Daily news - 20th February 2018

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UK news

Centre for Public Appointments

To complement its existing skills and knowledge, the ACMD is seeking 8 new members | Cabinet Office, UK

Scotland’s drug deaths crisis

We can reveal the major drugs plight of Dundee in Scotland, a city where the scale of drugs deaths is greater than anywhere in the UK, which in turn has by far the highest death rate in the European Union | Channel 4, UK

Former drug user Leslie Chandler: ‘I had many overdoses and near-death experiences’

Video. Leslie Chandler, a former heroin and crack cocaine user who is now clean, studying at university and volunteers for the drug and alcohol charity Addaction, and Scotland’s Minister for Health, Aileen Campbell, discuss drugs | Channel 4, UK

Stay Well in Wales: The public’s views on public health (PDF)

This report sets out what Wales thinks should be done to improve the health of its residents. [Includes public opinoin relating to information on alcohol, smoking and other drugs] | WALES NHS, UK

Drink price law could lead addicts to drugs, says charity

Putting up the cost of alcohol could lead some homeless people to cheap and illegal drugs, a charity has warned | BBC, UK

Illegal tobacco sellers use slang to beat Facebook ban

Sellers of unlicensed tobacco on Facebook’s Marketplace app are sidestepping the social media giant’s safeguards by misspelling brand names, using foreign languages and communicating in slang | Sunday Times, UK

Cannabis Oil: 'My son needs to live'

The mother of a 6-year-old boy with a form of epilepsy has told 5 live about her campaign for him to be treated with medical cannabis oil | BBC, UK

Ageing boozers must get a life: How to drink less and defy the trend of drinking more as you grow old

Latest figures reveal that more over-50s are drinking a lot daily than ever before | Mirror, UK

UK news media representations of smoking, smoking policies and tobacco bans in prisons

Prisoner smoking rates remain high, resulting in secondhand smoke exposures for prison staff and non-smoker prisoners. Several jurisdictions have introduced prison smoking bans with little evidence of resulting disorder | BMJ, U

The Salon Owner Who Lived a Double Life as a Cocaine Boss

The story of Leanne Duffin, who used her Cosmopolitan beauty salon to mask a lucrative coke and weed dealing ring | VICE, UK

Drug-swallow suspect 'holding back nature'

A suspected drug dealer, alleged to have swallowed evidence when stopped by police 32 days ago, is refusing food to prevent nature's course, a court heard | BBC, UK


International news

Where there’s smoke . . . there’s BAT

[Registration may be required] In the 1930s, Lucky Strike was the bestselling cigarette brand in America| Sunday Times, UK

Dublin's dead men walking: 29 on death list in brutal gangland war

Police say no end in sight to fight over drug trade by rival gangs loyal to Christy Kinahan and Gerry Hutch | Guardian, UK

Australian police seize £152 million of drugs hidden in cranes

Police in Australia have seized a huge haul of drugs worth around £152 million | ITV, UK

Substance abuse during pregnancy: a 5-year follow-up of mothers and children

The study investigates health and social conditions among pregnant substance abusers and the children that were born from these pregnancies, and analyses outcomes in relation to type of substance abuse | DEPP, Sweden

Austria: Thousands sign up to scupper government's plans to stub out smoking ban

The Austrian government had scrapped a ban on smoking that was meant to come into force in May but will now have to discuss it. Austria is one of the few Western countries which allows smoking in bars and restaurants | DW, Austria

Six Myths To Bust About Hepatitis C

There are approximately 70 million people living with hepatitis C worldwide, including 214,000 in the UK. Here we debunk the myths and tell you exactly what you need to know | BuzzFeed, USA

Cool-Looking and Sweet, Juul Is a Vice Teens Can’t Resist

In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that cigarette smoking among high school students had dropped to its lowest level in 24 years | NYTimes, USA

Doctors not convinced on medical cannabis

Researchers are calling for stronger and more streamlined guidelines in administering and supplying medical cannabis | SBS News, Australia

"Harder Than Heroin": Synthetic Cannabinoids in New Zealand

As Kiwis continue to die, addicts like Tammara struggle to access the help they need | VICE, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Creating a smokefree NHS: how e-cigarettes can help

Following the recent publication of our updated review of e-cigarettes (ECs) and the news headlines that followed about vaping in hospitals, this is a good time to set out the role we think ECs can play in helping create a smokefree NHS and to make clear our position | PHE blog, UK

Drug reform police chief faces the Downing Street backlash

On the face of it, there was nothing strange about West Midlands police & crime commissioner David Jamieson announcing a set of 'practical proposals' to help reduce drug abuse | Politics.co.uk, UK

Comfortably numb – why some older people turn to cannabis for pain relief

When most people think of cannabis users, they probably think mainly of the younger generations. But it’s actually the 45 to 64 age group who show the highest proportion of household spending on cannabis | Conversation, UK

Keeping medical cannabis from children is callous, and foolish

Alfie Dingley, who has severe epilepsy, is suffering pointlessly. What will it take to make our government see sense? | Guardian opinion, UK

EU needs to ‘urgently’ adopt new alcohol strategy, argues Ewa-May Karlsson

Few people realise that alcohol, not smoking, is the biggest risk factor in the overall burden of diseases for people aged 15 to 49, leading to a sobering statistic of €155.8bn worth of direct social costs stemming from alcohol related harm | Parliament Magazine, UK

My father’s addiction made him a stranger. Is it too late to get to know him now?

When Sebastian Johnson lost his mother he realised that connecting with his estranged father, a recovering crack addict, might be a way to unlock some of his personal pain | Independent, UK

Strategies to Help Young Adults Limit Negative Consequences of Marijuana Use

Young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 have been shown to be the most prevalent and problematic users of marijuana. And now with laws for recreational marijuana sales emerging in multiple states, there is a need to understand how the potential for harm can be minimized among young adults who choose to use the drug | RAND blog, USA

GPs prescribing cannabis could be just what the doctor ordered

For the vast majority of Australian patients, medicinal cannabis is little more than a pipe dream and part of the problem lies with the all-too-conservative approach that relies on specialist doctors | SMH, Australia