We welcome suggestions and contributions from our readers. Send your material to Rob Calder, Addiction News Editor, Addiction, National Addiction Centre PO48, 4 Windsor Walk, London SE5 8AF. Fax +44 (0)20 7848 5966; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Philip Morris halts heated tobacco social media campaign
Following an investigation by Reuters, Philip Morris International Inc (PMI). has suspended its social media campaigns. The investigation reported that PMI had used online influencers aged under 25 to promote its heated tobacco products. PMI’s own marketing standards prohibit them from using youth-oriented celebrities or promoters, or anyone who appears to be under 25. PMI says that it has launched an internal investigation into the campaign.
Following 13 reported deaths and five incidents of blindness since the beginning of 2018, Israel has issued a warning about illicit and adulterated alcohol sales in the country. Officials suspect that underreporting of events could make those numbers higher and have warned the public about consumption of counterfeit alcohol tainted with high levels of methanol.
A coffee shop in which medical cannabis users are permitted
to smoke cannabis has opened in Beersheda, Israel. This is the first official
premises to open in the Middle East in which medical cannabis use is allowed.
The café will provide an area for medical cannabis to be used but will not sell
any cannabis products.
Data from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) indicate that Malta has the highest rate of drug induced deaths among people aged 20 to 29 in Europe. The data suggest that people in this age group represent 40% of drug related deaths in Malta.
Public Health England report on addictive medicine prescribing
A report from Public Health England (PHE) on addictive
medicines has found that over a quarter of the adult population was prescribed
a medicine with addictive properties in 2017/18. The report found that opioid
prescribing had reduced slightly since 2016, that benzodiazepine prescriptions
were declining, but that prescriptions of anti-depressants had risen and are
now given to 17% of the adult population.
Spain has highest rate of gambling addiction in Europe
A report by the Spanish Federation of Rehabilitated Gamblers
and Madrid’s Association of Psychologists has estimated that one in five people
in Spain aged between 14 and 21 are addicted to gambling. This means that the
estimated prevalence of gambling among young people in Spain is the highest in
Greece bans cigarettes in public spaces with children
The Greek health minister has announced a ban on smoking in
the presence of children in all public places. The ban was accompanied by new
regulations that mean anyone caught selling alcohol or tobacco to children will
now face fines of up to 10,000 euros.
England cigarette sales down by a billion over seven years
Figures released by
Cancer Research UK indicate that smoking prevalence declined by 5% between 2011
and 2018 with 14% of adults in England now identified as current smokers. Over
the same time period, the number of cigarettes smoked has declined from 3.4bn
to 2.5bn per month.
Ireland alcohol consumption 80% above global average
Alcohol Action for Ireland (AAI) has reported that people in the Republic of Ireland consume 11 litres of alcohol per person per year. This estimate means that that average alcohol consumption there is 80% higher than the global average. The AAI statement was released in advance of the Republic of Ireland’s annual budget and called on the government to adopt proposals on minimum unit pricing for alcohol.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported that Europe has the highest per-capita alcohol consumption in the world. The report stated that, in 2016, 5.5% of all deaths (an estimated 291,000 people) in the EU could be attributed to alcohol use. This figure rose to 19.0% of deaths among people aged 15 to 19.