Sunday 26 July 2015

"No evidence"

The campaign to ban smoking in prisons is marching on thanks to the ever-gullible Observer newspaper and a sock-puppet pressure group known as the Tobacco Control Collaborating Centre. I've never heard of them and nor has The Observer judging from its description of them as "an organisation called the Tobacco Control Collaborating Centre", but its article contains this gem...

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of charity Action on Smoking and Health, said there was no evidence to support claims that depriving prisoners of tobacco could lead to riots.

No evidence! Not just a little bit of evidence, but no evidence!

Perhaps Debs has forgotten about the events in Australia that took place only a few weeks ago...

Prisoners riot at Melbourne's Ravenhall remand centre over smoking ban

Police armed with tear gas and water cannons were on Tuesday evening still attempting to contain a riot that broke out at a maximum security prison in Victoria earlier in the day, after prisoners became angered by the introduction of a smoking ban.

All staff were evacuated from the prison in Ravenhall, Victoria, after several hundred prisoners rioted.

This apparent oversight is typical of ASH's view of evidence. As with the mass closure of pubs after the smoking ban, it didn't happen unless it was written up by a tobakko kontrol mouthpiece and published in one of their favoured pal-reviewed journals like the BMJ or - if all else fails - their in-house comic Tobacco Control.

The fact that these things did happen - and have happened before in Queensland, Canada and the USA - is neither here nor there to the single-issue fanatic. They make their own reality.

Some people would call it lying.

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