Daily news - 31st May 2019

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World No Tobacco Day (31 May)

Every year, on 31 May, the World Health Organization (WHO) and global partners celebrate World No Tobacco Day (WNTD). The annual campaign is an opportunity to raise awareness on the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure, and to discourage the use of tobacco in any form. The focus of World No Tobacco Day 2019 is on "tobacco and lung health." | WHO, Switzerland


UK news

Written Statement: Welsh Government Update: Minimum Unit Pricing of Alcohol

In February this year, following a 3 month public consultation on the Welsh Government’s preferred level of the Minimum Unit Price (MUP) for alcohol, I issued a Written Statement regarding our intention to lay draft regulations before the National Assembly for Wales, with the view to introducing a 50p MUP for alcohol later in 2019 | Welsh Government, UK

PHE calls on all NHS Trusts to ban smoking on hospital grounds

Survey finds that more than two-thirds of NHS acute Trusts in England now prohibit smoking on site as part of their journey to becoming smokefree | PHE, UK

No amount of alcohol safe during pregnancy

The team, including experts from the University of Aberdeen, have taken a major step forward in understanding how expectant mothers’ consumption of alcohol affects foetal brain development | University of Aberdeen, UK

Local Alcohol Policy Implementation in Scotland: Understanding the Role of Accountability within Licensing

[Open access] Scotland has been ambitious in its policy and legislative efforts to tackle alcohol-related harm, efforts which include the innovative feature of a ‘public health objective’ within local alcohol licensing. However, the persistence of alcohol-related harms and inequalities requires further examination of both the overarching Scottish alcohol strategy and its specific implementation | Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, UK

Passive Smoking

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to prevent passive smoking | They work for you, UK

Psychiatrists call for warnings over antidepressant withdrawal

Patients suffering severe symptoms when they come off antidepressants too quickly need more help and support, the Royal College of Psychiatrists says | BBC, UK

England being damaged by new generation of football fans' 'stag-do culture'

England are being damaged by a new generation of football fans who adopt a “stag-do culture where young guys get together and suddenly anything goes” | Telegraph, UK

New Books on Addiction

New list for June | Addiction, UK

Rory Stewart risks being barred from the US after admitting smoking opium

Tory leadership candidate Rory Stewart risks being banned from entering the United States after admitting that he had smoked opium at a wedding party in Iran, the Telegraph can disclose | Telegraph, UK

George Best fans ‘don’t like to discuss his alcoholism’, says son Calum

Instead they would rather talk about the former Manchester United star’s legendary career | Manchester Evening News, UK

Sweet smuggling sisters sent to slammer

Two Dutch sisters who tried to smuggle cocaine hidden in packets of sweets into the UK have been jailed for a total of 12 years | NCA, UK


International news

European tobacco use: Trends report 2019 (2019)

Tobacco use represents an important public health issue worldwide, but particularly in the WHO European Region, where the highest levels of tobacco-use prevalence (over 29%) have been reported. Tobacco use causes a significant burden on health, imposes enormous economic costs to society, both directly from healthcare needs and indirectly from loss of productivity, fire damage and environmental harm | WHO, Switzerland

The Incredible New Way The UK Is Leading Vaping This Time

It doesn’t take long to realize that vaping is handled very differently depending on where you live. Legislators around the world have worked over the last ten-plus years to lay out the regulatory framework for this brand new industry | ChurnMag, USA

Cannabis use among older adults rising rapidly

Study is first state-wide investigation of cannabis use among older Americans and the outcomes they experience | EurekAlert, USA

Red tape limiting opioid epidemic fight: US doctors' group

An influential US doctors group on Thursday said administrative barriers are limiting access to opioid addiction treatment and policymakers should do more to address the deadly epidemic | Medical Xpress, USA

Cancer patients vaping in growing numbers

"The gradual but steady increase is quite striking," said study author Dr. Nina Sanford, an assistant professor of radiation oncology at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas | Medical Xpress, USA

Montco woman, 24, is sentenced to 21 years in prison for friend’s heroin overdose death

Jenny Werstler died of a heroin overdose after 20 years of life, abandoned on a KFC’s bathroom floor in West Philadelphia. On Wednesday, the friend who used the drug with her and left her that night was sentenced to at least as many years for causing her death | Philadelphia Inquirer, USA

A Bloody Week Shows the Drug War’s Continuous Violent Ripple Effect

More than 40 people were shot in Chicago last weekend, seven fatally, in what has become a grim Memorial Day ritual for the Windy City. Over the past three years, more than 150 Chicagoans have been shot over the three-day weekend that heralds the beginning of summer | Filter Magazine, USA

Opioid-related overdoses cause life expectancy in Canada to stall for first time in 40 years

'Although older men are living longer, the increase in deaths among young men almost completely offset these gains. A similar pattern occurred among women' | National Post, USA

New data available on home care and mental health and addictions

Canadians now have more information about home and community care and mental health and addictions services in their province or territory. Today, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) released 3 new indicators that show how Canada’s health systems are faring when it comes to how many Canadians | CIHI, Canada

More Canadians are hospitalized per day for health conditions and injuries caused by alcohol or drugs than for heart attacks and strokes combined, according to new data released on Thursday | Globe and Mail, Canada

'Ecstasy' shows promise for post-traumatic stress treatment

An international study involving researchers from UBC Okanagan has shown that MDMA, also known as ecstasy, may be a valuable tool for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) | Medical Xpress, Canada

Groundbreaking Northland methamphetamine pilot gets $4 million in Budget

A groundbreaking pilot helping methamphetamine addicts has secured funding for another four years - giving clinicians hope it might yet go nationwide | NZ Herald, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

We must ACT on drink-related harm

As part of the NHS Long Term Plan Prevention Focus Week, the Centre Director for Public Health England North East looks at the need to tackle alcohol dependency | NHS blog, UK

Rory Stewart took opium at a party – but will the Tory leader hopeful see sense on the war on drugs?

Stewart can get away with his ‘misdemeanour’. But what about the thousands of working class people unable to get treatment for their drug addiction due to austerity and the UK’s wrongheaded drugs policy? | Independent voices, UK

I know antidepressant withdrawal symptoms are real. Why didn’t doctors?

Like many, I’ve experienced severe side-effects from withdrawal. Now clinicians are starting to take them seriously | Guardian, UK

Brexit’s drug problem

For all the talk of free-trade, why is ‘Global Britain’ still behind on drug law reform? | Red Pepper, UK