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Weekly news - 17th September 2021

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Electronic Cigarettes

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to implement the recommendation from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health to make the route to medicinal licensing fit-for- purpose to allow e-cigarettes to be authorised for NHS prescription | They work for you, UK

Oral Tobacco

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will undertake a comparative assessment of the scientific evidence on the impact on health of (a) the use of smokeless tobacco products, such as Swedish snus and (b) smoking as part of the Tobacco and Related Products Review | They work for you, UK

Early CT scans deliver huge fall in lung cancer deaths, study shows

Experts say screening smokers and ex-smokers would significantly reduce mortality rate from disease | Guardian, UK

Could ketamine be a cure for some mental health problems? - audio

You may know it as an illegal party drug. But there’s growing research to suggest that psychedelic drugs could be used , in a clinical setting, as treatments for depression, addiction and PTSD | Channel 4, UK

Refractory epilepsy treatment containing THC approved for UK patients

This is the first time that the UK authorities have approved an an epilepsy treatment containing THC | Cannabis Health, UK

Legal regulation of drugs through a social justice lens

15 key priorities to be included in legal regulation policy that will directly impact and strengthen sustainable development and global equity | Health Poverty Action, UK

Suspected drug deaths in Scotland: April to June 2021

Suspected drug deaths during the first six months of 2021 fell very slightly but were at a similar level to those recorded during the first six months of 2020. Overall, there continues to be an upward trend in suspected drug deaths over the period for which data is available | Scottish Government, UK

'Several' taken ill at Parklife amid warnings about 'Pharaoh pills' - that appear identical, but have different contents

Contents in the pills have been 'linked to medical incidents in UK festivals and nightlife venues', says a drug checking group | Manchester Evening News, UK

Shop displays of e-cigarettes and smoking paraphernalia could undermine effectiveness of banning tobacco displays

Efforts to discourage people from smoking by banning tobacco retail displays in shops and supermarkets could be weakened by prominent displays of electronic (e) cigarettes and smoking paraphernalia, suggests new research led by the universities of Bristol and Cambridge | University of Bristol, UK

World Anti-Doping Agency to review banned status of cannabis for athletes

An advisory group to the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) will review whether cannabis should remain a banned substance, a move that comes after American track and field star Sha’Carri Richardson missed the Tokyo Games after testing positive for it | Guardian, UK

Modelling the impact of increased alcohol taxation on alcohol-attributable cancers in the WHO European Region

Reducing the alcohol-attributable cancer burden in the WHO European Region is a public health priority. This study aims to estimate the number of potentially avoidable cancers in countries of the WHO European Region in 2019 for three scenarios in which current excise duties on alcoholic beverages were increased by 20%, 50%, or 100% | Lancet, UK

Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation

Some people who smoke use Electronic cigarettes (ECs) to stop or reduce smoking, but some organizations, advocacy groups and policymakers have discouraged this, citing lack of evidence of efficacy and safety. People who smoke, healthcare providers and regulators want to know if ECs can help people quit and if they are safe to use for this purpose. This is an update conducted as part of a living systematic review | Cochrane Library, UK

Health Profile for England 2021

Alcohol-specific mortality increased by around 20% between 2019 and 2020, driven chiefly by increases in mortality from alcoholic liver disease. Alcohol-specific mortality rates had been increasing prior to the pandemic, but this represented a significant acceleration in the upward trend. Drug misuse deaths have been on a general increasing trend since 2012, and in 2020 they were the highest they have ever been. One possible explanation for this general increase is an increasing number of long-term heroin users with failing health that are at greater risk | PHE, UK

Bristol's safe drug room pilot idea rejected

Plans to run drug consumption rooms for addicts in a city have been rejected and deemed illegal by the government | BBC, UK

Psychedelic Use on the Rise As Gen Z Seeks To ‘Enhance Connectedness’

The recreational use of psychedelics is on the rise in the US in the wake of COVID-19 and amid increasing acceptance of the drug as a medicine | VICE, UK

Why are social media giants censoring life-saving information?

In early August, the Instagram page of Pill Report, one of the most popular social media pages advocating for responsible drug use, was suspended for “violating community guidelines”, as reported by MixMag | Talking Drugs, UK