Weekly news - 12th January 2018


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Only one in 10 Britons know alcohol causes cancer, survey finds

Cancer Research UK says scale of ignorance is worrying as findings also show backing for warning labels on bottles and cans | Guardian, UK

[Registration required] Google makes millions from plight of addicts

Google has been profiting from a practice banned in America in which brokers secretly reap millions of pounds from vulnerable people seeking treatment for addictive diseases in the UK | Sunday Times, UK

Smoking cessation: shifting the research focus to community pharmacy

The National Institute for Health Research has been funding a five-year programme of research into interactions between pharmacy staff and their clients in the NHS smoking cessation service | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

How buying drugs became as easy as buying ice cream

'Everyone at uni knew the guy in the ice cream van was a dealer' | Independent, UK

Airport bars could face hours limits to curb flight rage

Restrictions on the sale of alcohol at UK airports could be introduced in an effort to reduce the number of drink-related rage incidents on planes | BBC, UK

First do no harm: developing interventions that combat addiction without increasing inequalities

Throughout England, the life expectancy at birth gap between the 10% most deprived neighbourhoods and the 10% most affluent stands at approximately 9 years for boys and 7 years for girls | Addiction editorial, UK

You don’t have to be poor to be hooked on drugs or alcohol but it helps

The Tories have excluded public health from their ‘ringfenced’ NHS spending, and dismissed addictions as diseases of choice | Guardian opinion, UK

Academics questioned on E-cigarettes

A report from Public Health England states that E-cigarettes are 95% less harmful compared to conventional cigarettes and NHS England’s recent "stop-tober" campaign highlights e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool. The Science and Technology Committee hears from two panels of academics on their assessment of the current research into e-cigarettes and their effect on human health | Parliament.uk, UK

Public involvement in alcohol research: avoiding the black hole?

Only a limited amount of alcohol research taking place formally involves people experiencing alcohol-related harms as potentially highly valuable contributors to research processes and outputs. Of the research that does, there are often many challenges involved and the ‘black hole of public involvement’ includes cases of public involvement in which the research remains unchanged | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

The Brain Under Construction [2] – The effects of alcohol on the brain

This briefing paper is part of a mini-series on the ‘Brain Under Construction’ aimed at helping professionals better understand the young people they support. It is well established that substance use has negative consequences for the brain | Mentor - ADEPIS, UK

The World Drug Perception Problem: Countering Prejudices About People Who Use Drugs

Drug policy reforms have been difficult to design, legislate or implement because current policies and responses are often based on perceptions and passionate beliefs, and what should be factual discussions leading to effective policies are frequently treated as moral debates | Global Commission on Drug Policy, Switzerland

Changing drug laws too much hassle for Tories, says Nick Clegg

Former deputy prime minister says many Conservatives privately agree reform is needed, with the exception of Theresa May | Guardian, UK

Not in the script

The huge rise in opioid painkiller prescriptions over the last decade is creating problems of dependency and overdose. With comment from our Director - Harry Shapiro | Big Issue North, UK

Hopsitals gear up for brief intervention CQUIN delivery

Hospitals across England are preparing for the introduction of the ‘preventing ill health by risky behaviours – alcohol and tobacco CQUIN’, which require alcohol and smoking brief interventions to be delivered to hospital inpatients from 1st April 2018 | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

The 'Russian roulette' drug tearing apart homeless lives

A highly potent strain of the illegal drug Spice is said to have returned to Manchester, and to be causing devastation and even deaths among the city's homeless community | BBC, UK

Alcohol minimum unit pricing inquiry

Inquiry announced. Oral evidence session:  Monday 22 January 2018 at 2.15pm | Parliament.uk, UK

Many smokers overestimate e-cigarette risks, MPs hear

Paul Aveyard, coordinating editor of the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group, told the House of Commons science and technology committee that he was concerned because half of smokers believed e-cigarettes to be as harmful as conventional cigarettes | BMJ, UK

Availability of Nalxone in England

Early day motion 777. That this House was shocked by the results of a survey by Release of local authorities in England which revealed availability of Naloxone to be wholly inadequate... | Parliament.uk, UK

Smokefree plegde

In January 2018 the Smokefree Action Coalition launched the NHS Smokefree Pledge. The Pledge is designed to be a clear and visible way for NHS organisations to show their commitment to helping smokers to quit and to providing smokefree environments which support them | Smokefree Action, UK

Measuring alcohol-related harm; politics and science

At national level alcohol-related harm and especially the net cost of harm versus benefits are slippery concepts. Malleability and policy salience combine to make the estimates contested territory, seen as justifying reduced alcohol taxes at one end and greatly increased prices at the other | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Does 'just one cigarette at parties' turn into a daily habit?

"One cigarette 'may lead to habit for more than two thirds of people'," reports The Guardian. The Mail Online goes further, claiming that "one puff of a cigarette is enough to get you hooked" | NHS Choices: Behind the headlines, UK

The Hepatitis C Trust launches 'Eliminating Hepatitis C in Scotland' report

The Hepatitis C Trust has today launched a new report, ‘Eliminating Hepatitis C in Scotland: A Call to Action’. The report follows an inquiry conducted by The Hepatitis C Trust and the cross-party Scottish Hepatitis C Parliamentary Champions group over the course of 2017, which involved oral evidence sessions and the submission of written evidence by individuals and organisations working across the hepatitis C patient pathway | Heaptitis C Trust, UK

Minimum alcohol price law cost us £1m, Asda claims

Wales' health secretary has said he takes "with a pinch of salt" a claim introducing a minimum price for alcohol will be costly for supermarkets | BBC, UK

Sharp drop in Australian teenagers’ use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco

Study’s authors attribute the fall to stricter parental attitudes and law reforms that have reduced availability of substances | Guardian, UK