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Canadian governments target illegal tobacco with new funding

Cigarette pack
© Frank May / Global Look Press
The federal and provincial governments are planning to put more money into the fight against contraband tobacco − a thriving black market that is rife with organized crime, costing billions of dollars a year in lost tax revenue.

In Ontario, it's believed that roughly one third of cigarettes are from an illicit source, OPP Detective Sergeant Luc Bouvier of the Contraband Tobacco Enforcement Team said.

His small unit - which falls under the OPP's broader organized crime enforcement bureau - has spent the past two years investigating the smuggling and trafficking of contraband tobacco across Ontario.

Smoking

How the new FDA policy to take nicotine out of cigarettes will fuel terrorism

The United States has never been a rich market for terrorists' international tobacco trafficking. A new FDA policy will make it one
twin towers cigarettes
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the head of the Food and Drug Administration, has announced plans to reduce to non-addictive levels the level of nicotine in cigarettes sold in the United States. The hope is that without the chemical that produces the pleasure of smoking, these cigarettes will appeal to fewer people, and therefore fewer people will smoke.

It is a terrible idea for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that it deprives adults of the choice to use tobacco as they see fit. But there are other unintended consequences to this policy that must be seriously considered, perhaps most importantly the effect on cigarette smuggling in the United Sates.

By making all sales of effective cigarettes with normal nicotine levels illegal, the FDA will be opening a huge illegal cigarette market in this country that has barely existed before. Among the prominent groups profiting off global illicit cigarette trade are Islamic terror organizations.

Comment: See also:


Smoking

Austria scraps smoking ban in the name of freedom of choice

Café guests smoke cigarettes with their drinks in Vienna on March 22nd 2018.

Café guests smoke cigarettes with their drinks in Vienna on March 22nd 2018.
Austrian MPs on Thursday scrapped a smoking ban in bars and restaurants that was due to come into force in May, despite a petition in its favour collecting 545,000 signatures.

The overturning of the ban, introduced by the previous government, was approved by lawmakers from the ruling coalition of the conservatives and the far-right.

In an attempt to assuage critics, they also voted to extend the minimum age for smoking to 18 as well as to ban smoking in vehicles if a minor is on board, effective from 2019.

Scrapping the ban was a key campaign pledge last year by the cigarette-loving leader of the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ), Heinz-Christian Strache, 48.

Comment: With its newly elected government Austria has been one of the few countries openly defying the diktats coming out of Brussels, although all over Europe we're seeing a rise in support for parties opposed to the undemocratic EU project. Also check out SOTT radio's:


Smoking

Canadian MP tells committee that illegal tobacco sales financed 1993 WTC attack

Diane Finley
© 2015 Fred Chartrand/The Canadian Press
Diane Finley
Former Conservative cabinet minister Diane Finley told a parliamentary committee this week she believes contraband tobacco sales financed "the blowing up of the Twin Towers," as she argued against a government bill that would implement plain packaging for cigarettes.

Though Finley clarified to the National Post Friday that she was referring to the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, not the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a leading terrorism researcher characterized it as a "conspiracy theory."

"Illegal tobacco has been named as the key contributor financially to the blowing up of the Twin Towers. This is how serious this is. And whether people like to believe that or not, it has been proven to be a fact," Finley said during a meeting of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health Wednesday.

Smoking

Smoking rooms in bars, restaurants banned in the Netherlands

Smoking rooms banned in the Netherlands
Restaurants, bars and cafes in the Netherlands may no longer have smoking areas, the court in The Hague ruled on Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by non-smokers association Clean Air Nederland (CAN), RTL Nieuws reports.

The Netherlands banned smoking in restaurants and the like in 2008, but added an exception for specially designated smoking areas that must comply to certain rules. The court now ruled that this exception for smoking rooms is contrary to the World Health Organization's rules on combating tobacco use.

The ruling is a hard blow for the catering industry, which used smoking rooms to still attract smokers to their cafe or restaurant.

Smoking

Alabama House passes bill to ban smoking in cars with minors

No smoking sign
© Zest Magazine
On Tuesday, the Alabama House passed a bill that aims to stop adults from smoking tobacco products in a motor vehicle while any minors are present. Birmingham-Democrat State Rep. Rolonda Hollis filed HB26 in an effort to protect minors who cannot protect themselves from harmful tobacco products.

"We aren't saying you can't smoke, and we aren't saying what to do with your body," Hollis told AL.com. "We just want to look out more for the kids."

Hollis was inspired on a date night with her husband, he lit a cigarette in the car while they were out and Hollis said she could hardly breathe.

"If I can barely breathe, I'm sure children can barely breathe," said Hollis.

Comment: In a better world, these legislators would be more concerned about greedy corporations poisoning our food, poisoning our water, and polluting the air we breathe - that is more likely to be the true cause of the illnesses mentioned above. The 'pollutants' from second-hand smoke pale in comparison.

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Smoking

How my 'dead body' photo-shoot ended up on millions of tobacco products across Europe - and I don't smoke

tom fraine tobacco photoshoot
In 2012, I decided to take a year-long sabbatical in Europe, eventually settling on Berlin. I'm quite a structured, career-minded person and I wanted to see what it was like to move somewhere with no plan, no friends and no money.

I saw an advert looking for models for tobacco warnings. It was paid, so I applied and made the shortlist. I asked what I needed to bring to wear and they sent me a one-line email saying: "This is what we need you to do," and attached a picture of a naked guy curled up in a ball. They told me I would get €100.

Comment: And there you have it; anti-tobacco propaganda conjured up on a photoshoot using models and with no professional medical direction to qualify what they're depicting.

Even so, medicine has completely lost sight of the reality of the many benefits of tobacco smoking and has instead been brainwashed to believe lies with skewed data, decades of government propaganda while being lobbied hard by pharmaceutical companies looking to hawk their nicotine pills, patches and 'popcorn lung' creating e-cigs - as well as medications that have side-effects some of which were later revealed to be linked to 3,063 serious injuries, 78 deaths, many of which were suicides.


Smoking

Japan gives up on total indoor smoking ban despite coercion ahead of Olympic games in 2020

smoking japan
The Japanese government said Tuesday it plans to restrict use of heat-not-burn tobacco products but give up on a total ban on indoor smoking to prevent passive smoking, backpedaling from its initial goal due to industry resistance.

Heat-not-burn tobacco products will be restricted as a user's breath contains nicotine and other substances that can cause cancer, but use of such products will be allowed in specially designated rooms at restaurants where customers will also be able to eat and drink, according to the government plan.


Under the plan drawn up by the health ministry, smoking will be completely banned in hospitals, schools, universities and government offices to protect children and others from secondhand smoking. Minors will be prohibited from entering smoking spaces.

Comment: It's a small victory but the anti-smoking nutjobs don't give up so easily. But to celebrate: Let's All Light Up!

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Smoking

Missouri Department of Corrections to ban smoking in prisons

No smoking sign
© Zest Magazine
The Missouri Department of Corrections will ban smoking in prisons this year.

All of the department's facilities will be tobacco-free starting April 1, the News Tribune reported. Staff, offenders, visitors and contractors won't be allowed to possess or use tobacco products inside the department's facilities. Staff and visitors will be able to smoke in a designated area outside the prisons.

Staff on the Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan can receive free smoking-cessation products, educational materials and classes. Inmates will be able to purchase nicotine replacement products in the canteens, and will have access to classes and counseling.

Sales of tobacco products in the canteens will cease in March, officials said.

Comment: The fascist ban of tobacco use in prisons hasn't gone well in the UK. As more prisons ban smoking, we are bound to hear more stories of violence like the ones listed below. Maybe that is exactly what the PTB want.


Smoking

'Will endanger staff, prisoners': Tensions spark over UK prison smoking ban

Wormwood  Scrubs prison in London
© AFP 2017/POOL/PAUL HACKETT
A prison officer, who wishes to remain anonymous, told Sputnik that plans to roll out the smoking ban across all prisons in England and Wales in 2018 will endanger staff and prisoners.

"The impact of banning prisoners from smoking will have a detrimental effect on their mental health and that concerns me. Staff are already under pressure and at risk of violence. Forcing prisoners to give up will lead to more aggressive behaviour," the officer told Sputnik.

Inmates at HMP Birmingham, a prison plagued with riots and violence, recently chanted "we want burn" relating to a recent smoking ban.

A year after inmates rioted for 12 hours causing US$8 million worth of damage across four prison wings, the situation at HMP Birmingham remains "volatile," according to a prison officer union.