Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Plain packaging for alcohol. They don't waste time, do they?

Yesterday, the government announced an inquiry into its 'Alcohol Strategy' and guess what the last item on the agenda is...




My goodness, but don't things move quickly these days? The public consultation on plain packaging of cigarettes hasn't even been launched yet, but that's no reason not to take the ol' 'next logical step'.

Do yourself a favour and sign up at Hands Off Our Packs. Let's try to nip this one in the bud.




18 comments:

Xopher said...

Let's get it over and done with!
Do away with Government and faux democracy and bring in everything from the healthist's wish lists.
Simply put the righteous in charge of NuBritain and prepare for the inevitable.
It'll be shit but it's exactly the shit our elite think we deserve.

Anonymous said...

Now if only Napoleon had had some studies written showing that taking over England and the lives of everyone in it would be for our own good, we could have saved all that unpleasantness.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps its just easier to vote for ADULTS! Get the children gone.

dearieme said...

I hope they don't ban the pretty blue bottles that that rather nice gin comes in. Or the handsone green of that other one.

Richard White said...

Entirely off topic, but remember Chris in the CATCH debate we had that discussion about the virtues of Hammond's study and you used it as evidence for the smoking-cancer link? Thought you'd be interested to see this, written by J. R. Johnstone, PhD and P.D.Finch, PhD:

In Australia in the same year there appeared a similar publication "The Quantification of Drug Caused (sic) Mortality and Morbidity in Australia" from the Federal Department of Community Services and Health. Its authors waste no time in discussing intervention trials. These receive not a mention, not even to be rejected. Instead the authors turned to several surveys of the kind ultimately used by the Surgeon General. In particular they used yet another study conducted for the American Cancer Society by E.C.Hammond, a gigantic study of a million subjects, another uncontrolled, non-intervention, non-randomised survey. This was a particularly bad choice. The dangers of very large surveys are well known to statisticians: because of their size it is difficult to do them accurately. The flaws in Hammond's work were revealed when the initial results were published in 1954. Hammond himself was later to admit that his study had not been conducted as he had intended and as a consequence his results are to an unknown extent erroneous. But it was worse than that. His work became literally a textbook example of how not to do research. It can be found as example 287 in Statistics A New Approach by W.A.Wallis and H.V.Roberts. This was the ignominious and undignified fate of work which should only be quoted as a salutary example of the pitfalls which can await the researcher.

Two problems bedevil both Hammond's work and other similar studies.

First, some of the volunteers who enrolled their subjects told Hammond that contrary to his instructions they had selectively targeted ill smokers. These results he was able to scrap but necessarily an unknown proportion of his final results must be suspect. Second, as was demonstrated at the time, his subjects were quite unrepresentative of the general public in a number of respects. In particular, there were relatively few smokers. It seems quite plausible that many healthy if indignant smokers would refuse to take part in his trial and this would produce such an aberration. These two vitiating defects are of the kind which have led to the widespread preference for gold standard trials.

But the continuation of Hammond's work, with its demonstrated faulty methodology, was used by the Australian authors to deduce that smoking causes premature death to the extent of 17,800 per year in Australia. Their conclusions should be compared with the results of a survey by the Australian Statistician in 1991 of 22,200 households, chosen at random. This showed "long term conditions", including cancer and heart disease, to be more common in non-smokers than smokers.

http://www.sott.net/articles/show/234216-The-Scientific-Scandal-of-Antismoking

Anonymous said...

Could it be,even Chris wants to keep the great lie alive.

Michael Fowke said...

What's wrong with these people? Can't they take a day off? They'll damage their health at this rate.

david said...

@Richard White. More nonsense here.....

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/311140/No-excuse-for-half-of-all-cancers

'One in three cancers are caused by smoking'

Richard White said...

David - great bit of comedy to start the day! Love the comments on that page. The 'scientists' must just be someone who read a chemistry book at school or something: "WE already know how to beat cancer" and then gives a couple of things that may reduce the risk. Hardly the same.

ftumch said...

"Making houses and cars smokefree is the only way to protect children from second-hand smoke, according to a new government campaign in England."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17551568

Jeesus........ words fucking fail.

Jay said...

They are indeed coming fast and furious now with the relentless lies and hate. Minimum pricing. Invisible smoke campaigns...? Really...

I'm really not sure which nanny state is worse - Australia or Britain.

Someone please share where in the world is still sane. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

This focus on ciggies and booze is getting a bit old and makes you look like an industry stooge, which I don't think you are. Can you please expand the subject matter on this site? Things like police privatisation and the Clegg/Cameron backflip on internet filtering/mass surveillance for one.

Snowdon said...

Ciggies and booze (and drugs) is my niche. There are plenty of bloggers who have been studying other civil liberties issues for years. I've been studying this for years. A collection of specialists is better than a collection of generalists IMO. You say it's getting old. I say it's reaching boiling point.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure that I buy that. A genuine civil libber would sometimes find it irrestible to discuss other issues at times. I think you are in this for a buck, because who else would be bothered to bang on about the same crap day after day. You are studying a small symptom of a much larger disease.

Jay said...

Anon,

Civil libertarians come in all forms. Chris is right that it's better to focus on one or two subjects rather than trying to cover the whole spectrum of beliefs.

Chris is also a writer, and I suspect he would very much like to make a little money from doing that. There's no shame in doing so.

Anonymous said...

Jay, you are right, he is perfectly entitled to make a living from specialising in these issues. However, I am always a little suspicious of those who try to make a living out of activism, be it greenies or missionaries.

Jay said...

Fair enough, Anon. But Chris is one of the good guys - he actually believes in civil liberties.

Anonymous said...

I live in a small town.
Which I prefer.
I do not really notice how much civil liberties have been eroded until I go to a city.
That's when I notice.