Daily news - 22nd May 2017

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UK news

Cigarettes sold in plain green packs under new rules

New rules have come into force which mean cigarettes and tobacco must be sold in plain green packets and carry graphic health warnings | BBC, UK

New laws in UK ‘stifling vaping’s success’ in curbing smoking

Customers put off by rules on nicotine strength could return to cigarettes | Guardian, UK

Marlboro maker accused of using branded tins to sidestep plain packaging rules

Tobacco firm Philip Morris has distributed containers the same size as 10-packs of cigarettes – which are about to be banned | Guardian, UK

'Low tar' or 'light' cigarettes are 'MORE' likely to give smokers lung cancer

Experts investigated why rates of adenocarcinoma, a tumour that grows deep in the lungs, had gone up in recent years while cases of other lung cancers had dropped as more people gave up smoking | Mirror, UK

Two-thirds of charities subsidising public sector contracts to survive

New research warns of increasingly dysfunctional relationship between charities and the state amid budget cuts | Guardian, UK

Festivals to allow revellers to test drugs before they take them

Pioneering scheme is backed by local police forces in bid to keep recreational drug users safe | Independent, UK

Anti-drug campaigners slam plans to introduce drug testing tents at music festivals

Anti-drugs campaigners have expressed dismay after the police backed plans to allow festival goers to test substances such as cocaine and ecstasy for purity before taking them | Telegraph, UK

'Spice' ban one year on - video

It's been a year since the ban on so-called legal highs, but has making it illegal stopped people from using it? The BBC's Jeremy Cooke visited the streets of Edinburgh and Manchester to see what has happened | BBC, UK

On Our Own: Medical Cannabis for Mental Health in the UK

Waking up in hospital is always disorientating. You feel the hard, scratchy bedclothes and hear the peculiar sounds of machines and other patients. You look around in search of a familiar face, but often lock eyes with a uniformed stranger instead | Volte Face, UK

Stop and Search podcast presents: ‘Support. Don’t Punish’

What exactly qualifies someone as an expert? Is it academic prowess or experience? Or, perhaps it’s a combination of both… | Volte Face, UK

Tackling alcohol misuse in NHS hospitals: HIN resource pack

A new resource pack to support commissioners and service providers to tackle the rising burden of alcohol related admissions has been released by the the South London Health Innovation Network (HIN) | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

I drank alcohol throughout my three pregnancies - but should I have?

It was always going to be an attention grabber: advising women not to drink when pregnant is "sexist" and causes "needless anxiety" | Telegraph, UK

Scarred for life: The rise of glassing, the most sickening act of drunken violence, and what can be done about it

Glassing is perhaps the most sickening act of drunken street violence, its effects indiscriminate, ugly, life-changing. Unlike say punching or stabbing, permanent disfigurement is not an unintended consequence: it is the point. And it’s on the rise. Godfrey Holmes investigates | Independent, UK

Understanding the importance of different factors associated with drug use decision-making

Survey. The purpose of the study is to explore the relative importance of different attributes relating to drug preference | PHI, UK

Youths 'want education' after Portadown girl's death

Teenagers have said they want to be educated about drugs and alcohol after the death of a 15-year-old girl in Portadown, according to a youth worker | BBC, UK

Second Oxford 'legal highs' shop owner sentenced

A second director of a company that sold so-called legal highs has been given a suspended prison sentence | BBC, UK

West Midlands Kinder eggs drugs gang jailed

A gang of drug dealers who stashed rocks of crack cocaine inside Kinder eggs have been jailed | BBC, UK

Cocaine worth £300k and prescription drugs seized

Cocaine worth an estimated £300,000 and prescription drugs worth about £500 have been seized by police from two vehicles stopped in Doagh, Co Antrim | ITV, UK

Spanish police bust Liverpool-bound marijuana smuggling ring

Footage released by the Spanish Authorities shows armed raids at a luxury villa on the Costa del Sol | ITV, UK

Steve Stannard murder: Drug dealer jailed for 20 years

A drug dealer has been jailed for a minimum of 20 years for murdering a man who was stabbed to death | BBC, UK

Llangefni town centre issued with dispersal order

Youths gathering in an Anglesey town centre face being ordered to move, after police imposed an anti-social dispersal order in the area | BBC, UK


International news

Canada First Nations reserve bars outsiders amid opioid crisis

Kanai First Nation, one of Canada’s largest, takes action to keep out drugs such as fentanyl as community grapples with overdoses: ‘This is about saving lives’ | Guardian, UK

Canada eases steps to open supervised drug injection sites amid opioid crisis

New legislation streamlines the more than two dozen requirements previously needed to launch facilities, which offer supervision and sterile equipment | Guardian, UK

Golden daze: 50 years on from the Summer of Love

It’s the 50th anniversary of San Francisco’s Summer of Love. Here five people who were at the heart of the counter-culture movement tell Aaron Millar how flowers, LSD, music and radical ideas changed youth consciousness forever | Guardian, UK

Ohio supreme court judge calls for legalisation of marijuana

Democrat William O’Neill, a possible contender for governor, wants to tax sales of the drug and release all non-violent marijuana offenders from prison | Guardian, UK

Lawyer says accused drug smuggler Cassie Sainsbury was threatened video

Orlando Herran, the Colombian lawyer for the accused Australian drug mule, tells Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes program that Sainsbury and her family were threatened before she boarded the plane | Guardian, UK

Northern Ireland's underage drinking hotspots revealed

Police are confiscating bottles and cans of alcohol from children at a rate of one nearly every single hour | Irish News, Ireland

WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (PDF)

This report presents the recommendations of the thirtyeighth WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD). The ECDD is responsible for the assessment of psychoactive substances for possible scheduling under the international drug control conventions. The ECDD reviews the therapeutic usefulness, the liability for abuse and dependence, and the public health and social harm of each substance | WHO, Switzerland

Healthy Nightlife Toolbox

The Healthy Nightlife Toolbox (HNT) is an international initiative that focuses on the reduction of harm from alcohol and drug use among young people | EMCDDA, Portugal

Exposure to alcohol before birth may make drinking more appealing to teens

Fetal alcohol exposure (FAE) reduces the taste system’s responsiveness to the bitter flavor and burning sensation of many varieties of alcoholic beverages, new research shows. These factors make alcohol unappealing to some people, but, for reasons that are unclear, are less of a deterrent in young people exposed to alcohol before birth | Science Daily, USA

Study suggests cannabis may reduce crack use

North America is in the midst of a drug overdose disaster. In British Columbia, Canada, where nearly 1,000 people died of overdose in 2016, officials have declared a public health emergency | Medical Xpress, USA

Doctors urge FDA to tighten regulations on 'filtered' cigarettes

Experts: Holes on filtered cigarettes pose risk, may account for climb in lung cancers | EurekAlert, USA

DrnkPay is calling on wearables to curb drunken overspending

Device analyses blood alcohol levels to provide feedback | Werable.com, USA

Philadelphia to mull safe injection sites in opioid fight

A task force charged with outlining ways for Philadelphia to combat its opioid epidemic has recommended the city consider allowing safe sites, where drug users could inject heroin | Medical Xpress, USA

Advocate for safe-injection sites dies of OD in Philly's heroin hellscape

Paul Yabor spent Tuesday volunteering with Prevention Point, handing out clean needles to drug users in Kensington, just as he had done many other times in the last 12 years | Philly.com, USA

Declare Alberta fentanyl health emergency now, says B.C. advocate

As fentanyl overdose deaths in Alberta rise, a Vancouver-based advocate says Alberta would do well to follow her province’s lead in declaring opioid-related deaths a public health emergency | Calgary Herald, Canada

Public drug warning system would save lives, forensic institute says

Health authorities are fighting a "synthetic drugs epidemic" but life-saving information about dangerous substances is only trickling through to doctors and the public, Victoria's expert forensic unit has warned | Age, Australia

Trajectories of heroin use: 10-11-year findings from the Australian Treatment Outcome Study

The Australian Treatment Outcome Study (ATOS) is a landmark study of the pathways of heroin use and one of the few to be conducted outside of the US | NDARC et al, Australia

Opioid agonist treatment for patients with dependence on prescription opioids: Clinical evidence synopsis

Dependence on prescription opioids has led to a significant increase in opioid overdose and deaths in the US and Australia. There is, therefore, an urgent need for best possible clinical evidence to guide treatment for people dependent on prescription opioids | NDARC et al, Australia

Australia's first medicinal cannabis course to teach students 'whole continuum' of plant

Students of Australia's first medicinal cannabis course will learn everything there is to know about the plant, short of ingesting the thing | Age, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Nicotine in the news

Some weighty issues to consider this week. Top of the list. ' Is it ethical to invest in Big Tobacco?' | NSP Blog, UK

Can psychedelics change political perspective?

In three weeks, the UK will go to the polls again. Out of habit, many will check the box corresponding to the party whose platform is most familiar to them | Beckley Foundation Blog, UK

How Big Tobacco is losing the fight to stop plain packaging of cigarettes

You may already have seen the tobacco packs currently sold in the UK: a dark, murky green colour with large graphic health-warning images and scary messages aimed at informing current and potential smokers about the devastating consequences of tobacco consumption. They have no colourful logos, with the brand name just displayed in small characters in a standard font | Conversation, UK

Standardised “plain” packaging for hand rolling tobacco

Tomorrow sees the final implementation of new regulations which mandate that all cigarettes and tobacco must be sold in standardised “plain” packaging. As a part of the countdown, today’s article looks at how hand rolling tobacco is affected. See our factsheet for more information | ASH, UK

I can cope with drinking advice, but not bad care

Tinkering with the alcohol advice for pregnant women is just a sideshow when baby units are being closed | Guardian, UK

British prison shields itself against drug drones

A British prison has become the world’s first to use a new system designed to stop drones flying over perimeter walls to drop contraband into jails | Russell Webster, UK

Cassie Sainsbury: another accused drug mule, another Australian soap opera

Australia has a tradition of obsessive media coverage of people, particularly women, accused of dug trafficking abroad. What fuels it? | Guardian opinion, UK

Why taking drugs to treat addiction doesn’t mean you’re ‘still addicted’

A patient came to see me after his most recent near-fatal opioid overdose. Once again, he had stopped his prescribed medication, even though we had agreed together that the safest course of action was to continue | STAT News opinion, USA