Doctors urge Theresa May to publish anti-smoking strategy

The Guardian, 5 January 2016
Author: Sarah Boseley
“More than 1,000 doctors, healthcare professionals and public health experts, including heads of royal colleges and public health institutions, are calling on the prime minister to publish the latest tobacco control plan without delay. Experts hope the new UK tobacco control plan, which has been delayed in part because of the Brexit vote and its fallout, will plot the course for driving smoking rates down to 5% by 2035, which a report from Cancer Research UK said was feasible.”
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Liberals to make safe injection sites easier to open and fentanyl harder to smuggle into Canada

CBC News: 13 December 2016
Authors: Peter Zimonjic and Matthew Kupfer
“The government of Canada said in a statement that the existing National Anti-Drug Strategy would be replaced with a “more balanced approach” called the Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy. The new strategy “restores harm reduction as a core pillar of Canada’s drug policy.” That new strategy would also put drug policy back under the Health ministry and away from the Justice department.”
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Health Care Complaints Commission v Chen [2016] NSWCATOD 144

Decision date: 28 November 2016
“The Health Care Complaints Commission prosecuted Dr Mengyi Chen, a medical practitioner, before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (‘Tribunal’). The complaint alleged unsatisfactory professional conduct and professional misconduct in relation to Dr Chen’s inappropriate prescribing of Schedule 8 and Schedule 4D drugs, including prescribing drugs of addiction to drug dependent patients, and Dr Chen’s failure to maintain adequate medical records.”
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A Dose of a Hallucinogen From a ‘Magic Mushroom,’ and Then Lasting Peace

NYT, 1 December 2016
Author: Jan Hoffman
“Psilocybin has been illegal in the United States for more than 40 years. But the results of a study looking at whether the drug can reduce anxiety and depression in cancer patients, were striking. About 80 percent of cancer patients showed clinically significant reductions in both psychological disorders. In the 1940s and 1950s, hallucinogens were studied in hundreds of trials. But by 1970, when those drugs were placed in the most restricted regulatory category, research ground to a near halt.”
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Injecting natural oils for muscle gain could be deadly, doctors warn

The Guardian, 2 December 2016
Author: Haroon Siddique
“Bodybuilders seeking to enhance their physique by injecting natural oils risk lasting damage and even death. Doctors fear that a case in west London in which a 25-year-old man suffered scarring and restricted function after injecting coconut oil may be the “tip of the iceberg”. Instances have been recorded in recent years of bodybuilders using other oils, including sesame oil, walnut oil and paraffin, which are less costly than other synthetic compounds, in the hope of boosting muscle size and definition.”
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How e-cigarettes could ‘health wash’ the tobacco industry

The Conversation, 1 December 2016
Authors: Ross MacKenzie and Benjamin Hawkins
“The evidence that e-cigarettes help people quit smoking was described in the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recent report as “scant and of low certainty”. So far tobacco companies are the only actors to successfully gain medical licences for such products, although none have yet come to market. But the decision to seek medical approval for their products may have serious consequences.’
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US must address addiction as an illness, not as a moral failing, Surgeon General says

BMJ 2016; 355: i6265
Author: Michael McCarthy
“The US Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, has called for the country to address its epidemic of substance abuse and addiction as a public health problem and not as a moral issue.“It’s time to change how we view addiction,” Murthy said in a new report, “Not as a moral failing but as a chronic illness that must be treated with skill, urgency, and compassion. The way we address this crisis is a test for America.”
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Landmark report by Surgeon General calls drug crisis ‘a moral test for America’

Washington Post, 17 November 2016
Author: Lenny Bernstein
“A landmark report, “Facing Addiction,” pulls together the latest information on the health impacts of drug and alcohol misuse, as well as on the issues surrounding treatment and prevention. It offers reasons for optimism despite a still-increasing overdose epidemic that has killed more than 500,000 Americans since 2000, and it presents evidence that addiction is a treatable brain disease, with new therapies under development.”
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Make tobacco firms liable for smoking harm

Washington Post, 13 November 2016
Author: Nirmala George
“A global conference on tobacco control has pledged to hold the tobacco industry legally liable for health consequences of smoking and protect public health policies from the influence of tobacco companies. Representatives from around 180 countries participating in the World Health Organization’s global tobacco control treaty negotiations on Saturday adopted a declaration in which they also vowed to prohibit or regulate the sale of e-cigarettes.”
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