Daily news -14th March 2018

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UK news

National No Smoking Day - March 14th

Ideas and support to help people quit | NHS, UK

Four in 10 smokers incorrectly think nicotine causes cancer

On No Smoking Day, PHE advises going ‘cold turkey’ is least effective way to quit | PHE, UK

Hiding, not providing: alcohol industry labelling proposal fails to deliver

RSPH has reacted with disappointment to a self-regulatory proposal for labelling announced by the alcohol industry | RSPH, UK

Welsh minimum alcohol price law passes first hurdle

A plan to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol has passed its first hurdle in the assembly | BBC, UK

Smokeless cigarettes not as harmless as claimed, study says

Users of new iQOS ‘heat not burn’ devices speed up their ‘puff rate’ to inhale more nicotine, researchers find | Guardian, UK

Bridging the chasm; legal drug prescribers relating to illegal drug users

In 1960s Britain a chasm of opposing agendas and social distance opened up between doctors treating drug addiction and their patients. This cell of the Drug Treatment Matrix examines how bridging such chasms makes treatment more effective | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Using cannabis 'just 5 times' as a teen linked to increased psychosis risk

"Smoking cannabis just 5 times as a teenager raises the risk of psychosis, reveals 'worrying' study," reports the Mail Online | NHS Choices: Behind the headlines, UK

Adult drug and alcohol misuse treatment business definitions

Business definitions for adult drug and alcohol misuse treatment providers to input data items onto the national drug treatment monitoring system (NDTMS) | PHE, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Minimum Prices

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent discussions he has had with the Home Secretary on the merits of the introduction of minimum unit pricing for alcohol for the pub sector | They work for you, UK

Podcast: Does personalised advice via computer or mobile devices reduce heavy drinking?

The Cochrane Drugs and Alcohol Group has produced several reviews of the effects of interventions intended to reduce heavy drinking. The collection was extended in September 2017 with an investigation of the use a computer to provide personalised advice. We asked one of the authors to tell us what they found | Cochrane, UK

People who quit smoking ‘save thousands on life cover’

According to Royal London, a smoker aged 30 would pay £29.47 per month whereas a non-smoker would pay £14 a month. This equates to £4,641 in savings over a 25 year term | Health Insurance Daily, UK

Stop and search harms fight against knife crime, Met officer says

Stop and search for suspected minor drug crimes such as cannabis possession is hampering the Metropolitan police’s ability to tackle London’s knife crime epidemic by souring relationships with the public, the chair of the Metropolitan Black Police Association has said | Guardian, UK

What is Funding Central?

Searching for funding for your voluntary organisation or social enterprise? Funding Central provides unique access to thousands of grants, contracts and loan finance opportunities from local, national and international funding sources, all in one place, through one search | Funding Central, UK

MP urges ministers to allow legal drug consumption rooms

The SNP’s Alison Thewliss wants to introduce legislation which protects staff from prosecution to enable supervised facilities to exist | Belfast Telegraph, UK

Drugs deaths fall in Llanelli after dealers caught

Heroin deaths in a Carmarthenshire town have dropped since raids were carried out on 28 members of a drugs gang who have now been jailed, police have said | BBC, UK

Scots dog with cancer is treated with cannabis oil after surgery

A cancer-stricken dog is being treated with cannabis oil by an animal welfare centre in what is believed to be the first experiment of its type in the UK | Scotsman, UK


International news

In EU First, Netherlands to Trial Recreational Cannabis Cultivation

Dutch ministers have outlined plans to regulate cannabis cultivation in certain parts of the Netherlands for a trial period | Talking Drugs, UK

Letter: Asma Jahangir obituary

The Pakistani human rights lawyer Asma Jahangir was a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, and spoke at Chatham House in London during the launch of its most recent report in January this year. Entitled Countering Prejudices About People Who Use Drugs, it reflects her concern for marginalised and excluded groups and people | Guardian, UK

Survey reveals what Irish people think of drinking on St Patrick's Day

A survey has found that most Irish people think there is too much alcohol drank on St Patrick's Day | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Trump Wants To Execute Drug Dealers. Here’s Why That Won’t Fix The US Drug Epidemic

Addiction experts say that drug users and dealers wouldn’t be deterred by the threat of execution years away — and that similarly draconian policies haven’t worked in other parts of the world. Legal scholars say the Supreme Court probably wouldn’t go for it, either | BuzzFeed, USA

Everything you need to know about Massachusetts’ new pot rules

After months of debate, the rules for Massachusetts’ recreational marijuana industry are largely set. With sales poised to begin in July, what can consumers expect? Here are quick answers to some frequently asked questions | Boston Globe, USA

How the War on Drugs Holds Science Back - video

The way some drugs are classified puts scientists in a bind. How can you research the benefits of substances if your government won't let you access them? Lawmakers must stop placing politics above scientific progress | Open Society Foundations, USA

How America’s prisons are fueling the opioid epidemic

Prisons aren’t linking people to adequate addiction treatment — and many are dying as a result | Vox, USA

Wide variation found among US counties for death from alcohol and drug use, suicide and interpersonal violence

Deaths from alcohol and drug use disorders, self-harm and interpersonal violence varied widely among U.S counties | EurekAlert, USA

Double trouble: Smoking, gambling, and impulsivity

Many people who experience problems with gambling experience other substance use or mental health conditions, and smoking is a common one | BASIS, USA

Review finds abuse of prison's methadone program rife

The Alexander Maconochie Centre: 30 per cent of prisoners are on the methadone program. Photo: File photo. A culture of drug-seeking persists among prisoners | The Riot Act, Australia

Research finds Australian parents are more concerned about their children's use of social media than drugs and alcohol

According to research conducted by ReachOut, Australian parents are more concerned about their children’s use of social media and technology than smoking, drugs and alcohol | Illawarra Mercury, Australia

ASH welcomes the end of tobacco branding in New Zealand

As of today, March 14th, Tobacco companies will no longer be able to sell cigarettes in branded packaging. All cigarette released for sale from today must be sold in plain, olive brown generic packaging | Scoop, New Zealand

Here's What Was In the Bad Batch of MDMA That Put 13 Kiwis in Hospital

Police have issued a formal warning about N-Ethylpentylone being sold as ecstasy after 13 people were hospitalised in Christchurch | VICE, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Harry’s blog 53: WTF

I know there are some readers of this blog who are unfamiliar with the happy-go-lucky world of international tobacco control. Here is a snippet of back story. Derek Yach was formerly an important figure in WHO tobacco control circles until he recently became head of the Foundation for a Smoke Free World (FSFW) funded in a very transparent way by Philip Morris International | NSP Blog, UK

Big Tobacco is funding the anti-smoking lobby – but leaked documents reveal the real reason why

The world’s top experts on tobacco and health gathered at a conference in South Africa last week to discuss how to prevent an estimated a billion people dying of smoking-related diseases this century | Conversation, UK

Promoting ‘Growing Your Own’ Has No Place In The Campaign For Medicinal Cannabis

In the UK, the idea that we are going to convince politicians and medical policymakers that we "grow our own medicine" is fantasy. It is not going to happen. GYO must wait for wider decriminalisation or legalisation | Clear, UK

Why it’s not ‘enabling’ to make drug use safer

Opposing needle exchanges and insisting people with addiction must hit “rock bottom” flies in the face of reality | Washington Post perspective, USA