Daily news - 3rd July 2019

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UK news

Adult smoking habits in the UK: 2018

Cigarette smoking habits among adults in the UK, including the proportion of people who smoke, demographic breakdowns, changes over time, and use of e-cigarettes | ONS, UK

Stub it out - About this campaign

As a smoker you are twice as likely to lose your vision compared to a non-smoker, yet the link between smoking and sight threatening conditions is not always recognised. In fact, only a fifth of smokers realise that smoking can cause blindness or sight impairment | Association of Optometrists, UK

Local tobacco control profiles for England: July 2019 update

An overview of the extent of tobacco use, tobacco related harm and the measures being taken to reduce this harm at a local level in England | PHE, UK

Number of adults using e-cigarettes rises 70 per cent in two years, while one in four children now try them 

The number of adults vaping has risen by 70 per cent in just two years, with one in four children trying e-cigarettes, official data shows | Telegraph, UK

Smoking: Lack of progress on teenage rate 'shocking'

But a recent survey of thousands of Year 11 pupils suggested the percentage who smoke regularly in Wales - about 9% - has not fallen since 2013-14, with the rate among poorer teenagers rising | BBC, UK

Statistics on Women's Smoking Status at Time of Delivery: England - Quarter 4, 2018-19

Results and trends from the women's smoking status at time of delivery (SATOD) data collection in England. The results provide a measure of the prevalence of smoking among pregnant women at Commissioning Region, Region, Sustainability and Transformation Partnership and Clinical Commissioning Group level | NHS Digital, UK

Pregnant smokers warned of ‘potentially deadly risks’

More than 61,000 women still smoking last year at time they gave birth, NHS England says | Guardian, UK

Stronger evidence needed to improve confidence in medicinal cannabis

Despite the rescheduling of medicinal cannabis, very few prescriptions have been issued. One of the many reasons for this is because of the gaps in the evidence base | parliament.uk, UK

Drugs policy: medicinal cannabis 

The plight of children affected by intractable epilepsy and the efforts of the families of Alfie Dingley and Billy Caldwell to access to medicinal cannabis led to a change in Government policy. In November 2018 medicinal cannabis was changed from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulation 2001, allowing specialist doctors to prescribe it and for products to be available for further research to be conducted | House of Commons / Health and Social Care Committee, UK

Medical cannabis 'expectations unfairly raised'

Families' hopes were unfairly raised when doctors were allowed to prescribe cannabis, a report has concluded | BBC, UK

Doctors not prescribing medicinal cannabis due to lack of clinical trials

Commons’ health committee warns patients’ expectations are being disappointed | Guardian, UK

Scottish Affairs Committee - drugs debate

Debating problem drug use in Scotland | Parliament.uk, UK

Third of councils fear they will be unable to deliver lifeline services, risking ‘substantial human cost’

Local authorities overwhelmed by ‘unprecedented demand’ believe they will be unable to fulfil legal duty to constituents by 2022/23 | Independent, UK

Tory leadership: Boris Johnson promises review on 'sin taxes'

Boris Johnson has promised to review so-called "sin taxes" to see if they unfairly target those on lower incomes | BBC, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the level of alcohol-related mortality rates in each National Statistics Socio economic classification in the most recent period for which figures are available | They work for you, UK

Drugs: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has conducted an impact assessment of the potential effect of the planned cessation of ring-fencing of the Public Health Grant in 2020 on the (a) quality of drug treatment and (b) rate of drug-related deaths | They work for you, UK


In July 2019 the latest drug-related death statistics will be published, with a significant increase projected from the 934 deaths reported last year. Whole families continue to be devastated, left heartbroken, frustrated and angry that they first lost their loved ones to addiction, and ultimately to death | SFAD, UK

Bristol Needle Exchange Anniversary

In July 1987, BDP launched one of the UK's pioneering Needle Exchanges in the fight against Aids. To mark the 32nd anniversary of needle exchanges in Bristol, we caught up with Louise from Exchange Supplieswho work in partnership with BDP and 25 pharmacies across Bristol to support people injecting drugs to reduce harm | BDP, UK

02: Addiction and Rehabilitation - audio

Jacob talks to recovered and recovering addicts | BBC, UK

Why are people eating CBD and will it get me high?

Cannabidiol, or as it’s better known CBD, is a legal cannabinoid (chemicals found in cannabis) and can be sold in the UK | BBC Food, UK

Paul Gascoigne v Snoop Dogg: Is cannabis or alcohol worse for you?

An unlikely debate has broken out because of Snoop Dogg and ex-footballer Paul Gascoigne over what's worse - cannabis or alcohol? | BBC, UK

The Cannabis Debate: ‘Knifings? They’re all about control over drugs’

Former special constable Joseph Kaz’s time on the beat radically altered his view of cannabis. But when he spoke up on Question Time, he was investigated for misconduct. David Cohen investigates | Evening Standard, UK

School refused to administer cannabis oil to pupil, 5, and threatened social services

Tannine Montgomery’s daughter Indie-Rose Clarry suffers from Dravet syndrome, a form of epilepsy | Metro, UK


International news

Five-year-old 'hallucinated' after Perth cafe allegedly served cannabis-laced brownies

Perth council charges Bada Bing with selling ‘unsuitable food’ after mother and child allegedly test positive for THC | Guardian, UK

A systematic review of research on adolescent solitaryalcohol and marijuana use in the United States

[open access] Alcohol use and marijuana use tend to be social activities among adolescents. Some youth usealcohol or marijuana while alone. This article provides a framework for examining the risk factors for and consequences ofsolitary alcohol and marijuana use, grounded in a motivational model that emphasizes coping with negative emotions,and provides the first systematic review of research on solitary alcohol and marijuana use among middle school- and highschool-aged adolescents in the United States | Addiction, UK

Nevada becomes first state to ban employers from refusing to hire job applicants who fail marijuana tests

It became the first state to approve such a drug test law, just two years after recreational marijuana sales began in Nevada | Mail Online, UK

Woolworths to offload its pokies, pubs and liquor businesses

Supermarket giant under pressure to divest from gambling after Coles announced its exit in March | Guardian, UK

France to relax ban on absinthe – archive, 1925

3 July 1925: The purchase of two or three bottles at a time by individuals for their private consumption is proposed | Guardian, UK

Man sentenced for threats to doctor over methadone dose reduction

Derek Murphy (49) on bail for robbery and discharging a firearm at time of incident | Irish Times, Ireland

Marijuana Could Be The Alternative Pain Reliever Replacing Opioids

It’s long been known that the marijuana plant (Cannabis sativa) contains chemicals that can help treat a range of illnesses and symptoms. Among the proven benefits from using medicine derived from cannabis are reducing pain and inflammation and controlling epileptic seizures | Medical Daily, USA

Bringing commonsense cannabis education to the masses

When Kent Hutchison's 70-year-old mother traveled to Colorado in 2014 to explore using marijuana to ease her chronic pain, she got different—often contradictory—advice from every dispensary she visited | Medical Xpress, USA

Harm reduction measures employed by people using opioids with suspected fentanyl exposure in Boston, Baltimore, and Providence

Exposure to potent synthetic opioids such as illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF) has fueled the escalating overdose crisis in the USA, particularly in the east coast. Drug checking services, which allow people who use drugs (PWUD) to learn about the contents of their drugs, remain limited and even criminalized in many states | Harm Reduction Journal, USA

IT interventions to advance treatment for opioid and other addictions

Addiction Science & Clinical Practice is pleased to announce an upcoming special series to focus on digital/information technology (IT) screening and interventions to advance treatment for opioid and other substance use disorders | Biomed Central, USA

Vape shops: Helpful or harmful?

If you live in the United States or in a number of other countries, you might have noticed that vape shops are on the rise. In 2016, approximately 41% of e-cigarette users in the U.S. purchased products from a vape shop, compared to 27% online and 30% elsewhere | BASIS, USA

Study Finds E-Cigarettes Could Damage Brain Stem Cells, Speed Up Aging

E-cigarettes have been linked to changes to brain functions and aging. A new study warns that smoke from nicotine-based devices could trigger stress response in neural stem cells, which play an important role in the body | Medical Daily, USA

People are ditching cigarettes for vaping for reasons other than their health

Whether or not taxes on e-cigarettes improve public health is a complicated question | MarketWatch, USA

Can vapes save the world from smoking?

Karl Erik Lund first puffed on a cigarette at a party not long after smoking rates peaked in Norway. In the mid 1970s, almost half of adults in the country smoked. Lund, who is now 60, was young and would never take to smoking in a big way | Medical Xpress, USA

New Canada-U.S. opioid plan to help rebuild frayed relations from trade talks

The ranking U.S. diplomat on drug enforcement policy is to visit Ottawa in July to kick-start a fresh round of co-operation between the two countries on tackling the opioid crisis | Globe and Mail, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

Tom Swarbrick of LBC interviews Peter Reynolds of CLEAR, 1st July 2019 - audio

"On the same day that a survey shows 63% of Londoners support legalising cannabis, a new clinic opens for treating cannabis psychosis. Tom Swarbrick of LBC interviews Peter Reynolds of CLEAR and asks should we follow Canada and legalise or would that lead to more mental health problems?"