Daily news 31st October 2017

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UK news

Tobacco firms using 'clever tactics' to target poorest smokers, study finds

Cheaper brands, price-marking and smaller pack sizes are thwarting attempts to reduce UK smoking rates, researchers say | Guardian, UK

ACS rejects calls for tobacco licensing system for retailers

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has hit out at Action on Smoking and Health’s (ASH) calls for the government to introduce a licensing system for retailers that sell tobacco | Convenience Store, UK

The experience of initiating injection drug use and its social context: a qualitative systematic review and thematic synthesis

In the October Qualitative Journal Club (QJC) we discussed the above titled paper, authored by Andy Guise and colleagues. The QMJC attracted researchers from a range of backgrounds, including MSc students, doctoral candidates and post-doctoral researchers | SSA, UK

Father and son die of suspected drug overdose at family birthday party

Joseph and Carlos Andrade told their partners they were going out for a smoke | Independent, UK

The Gary Seaman Award 2017

We are now accepting nominations for the Gary Seaman Award 2017: an award we present to outstanding practitioners (professional or volunteer) who have made a real difference. The award is given out at our annual Carol Concert. Closing date today | Adfam, UK

Top chef tells Gordon Ramsay to f*** off over cocaine crusade 

A London chef says Gordon Ramsay has "glorified" kitchen abuse | Independent, UK

Bookmakers braced for fixed-odds betting terminal restrictions

Government review this week is expected to propose three options – from £2 to £50 – for reduced maximum stake on FOBTs | Guardian, UK

Gaming addiction probably isn’t a real condition, study suggests

There may be no such thing as internet gaming addiction. People play excessively not because they are hooked on gaming itself, but because they feel unhappy about other areas of their life, according to a study that followed thousands of online gamers over six months | New Scientist, UK


International news

Non-smokers get six days extra paid leave to make up for smokers' cigarette breaks at Japanese firm

AJapanese company is granting non-smoking employees an extra six days of paid holidays a year after they complained that they were working more than staff who took time off for cigarette breaks | Telegraph, UK

Victoria approves safe injecting room trial after spate of heroin deaths

Premier reverses government’s opposition to harm-minimisation approach as proposed North Richmond centre set to be second of its kind in Australia | Guardian, UK

This scientist wants to turn Ireland into 'a central hub' for medical cannabis

Greenlight Medicines’ James Linden plans to open a new facility in Donegal next year | Journal, Ireland

Ireland fourth highest in Europe for drug deaths

Ireland has a death rate from drugs more than three times above the European average, according to an EU report | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Almost 800 drug seizures in prisons this year

There were almost 800 drug seizures in Irish prisons in the first nine months of this year, the Department of Justice has confirmed | Irish Examiner, Ireland

German Parties Consider Sale Of Marijuana In Pharmacies Or Dispensaries

Cannabis reform may be coming to the European Union's most populous country as German conservatives, the Green Party and the Free Democratic Party continue their talks on forming a coalition government. Part of their discussions include an agreement on fully legalizing marijuana and selling the drug through pharmacies or licensed dispensaries | Forbes, USA

America’s Opioid Epidemic: From Evidence to Impact (PDF)

The U.S. is experiencing its highest-ever rates of opioid addiction and overdose, and the numbers are only predicted to rise. A combination of the overuse of prescription opioids for acute and chronic pain and an increasing supply of heroin and illicit fentanyl is driving this epidemic | John Hopkins, USA

Why Opioid Deaths Keep Climbing, Even With A Widely Available Drug To Prevent Overdoses

Dr. Phillip Coffin compares naloxone -- the drug used to reverse the effects of opioid overdoses -- to seat belts | Forbes, USA

E-Cigarette Use Linked To Smoking Cigarettes For High School Students

A lot of young people who smoke e-cigarettes eventually smoke traditional cigarettes, according to a study into the connection between the two forms of smoking. But the question remains whether e-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking cigarettes or if those kids would have taken up the habit anyway | Medical Daily, USA

An Afghan Insurgency Morphs Into a Drug Cartel

The Taliban are increasingly refining their own opium, rather than exporting its ingredients, lifting their profits and giving them less reason to talk | NYTimes, USA

Owner of Corona beer acquires stake in world’s biggest cannabis producer

Constellation Brands, the owner of Corona beer, is acquiring a 9.9 percent stake in Canopy Growth Corporation, the world’s biggest cannabis producer | VICE, USA

Media Release, VAADA: Welcomes new initiatives and AOD capacity

The Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association (VAADA) welcomes the suite of announcements related to increasing the overall capacity of the AOD sector, focussing on residential rehabilitation | VAADA, Australia

Melbourne safe injecting room trial set to get the go-ahead

Victoria will trial a safe drug-injecting room in inner Melbourne in a major turnaround for Premier Daniel Andrews, after calls to set up the centre amid a growing heroin crisis in the state | ABC News, Australia

The NSW naloxone revolution

It happened. In the week starting Monday 28 August Professor Nick Lintzeris actually achieved the first step on a journey that had at times seemed impossible: nurses at an NSP in South-Eastern Sydney handed at-risk opioid users free naloxone to take home with them | Penningon, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Public health: dashboards and decline

This month saw the launch online by Public Health England of the Public Health Dashboard.  It tells us how well each local authority area performs across a range of seven public health functions, and then ranks the local authorities against each other | Collective Voice blog, UK

Harry's blog 37: Where is the right mann/womann for the job?

Insightful read of the week award goes to a review of a new book on the AIDS pandemic in which the authors reveal how the leadership of the WHO failed miserably to save thousands of lives until redeemed by an administrator, Dr Jonathan Mann who did everything right from inaugurating World AIDS day to involving NGOs and fighting stigma and discrimination | NSP blog, UK

Super-strength lager is a beer for sipping, possibly from a wine glass - and other delusions

Steve was telling me about the delusional behaviour of the drink dependent person – the alcoholic, as he refers to himself. Not, he was quick to point out, a recovered alcoholic. Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. In his view, you can’t risk relaxing and then relapsing. You need to be on constant guard | Jeremy Swain blog, UK

Cannabis Cod Science – Enough is Enough

Science: definition – The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment | UKCIA blog, UK

Why it’s time to lay the stereotype of the ‘teen brain’ to rest

A deficit in the development of the teenage brain has been blamed for teens’ behavior in recent years, but it may be time to lay the stereotype of the wild teenage brain to rest. Brain deficits don’t make teens do risky things; lack of experience and a drive to explore the world are the real factors | Conversation, USA

Safe injecting room: Richmond has grappled with a drug problem for far too long

It's difficult to find the words to console a grieving parent whose dead son or daughter couldn't beat the demons of drug addiction | Age comment, Australia