© Western Mail
Report by the Independent Monitoring Board blames tobacco withdrawal amongst inmates for a series of incidents

The smoking ban in jails has sparked a rise in assaults and ­vandalism by cig-craving lags. An inspectors' report blames tobacco withdrawal for a series of incidents.

HMP Cardiff was plunged into darkness when prisoners dismantled a kettle to get sparks to light homemade cigarettes and tripped a fusebox. The desperate inmates had fashioned smokes out of tea and shredded nicotine patches after smoking was banned last year.

The report by the Independent Monitoring Board said: "There is no proof of a direct link with the ban.

"But the indirect consequences of the increase in ­offences such as damage to property, assaults, possession of unauthorised articles and disobeying lawful orders could be due to stress resulting from tobacco withdrawal. Some prisoners have a long history of smoking and their ­attempts to continue in the face of the ban lead to further numbers of disciplinary offences."

Comment: Another smoking ban based on lies and junk science. See:


Hot air: To make 'air fresher', partial smoking ban passed for Queensland National Parks

Smoking is healthier than fascism

Smoking: it's healthier than Fascism!
The Queensland Government is concerned the air is not fresh enough in national parks, citing air quality and passive smoking as key reasons for a partial smoking ban that comes into force tomorrow.

National Parks Minister Dr Steven Miles said the new restrictions applied to people near picnic tables and barbecues to toilet blocks, jetties and information shelters in the state's 272 national parks and campsites.

"These new rules will make the air fresher where people are congregating in our national parks," he said.

Queensland's chief health officer Jeannette Young suggested the bans would help prevent passive smoking. "We know that 2 per cent of those 3,700 Queenslanders who die each year from smoking have never actually smoked themselves," she said.

She acknowledged other states had enacted a total ban on smoking in national parks, but said it was important to focus on areas people congregate.

Comment: This is just ridiculous. While corporations poison our food and water, pollute the air and destroy the environment, your average citizen is not allowed to smoke tobacco in a public park. How absurd and fascist, to boot.

For a comprehensive overview of the benefits of tobacco, see:


More anti-smoking nonsense: Darjeeling, West Bengal bans smoking in public places

Woman smoking
© ThinkStock
The hills have done what the plains have failed to achieve — a ban on smoking in public. While the prohibition has been in force since 2003, not a single district has been able to achieve the feat so far. Four districts, however, have taken an initiative to prevent smokers from lighting up indiscriminately.

On Thursday, the district administration declared Darjeeling district as the first smoke free district of West Bengal. The famous mall has been a smoking-free zone for a few years now. In Kolkata, not a single conviction has happened so far. Since smoking was banned in public places, the Darjeeling district administration has penalized 105 people found for violating the law that came into effect in the three hills sub-divisions from August 15, 2016.

Officials of the district administration expressed satisfaction with the progress and also cooperation of the hills citizens. "Since we started the ban, we have got positive response from the people. Of course there will be cases when someone will not heed the law. But, we are trying to deal with it in the best possible way. So far 105 people have been fined Rs.200 each for violating the ban on smoking in public places," said Anurag Srivastava, the Darjeeling DM.

The declaration as made on the basis of a third party assessment conducted by MANT - an NGO - from January 17 to 21, based on the guidelines developed by Johns Hopkins University, the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease and the Center for Tobacco Free Kids of the United States of America.


Retired Yard detective warns fake cigarettes in Scotland being used to fund organized crime worldwide

© heraldscotland.com
Fake cigarettes sold over counters in Scotland are being used to fuel organised crime across the globe, a former top detective has warned.

Illicit cigarettes currently make up around 13 per cent of the market in the UK, HMRC figures show - a six-year high.

And retired Scotland Yard DCI Will O'Reilly said there were "a number of consequences" to the illicit trade, which often operates secretly within otherwise legitimate businesses. As well as corner shops and sellers based in pubs, Facebook is being widely utilised to flog illegal tobacco shipped in from Poland and beyond.

Mr O'Reilly said the black market trade cost taxpayers billions in lost revenue, adding: "That shortfall has got to be made up somehow. And that costs every one of us."

HMRC estimates the illicit tobacco trade costs the taxpayer £2.4 billion every year. But lost cash isn't the only drawback, according to Mr O'Reilly.

Comment: This is such a joke. The ONLY reason there is an illegal trade in tobacco products worldwide is because Tobacco Control has managed to convince government around the world that they can make huge money by taxing the hell out of tobacco products, and justifying it in the name of good public health. People will not pay these exorbitant taxes, so the black market in cigarettes has boomed around the world. Want to stop it dead? Take off the exorbitant tobacco taxes and the problem will disappear overnight.


A comprehensive review of the many health benefits of smoking Tobacco

Smoking advert
Smoking is surely detrimental to one's health, right? People are often bombarded with warnings about the negative effects of smoking and are persuaded to quit by health authorities. It has even got to the point now where people are being deprived of access to healthcare services if they smoke, and this is on the grounds that 'smoking will delay the onset of healing and may aggravate one's pre-existing condition'.

According to the World Health Organisation:
"the tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing around 6 million people a year. More than 5 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while more than 600 000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke."
But like any other claim promulgated by the established health authorities, it is wise to question whether there is actually any truth to it. Bear in mind, it is these same authorities which recommend a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet (and we have seen how detrimental that has been to the general population's health). It is also those same people who would recommend treating chronic illness with synthetic pharmaceutical drugs, or the complete removal of entire organs (again, clearly not a successful approach). Anyone who pays attention can see that the authorities clearly don't care about people's health because they are more concerned with profit margins. So in this context rational inquiry demands that we look into whether tobacco is really 'all that bad'.


Saudi Arabia tightens noose on smokers with 100 percent VAT on tobacco

Saudi Arabia tightens noose on smokers with 100 percent tax on tobacco vAT Value added Tax
Saudi Arabia has one of the world’s highest rates of smokers
Saudi Arabia's decision to impose 100 percent value added tax (VAT) on tobacco and its products will bring down the number of smokers in the country, said Dr. Mohammed Yamani, chairman of the board of directors of Naqa, an NGO that helps smokers kick the habit.

"The move is a positive and important step toward combating the unhealthy habit," he told Okaz/Saudi Gazette.

Saudi Arabia has one of the world's highest rates of smokers as 14 percent of its teenagers and seven percent of its women smoke.

Comment: Dictatorial Saudi Arabia with it's abhorrent record of human rights abuses would clearly benefit from imposing a prohibitive tax on tobacco considering it's known cognitive effects:

'Let's all light up! What you don't know about tobacco
Nicotine also has been shown to have multiple benefits for cognitive performance, like rapid information processing, immediate and long-term memory and problem solving.

Comment: See also:


China to impose nationwide smoking ban (again)

No smoking in China
© Shanghaiist
Smokers in China should find a new habit in 2017 as the country is set to implement a stricter nationwide cigarette smoking ban by the year's end.

The country's National Health and Family Planning Commission and a senior government official introduced the regulation to control smoking in public areas at the Global Conference on Health Promotion in Shanghai on Tuesday, Shanghaiist reported. In a statement, the commission's publicity head Mao Qun'an announced that "smoking harms health has become a global consensus."

The legislation drafted will make it illegal to smoke in all indoor public venues, public transport, and even workplaces. Outdoor spaces, like hospitals, primary schools, kindergartens, tourist sites, and stadiums will also be off limits to smoking.

A fine of up to 500 yuan ($72) will be imposed for every person who violates the new rule, while businesses which fail to comply will risk having their operating license revoked plus a fine of up to 30,000 yuan ($4,320).

According to the Chinese Association on Tobacco Control, China is home to around 316 million smokers in the country.

Comment: The massive tobacco industry in China has probably been too lucrative for this draconian legislation to take hold. With the potential for huge profit and job loss, try as they may, it's likely to fail again.

See also:


Smoking banned at all bus stops, waiting kiosks in Taipei City, Taiwan

Taipei City bus
© Taiwan News
The Department of Health of Taipei City announced Monday that starting from Jan 1, 2017, smoking at the 932 bus stops and 1,150 waiting kiosks in the city will be banned, and fines will begin to be imposed starting Mar 1, 2017.

A fine from NT$2,000 to NT$10,000 will be imposed on violators according to the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act, the department said.

Health department official Lin Meng-hui said the department had teamed up with the city's transportation and environmental protection departments to conduct a survey and 95 percent of those surveyed support the idea of banning smoking at bus stops and waiting areas.

Lin said the ban will take effect from Jan 1, 2017 and a promulgation period will last until Feb 28, adding that starting Mar 1 fines will be imposed.


Australian Border Force warns illegal tobacco trade national security risk, may be fueling terrorism

Seized tobacco
© ABC News
Australians may not equate illegal tobacco smuggling with drug trafficking or terrorism fundraising, but senior border security officials are warning it may be fuelling both and posing a national security risk.

In an exclusive interview with the ABC's 7.30 program and Fairfax Media, Australian Federal Police assistant commissioner Wayne Buchhorn — who has been seconded to Australian Border Force (ABF) — said he had "significant" concerns that some of the proceeds of the booming illicit tobacco smuggling trade into Australia were flowing to extremist groups overseas.

"We are seeing crime gangs here in Australia, oftentimes Middle Eastern organised crime gangs, and the connections back into the Middle East ... [are] a significant concern for us in the current environment," he said. "The funding of extremist activities, we are seeing some elements of that."

A notorious Middle Eastern crime syndicate operating in Arncliffe, Sydney, which is involved in both drug and tobacco smuggling, has shrugged off the repeated arrest and prosecution of its members to continue importing contraband.

Police intelligence has linked the syndicate to fundraising for a Lebanese charity aligned with extremist group Hezbollah.

Comment: My, what lengths the anti-smoking fascists will go to see tobacco use extinguished!

By the way, smoking natural tobacco might actually be beneficial for some people:


Anti-smoking nanny state: Nebraskan city proposes smoking ban in private apartments

damaged apartment
© AP Photo/Nati Harnik
In this Sept. 14, 2016, photo, restoration work is performed at a Bellevue, Neb., apartment complex which was hit twice by fire.
Some leaders in a blue-collar Nebraska suburb that's home to Offutt Air Force Base are borrowing an idea from a vastly more liberal state: Ban apartment renters from smoking cigarettes and e-cigarettes inside.

The proposal, which would be one of the few such restrictions outside of California and is similar to federal rules for public housing across the U.S., isn't meant to protect the health of the city's 50,000 residents, but instead to prevent fires.

Councilman Don Preister proposed the ban, which wouldn't affect duplexes and single-family homes, in August after cigarette smoking at a single Bellevue apartment complex led to two fires a month earlier. The second fire destroyed the building, displacing dozens of people, and injured four, including a firefighter.

Comment: Smoking bans are fascism, plain and simple, though their proponents would have the population think that bans are initiated for health and safety reason. To the thinking person smoking bans should stimulate their curiosity as to why they are consistently proposed.