Daily news -25th October 2017

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UK news

E-cigarettes: Cross-party group of MPs launches inquiry

MPs are to carry out an inquiry into e-cigarettes amid concerns there are "significant gaps" in what is known about them and how they are regulated | BBC, UK

Investigating local policy drivers for alcohol harm prevention: a comparative case study of two local authorities in England

The considerable challenges associated with implementing national level alcohol policies have encouraged a renewed focus on the prospects for local-level policies in the UK and elsewhere. We adopted a case study approach to identify the major characteristics and drivers of differences in the patterns of local alcohol policies and services in two contrasting local authority (LA) areas in England | BMC Public Health, UK

Crossing the Line - Britain's Teenage Drug Mules

Drug dealers from big cities are exploiting thousands of teenagers to traffic Class A drugs to smaller rural towns in what's known as County Lines | BBC, UK

Pubs 'hammered' by cheap supermarket alcohol, says Jones - video

First Minister Carwyn Jones has said a law to set a minimum price for alcohol will help the survival of pubs as well as the nation's health | BBC, UK

Sperm age calculator tells men how decrepit their sperm are

A sperm age calculator can tell men how “old” their sperm is, revealing changes caused by smoking | New Scientist, UK

Last UK-made cigarettes roll off JTI production line

The last pack of UK-made cigarettes has rolled off the production line at the JTI plant in County Antrim | BBC, UK

Electronic cigarettes behind drop in smokers quitting with NHS Scotland cessation service

Electronic cigarettes are believed to be behind a steady fall in the number of smokers turning to NHS quitting services for help | Scottish Herald, UK

Prisoners allowed to VAPE in their cells despite smoking ban riot at Walton jail

Stoptober campaign at jails comes weeks after reported Walton riot over crackdown | Liverpool Echo, UK

From heroin addict and prostitute to loving mum and mentor - one woman's inspiring story about addiction

Kayleigh Hutton hit rock bottom when she was lying in a bed in Diana, Princess of Wales hospital fighting for her life | Grimsby Telegraph, UK

Exclusive: Drug cheats will not face time in jail, rules review

The Government has ruled out jailing drugs cheats following a review into whether doping should be criminalised, The Daily Telegraph can reveal | Telegraph, UK

Phones4U founder says ex-business partner threatened staff with 'allegations of drugs and illicit sex' in 'reign of terror'

The billionaire founder of Phones4U claims his former business partner threatened staff with “allegations of drugs and illicit sex” as she wielded a “reign of terror” over employees | Telegraph, UK

North Wales Police officers guilty of gross misconduct

Two North Wales Police constables have been dismissed - one for harassment and the other for drink driving | BBC, UK

Passive smoking: How tobacco use could be harming your pet

A pilot study in Glasgow has shown exposing dogs to smoke could shorten their lifespan | STV, UK


International news

Global, regional, and country-level coverage of interventions to prevent and manage HIV and hepatitis C among people who inject drugs: a systematic review

People who inject drugs (PWID) are a key population affected by the global HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemics. HIV and HCV prevention interventions for PWID include needle and syringe programmes (NSP), opioid substitution therapy (OST), HIV counselling and testing, HIV antiretroviral therapy (ART), and condom distribution programmes | Lancet, UK

E-cigarette bans highlight public health divide between US and UK researchers

New York is joining 10 other states banning indoor vaping, reflecting a US focus on the harm of e-cigs, rather than their ability to help people quit cigarettes | Guardian, UK

Vaping will be banned in indoor public places in the state of New York

A new rule, which will come into law in 30 days, will mean that the practice will be treated the same as smoking normal cigarettes | BBC, UK

America's opioid crisis: how prescription drugs sparked a national trauma

Aggressive marketing of painkillers derived from opium led to a new generation of addicts and more fatal overdoses than car crashes and guns combined | Guardian, UK

California wildfires destroy legal marijuana crops - video

The fires that burned across California's wine country also destroyed legal marijuana crops | BBC, UK

Nurofen Plus rebellion: Liberal MPs resist plans to restrict codeine sales

The health minister, Greg Hunt, has faced a rebellion from Liberal MPs concerned about the government’s plan to restrict consumer access to over-the-counter pain relief products including Nurofen Plus | Guardian, UK

Couple unexpectedly sent packages full of marijuana with Amazon order

A Florida couple had to call the police after they were unexpectedly sent 65lb of marijuana with an Amazon order | Telegraph, UK

Landlords use antisocial behaviour ‘excuse’ to evict young addicts’ families

The families of some children accessing a HSE adolescent addiction service allegedly faced eviction as landlords were using the “excuse” of child antisocial behaviour so as to vacate the property | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Consultants drink more often, but trainees likely to 'binge'

Hospital consultants drink alcohol more frequently than trainees - but the younger medics are more likely to binge when they indulge, according to a new survey | Independent, Ireland

Alcohol addiction worse than drug addiction in Cork/Kerry

Alcohol addiction is far more serious in Cork and Kerry than drug addiction, according to an expert from the HSE | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Cocaine: the Irish situation (PDF)

This factsheet contains information on treatment, prevalence, mortality and crime in Ireland | HRB, Ireland

Pill testing kits, chill-out rooms and free water: How to reduce harm from taking drugs in nightclubs

A new European guide on responding to drug problems was released today | Journal, Ireland

Health and social responses to drug problems: a European guide

This guide and the associated package of online materials provides a reference point for planning or delivering health and social responses to drug problems in Europe. The most appropriate responses will depend on the specific drug problems, the contexts in which these occur and the types of intervention that are possible and socially acceptable | EMCDDA, Portugal

Evidence review summary: drug demand reduction, treatment, and harm reduction

This short report presents a brief overview of recent evidence for the most effective approaches in the fields of drug use prevention, drug use treatment and harm reduction. It discusses the strengths and limitations of the evidence and some challenges for the implementation of the approaches, and it summarises the principles underpinning the successful knowledge transfer that supports the use of evidence in the development and delivery of policy and practice | EMCDDA, Portugal

Recovery, reintegration, abstinence, harm reduction: the role of different goals within the drug treatment in the European context

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the different goals of ‘drug treatment’ within a European context and the key implications for those planning or delivering health and social responses. The heterogeneity of people who use drugs and the diversity in severity and complexity of drug taking and drug problems in Europe mean that a single goal or paradigm such as ‘harm reduction’, ‘recovery’ or ‘abstinence’ is no longer adequate to meet the diverse needs we face | EMCDDA, Portugal

Joining up sexual health and drug services to better meet client needs

The aim of this paper is to focus on the harmful interaction between psychoactive drug use and sexual activity. It is acknowledged that in some individuals co-occurrence of drug consumption and sexual activity causes no apparent harm, but this group will not be considered here | EMCDDA Portugal

UNODC annual report 2016 (PDF)

The 2016 annual report provides an overview of UNODC's work across the globe in assisting Member States to address the threat posed by drugs, crime and terrorism. In addition to highlighting the Office's achievements for the year, it showcases the human impact of UNODC's work through a series of success stories and the effect on the ground | UNODC, Austria

Calls for new European method to measure cigarette harm

Europe should use ‘more realistic’ measures to assess the health hazards of smoking, according to caretaker Dutch health secretary Martin van Rijn | Dutch News, Netherlands

Wave of addiction linked to fentanyl worsens as drugs, distribution, evolve

Michelle MacLeod died in a tough part of town known as the Tree Streets, where many of the streets have names like Ash, Palm, Chestnut and Walnut. Kevin Manchester, who provided the fentanyl that killed her, lived on Pine | Washington Post, USA

High school synthetic cannabis users more likely to take other drugs

A recent study found that high school seniors who use synthetic cannabinoids are more likely to use other drugs when compared with students who only use cannabis | MNT, USA

Deaths from the use of heroin have hit a grim milestone

Researchers have found that deaths from heroin and morphine use now make up more than half of all reported drug-related deaths | Medical Xpress, USA

A quarter of problematic pot users have anxiety disorders, many since childhood

About a quarter of adults whose marijuana use is problematic in early adulthood have anxiety disorders in childhood and late adolescence, according to new data | Science Daily, USA

New vaping insights based on FDA’s PATH Survey 2013-2014

Analyzing data from the baseline 2013-2014 Food and Drug Administration-funded Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study, my economist colleague Nantaporn Plurphanswat and I have produced a comprehensive study of e-cigarette use in the United States | R Street, USA

Building bridges to Utah drug users through syringe exchanges ‘shows someone really cares’

One Voice Recovery: Preventing the spread of disease can lead to dialogues with drug users who may eventually seek help | Salt Lake Tribune, USA

Four years after it was scrapped, drug court will return to Queensland

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said the specialist court was not a "soft option" but would make the community safer | Age, Australia

What we learned yesterday about the cannabis referendum

Given the sheer number of issues canvassed in the twin media conferences that accompanied the signing of the new government’s coalition and support agreements, it’s understandable that the cannabis referendum and drug law reform in general haven’t had a lot of air since. But we did learn a couple of things yesterday | Public Address New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Harry's blog: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf

In May, the Icelandic pro-vaping coalition Veipum Lifum (VL) held a conference in Reykjavik. On their website, they included a link to the WHO FCTC as well as links to the Icelandic Parliament and an article in Icelandic media both of which also carried the WHO logo | NSP blog, UK

Council anti-smoking campaigns are an expensive failure

Much the most effective anti-smoking policy for councils to adopt would be to allow vaping on their premises. They should allow this both for their own staff and for their residents who are visiting libraries, housing offices, and town halls | Conservative Home, UK

Cannabis potency and mental health

Last week (18 October 2017) VolteFace published an important new report on the issue of cannabis and mental health. Entitled Street Lottery, the report provides a concise and compelling new account of the deleterious consequences of leaving cannabis in the hands of the black market | Russell Webster, UK

I met a homeless addict and recognised a childhood friend

A chance meeting between two childhood friends helped one begin a journey back from drug addiction after many years living on the street | BBC, UK

Why can’t pubs serve craft beer properly?

It’s all very well breweries producing more more craft beer, writes Brain Simpson, but landlords who know how to serve it are few and far between | Guardian letters, UK