Daily news - 20th October 2021

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UK news

The Chancellor should reform alcohol taxes in the Budget

Press reports suggest that the Chancellor is planning an overhaul of the UK’s system of alcohol duties. The current system, which raises about £12 billion a year, is certainly ripe for reform | IFS, UK

‘Smoking kills’ could be printed on every cigarette under new proposals

MPs propose raft of tough new measures aimed at getting more people to stop smoking | Guardian, UK

Duchess of Cambridge warns addiction can happen to anyone

"None of us are immune" to addiction, the Duchess of Cambridge warned as she highlighted the "devastating impact" of the pandemic on addiction rates | BBC, UK

Taking Action on Addiction - Don't Let Addiction Steal Their Dreams - video

Addiction is never anybody's childhood dream but it can happen to anyone, from all walks of life.  It cannot be treated by ignoring it or hiding it away.   Recovery is possible. Addiction doesn’t have to be the end of the story.   We can all Take Action on Addiction and stop it stealing any more childhood dreams.   Join the campaign at www.takingactiononaddiction.org.uk | Action on Addiction, UK

Addiction Awareness Week: Addiction & Recovery Workshop Application Form

As part of Music Support’s involvement with Addiction Awareness Week, we are delighted to offer a number of free places for you to attend our brand-new Addiction and Recovery Workshop | Music Support, UK

Understanding Addiction - video

The first film in our series of nine is an introduction to the concept of addiction, explaining the science behind it, presenting key words, and featuring select moments from interviews with seven people who have each been exposed to a different type of addiction. This film covers the original reasons why their addictions spiralled, the effects on the individuals and their loved ones, and how recovery saved their lives | TrueTube, UK

Alcohol strategy - Early Day Motion

That this House notes that Public Health England data revealed there were 6,983 alcohol-specific deaths in 2020...further notes that National Records of Scotland statistics showed there were 1,190 alcohol-specific deaths registered in 2020; recalls that the Alcohol Charter was launched on 16 October 2018 by the Drugs, Alcohol and Justice Cross-Party Group and APPG on Alcohol Harm, providing a basis for an alcohol strategy; is concerned that three years have now passed without the publication of a strategy... | Parliament.uk, UK

Psilocybin: Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 - parliamentary debates

[Scroll down just past column 537] Crispin Blunt MP asks - Whether her Department plans to take steps to reschedule psilocybin to schedule 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 | Parliament.uk, UK

Drug Safety Testing at Events - parliamentary debates

[Scroll down just past column 541]  Kerry McCarthy MP asks - What recent assessment she has made of the potential merits of implementing drug safety testing for (a) festivals and (b) events in the night-time economy? | Parliament.uk, UK

SABAA Survey

The Society for the Study of Addiction is funding a Priority setting partnership on Substance, Alcohol and Behavioural Addictions in Autistic People (SABAA)- to understand where the priorities for research, policy and support and treatment services lie. The SABAA survey is now live! Please fill in the survey and disseminate the link among your networks | SSA, UK

Schools asked to support survey on Smoking Drinking and Drug Use among young people in England

NHS Digital is calling on selected secondary schools across England to take part in a statistical survey that will measure the use of alcohol, nicotine and drugs in young people. Please lend your support to the research by encouraging schools in your area to participate. Schools can find out more by vising the Ipsos MORI website or by contacting Jamie Roberts on 080 8101 2066 or via email SDDsurvey@ipsos.com | NHS Digital, UK

How does the alcohol industry present cardiovascular health information?

Thu, 21 October 2021, 14:00 – 15:00 BST. Mark Petticrew will present his findings on how alcohol industry-funded websites frame alcohol and cardiovascular disease risk | IAS, UK

Drug Policy and Children's Rights

Wed, 27 October 2021, 13:00 – 14:00 BST. Spaekers: Damon Barrett - Author: Child Rights and Drug Control in International Law (Brill, 2020) and Angharad Williams (Choices Team Leader) & Jamie Harris (Service Manager, Barod Swansea) | Swansea University, UK

Community wins £500,000 in funding for remotest mainland pub

A community hoping to take over Britain's remotest mainland pub has won more than £500,000 in funding. The Old Forge in Inverie is on the Knoydart Peninsula in Lochaber | BBC, UK

Gang 'brought £250k of drugs' to Leamington Spa and Stratford-upon-Avon

Officers have targeted a county lines gang they say brought drugs valued at nearly £250,000 into two tourist towns | BBC, UK


International news

Price for drug that reverses opioid overdoses soars amid record deaths

Pfizer manufacturing problems leave nonprofits paying exorbitant prices for dwindling supplies of life-saving naloxone | Guardian, UK

Football coach appeals 25-year Dubai jail term over CBD vape oil

A British football coach, jailed for 25 years in Dubai after four bottles of vape liquid containing cannabis oil were found in his car, has launched an appeal against his conviction | BBC, UK

EXCLUSIVE: The disturbing message Jimmy Brings sent an alcoholic after she begged them to stop contacting her - as booze delivery service is investigated over man who drank himself to death

An alcoholic who pleaded with home delivery booze service Jimmy Brings to stop serving her was instead repeatedly sent promotional messages and discount codes by the drink delivery service | Mail Online, UK

Police Bust Largest Marijuana Plantation In Europe

The facility in Huerta de Valdecarábanos, Toledo, Spain, spanned 120,000 sq metres - more than 16 standard football fields - and was supposedly growing hemp for industrial use | LADBible, UK

Almost €700,000 allocated for delayed drug treatment programme

The new programme will see people caught with drugs for personal use for the first time referred for health interventions | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Just 2%-3% of people with alcohol dependency entering treatment, study suggests

The number of people receiving treatment for alcohol dependency in Ireland is considerably less than the number of people with drink problems, according to the findings of new research | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Could Italy become the first European country to ban smoking while driving?

A complete ban on smoking at the wheel is being considered this week as Italy's parliament debates changes to the Highway Code | The Local, Italy

Cannabis: health and social response

This cannabis miniguide provides an overview of the most important aspects to consider when planning or delivering health and social responses to cannabis-related problems, and reviews the availability and effectiveness of the responses. It also considers implications for policy and practice | EMCDDA, Portugal

Incidence of Cigarette Smoking Relapse Among Individuals Who Switched to e-Cigarettes or Other Tobacco Products

In this cohort study of a representative sample of US adults, 9.4% of respondents who smoked cigarettes became recent former smokers 1 year later. Switching to any tobacco product including e-cigarettes was associated with an 8.5% increase in relapse to smoking over the next year; this increase in relapse was similar to that seen in individuals who switched to other tobacco products | JAMA Network Open, USA [See also Blogs section below]

Progress in FDA’s Review of Millions of Tobacco Products

n early September 2020, the FDA faced a 1-year deadline to review more than 6.5 million tobacco products, some that already were on the market but hadn’t been through the FDA review process. Thousands of applications representing those products—most are electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS)—have now been reviewed, and the agency has taken action on about 93% of them | JAMA Network, USA

Many patients with breast cancer use cannabis but do not notify their physician

More than 40% of patients with breast cancer reported using cannabis to manage their treatment symptoms, yet most patients did not discuss cannabis use with a physician, according to survey results published in Cancer | Healio, USA

ASHES, Vol. 17(11) - Can e-cigarettes help smokers quit cigarettes?

For many people, quitting smoking is one feat of self-control after another. First comes the nicotine withdrawal, disrupting your appetite, mood, and sleep. Then comes the constant triggers as you go about routines that used to involve smoking. Finally, there is a stressful event, where smoking feels like the perfect way to take the edge off… | BASIS, USA

Baltimore’s No-Prosecution Policy for Low-Level Drug Possession and Prostitution Finds Almost No Rearrests for Serious Offenses

Six out of 741 whose charges were dropped under policy were rearrested for serious offenses; report also found policy led to fewer new arrests and fewer 911 calls | John Hopkins University, USA

As Illinois Terminates Its ICE Contracts, an Indiana County Angles to Sweep Up Detainees—and Profits

In August, the state of Illinois agreed to end immigrant detention and restrict the capacity of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to hold immigrants awaiting court dates. But this does not mean the people in custody will be freed—ICE has the power to transfer them to its facilities in other states. And just 25 miles away in Indiana, the Clay County Justice Center wants to be that facility | Filter Magazine, USA

Costa Rica congress approves legalization of marijuana for medicinal use

Costa Rica's Congress on Tuesday approved the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes, despite opposition from conservative groups and President Carlos Alvarado who still needs to put his stamp of approval on the law | Reuters, USA

Guelph consumption and treatment site is saving and improving lives, say health officials

Site saw 5,500 visits from 185 people in its first year, with 49 overdoses reversed | Guelph Today, Canada

Supporting veterans in their transition from the defence force to civilian life

This week is Veterans’ Health Week, a week dedicated to raising awareness and supporting the health and wellbeing of veterans | Turning Point, Australia

‘Ice’ epidemic: amount of illegal stimulants seized in NSW more than doubles in a year

The amount of ice and related stimulants seized in NSW surged 120 per cent in a year to 9.8 tonnes as drug bust records tumbled nationwide, underscoring the threat posed by organised crime networks that control production, imports and distribution | SMH, Australia

Vaping with nicotine more common than smoking among NZ teens

More than a third of New Zealand high school students have tried vaping, with 10 percent vaping regularly and six percent vaping weekly or more often, researchers have found | Medical Xpress, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

How to measure cannabis use: introducing the ‘International Cannabis Toolkit’ or iCannToolkit

When buying a drink of alcohol, you don’t have to wait for the intoxicating effects to realise how weak or strong it is, as there is an agreed measure of its strength the ‘alcohol by volume’ or ABV provides the amount of alcohol by volume a drink contains. However, for people consuming cannabis they are left relying on their mate Billy for information about the potency of the drug they plan to use. In practice, what this means is that many people won’t know how potent their cannabis is until they have already started using it | Mental Elf blog, UK

'Drinking should be a choice not a social obligation': Telegraph readers on British drinking culture

[Limited number of free articles per week] What is your approach to alcohol? Share your thoughts and join the discussion in the comments | Telegraph, UK

Expert reaction to study on vaping and staying off cigarettes

A study published in JAMA Network Open looks at incidence of cigarette smoking relapse among individuals who switched to e-cigarettes or other tobacco products | Science Media Centre, UK

Can e-Cigarettes Help Adults Who Smoke Successfully Quit All Combusted Tobacco Products?

Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death in the US. Within public health, the question of whether the use of e-cigarettes might assist adults who smoke cigarettes to successfully quit all combusted tobacco products continues to be hotly debated [See also JAMA paper above] | JAMA Network Open -Invited commentary, USA

On the Clock: Minding the Equity Gap in New York’s Legal Weed Era

In March, the former Governor of New York signed legislation legalizing adult-use cannabis in New York | Points blog, USA