U.S. lawmakers say they banned clove cigarettes because of their health risks and appeal to young smokers, but the World Trade Organization (WTO) is investigating whether the ban violated international free-trade agreements. The Associated Press reported July 20 that Indonesia — where most clove cigarettes are made — has complained to the WTO about the […]
Risk of stroke more than doubles in the hour immediately after consuming alcohol, ABC News reported July 15. The finding comes from a small study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Stroke risk was 2.3 percent higher in the hour after drinking as little as […]
Teenagers who engage in binge drinking could be upping their risk of developing osteoporosis later in life, a new animal study suggests. The Daily Mail reported July 15 that researchers found that adolescent rats given large doses of alcohol suffered genetic damage in areas related to bone formation. “Lifestyle-related damage done to the skeleton during […]
About one in 10 people admitted to addiction treatment programs in 2008 misused prescription drugs, quadruple the rate reported in 1998, ABC News reported July 16. “People are getting treatment, which is good news. But the bad news is the problem just keeps growing,” said Peter Delaney, director of the Office of Applied Studies at […]
Restrictions on precursor chemicals helped drive methamphetamine labs out of Oklahoma in the mid-2000s, but a new “one-pot” recipe for the drug has labs proliferating in the state again. The Oklahoman reported July 11 that the new meth manufacturing process — also known as the “shake and bake” method — has been found at most […]
The Canadian Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether the federal government has the power to shut down a pioneering Vancouver program that provides drug addicts a safe place to inject their drugs. The Toronto Globe and Mail reported June 24 that the Insite program has operated under a waiver of Canadian drug laws since […]
New York’s repeal of mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders has led to a slew of serious dealers going free, New York City Special Prosecutor Bridget Brennan contends. The New York Daily News reported June 27 that last year’s reform of the state’s Rockefeller-era drug laws enabled prisoners serving long sentences for non-violent offenses […]
Recovering addicts who failed to take steps to deal with the stress in their lives were more susceptible to craving — a major predictor of relapse — according to researchers at Penn State University. Sify News reported June 24 that researchers analyzed recovery diaries kept by college students in recovery and found that those who […]
Americans who live in public housing are exposed to secondhand smoke from their neighbors, according to researchers who demonstrated how smoke from one apartment unit can infiltrate into others. UPI reported June 19 that researchers Jonathan Winickoff of MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Michelle Mello of the Harvard School of Public Health stated, “Even if […]
The main website promoting the viral “icing” drinking game has been taken down — most likely shut down by Diageo, the parent company of Smirnoff, Ad Age reported June 16. The company, whose Smirnoff Ice is the centerpiece of the game, said it had taken “measures” against promotion of the game, which centers on consumption of […]
Mexican President Felipe Calderon this week compared the United States to a drug addict as he sought to shore up support for his antidrug efforts at home. “It is as though we have a neighbor next door who is the biggest addict in the world, with the added fact that everyone wants to sell drugs […]
Sarah Palin said that she does not support marijuana legalization but seemed to offer some support for decriminalization of the drug. CBS News reported June 17 that during a TV appearance with Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) — who supports legalization on libertarian grounds — Palin said, “If we’re talking about pot, I’m not for the […]
Two closely aligned groups advocating for addiction and mental-health programs in national healthcare reform have agreed to a merger. The mental-health field’s Whole Health Campaign and the addiction community’s Coalition for Whole Health, which both successfully argued for inclusion of behavioral-healthcare benefits in the healthcare-reform bill passed last year, will join forces under the banner […]
South Carolina’s recent decision to raise its tax on tobacco products leaves Missouri with the nation’s lowest tax on cigarettes — a situation unlikely to change soon, observers say. St. Louis Public Radio reported June 10 that despite major budget problems and deep cuts in social programs, state lawmakers have not given serious consideration to […]
Spurred by a pair of medical-marijuana regulation bills freshly signed into law by Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, advocates in Colorado are eyeing a legalization push for the 2012 ballot, the Boulder Daily Camera reported June 11. The Boulder-based Cannabis Therapy Institute is still in the fundraising and planning stages of its proposed “Legalize 2012” initiative, […]
Eric Morris’s always-entertaining Freakonomics blog at the New York Times this week asks what works in getting people to drink less alcohol. As usual, the economist references an impressive array of research as he weighs in on the various interventions available.
Morris’ conclusion: screening and brief intervention has the most promise, and while restrictions on alcohol advertising seems to work, it’s doubtful that serious curbs will ever be enacted.
One of the major goals of health reform is to improve the quality of care through better use of clinically relevant information. To be compliant with emerging reimbursement incentives, providers will have to demonstrate that they are managing the health of their patients through the meaningful use of data available through Electronic Health Record (EHR) […]
In another step in their drive for legitimacy, medical-marijuana workers in Oakland, Calif., have joined a local chapter of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. “Medical cannabis industry workers” at a half-dozen sites — including the prominent Oaksterdam University — have voted to join the Retail, Statewide Agriculture, Food Processing and Community Patient Care Union, UFCW Local 5.
Adolescents are being bombarded with alcohol marketing online as firms exploit new-media tools and lax regulation to put their brand images and information in front of young drinkers, according to a new report. HealthDay News reported May 19 that American University professor Kathryn Montgomery — author of the report, Alcohol Marketing in the Digital Age […]
The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) has recommended that doctors screen all of their young patients for alcohol use starting in middle school, the Wausau Daily Herald reported May 15. The AAP Committee on Substance Abuse released a revised policy statement on youth alcohol use on May 1. “A remarkable amount of brain development is […]
New York cops are nine times more likely to stop and search blacks and Latinos than whites, often citing nebulous “furtive movements” to justify pat-downs, the New York Times reported May 13. The arrest rate among individuals subjected to “stop and frisk” searches was no higher among minorities than whites. About 490,000 blacks and Latinos […]
Mothers are at the forefront of new legalization strategy from marijuana advocates, the Associated Press reported May 8. Citing the historical success of mothers in changing drunk-driving laws, and enacting and later repealing Prohibition, activists are hoping to gather a coalition of moms on a platform that marijuana is safer than alcohol, and that teens […]
The Australian government is proposing to ban all brand images and use of color on cigarette packaging, the New York Times reported April 29. The plan submitted to Parliament for consideration would make Australia the first country to restrict cigarette packaging to plain boxes, with promotional text limited to brand and product names in a […]