0
0
0
s2smodern

Harry Shapiro Director DrugWise

Top read of the week is Fidela Cook writing in the Scottish Sunday Herald about how e-cigarettes pretty much saved her life by turning her away from a 40 a day cigarette habit. She rightly says that the demonisation of e-cigarettes could backfire dramatically by driving her back to cigarettes. But almost as an aside, she points the finger at Big Tobacco as participants in the campaign against e-cigarettes. It could be that she doesn't realise that the likes of BAT and Philip Morris are major players in the field of HNB technologies, but I doubt that.

0
0
0
s2smodern

Harry Shapiro Director DrugWise

As a student, Professor Ibrahim Al-Marashi wrote a thesis entitled Iraq: Its Infrastructure of Concealment, Deception and Intimidation. As revealed by the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war, the thesis found its way into the UK Foreign Office where it was not only plagiarised but also altered, as the British government and intelligence establishment sought to strengthen the uncertain evidence about Saddam Hussein's efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction.

0
0
0
s2smodern

Harry Shapiro Director DrugWise

So obviously the big news of the week comes from New Zealand where  a government proposal will be put to parliament  next year which would legalise the sale and supply of nicotine e-cigarettes and e-liquids as consumer products.

0
0
0
s2smodern

Harry Shapiro Director DrugWise

There has been some debate on the wires that the FDA Mission statement only seems to be concerned about reducing tobacco use by minors but not adults. The exact wording is “ FDA also has responsibility for regulating the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of tobacco products to protect the public health and to reduce tobacco use by minors”.

0
0
0
s2smodern

Harry Shapiro Director DrugWise

In a departure from the normal round-up, I want this week to focus on the idea of how increasingly propaganda and lies are trumping facts – and the pun is intended. I am prompted in this by a very interesting and frankly scary and depressing article by Tim Harford writing in the Financial Times about the 'problem with facts'. 

0
0
0
s2smodern

Harry Shapiro Director DrugWise

It strikes me there is a marked difference between the way US and UK governments and their agencies handle information about controversial subjects. In the US, there is an obvious moral underpinning to much of what is published about drugs, alcohol and tobacco. Or what isn't published. As the major donor of the WHO, the US government has previously suppressed WHO reports stating cannabis was no more dangerous than alcohol and tobacco – and another which stated that moderate use of cocaine appeared to have no long term health consequences. Yes folks, this is the WHO speaking.

0
0
0
s2smodern

Harry Shapiro Director DrugWise

Back in the day, I worked in the library of the Institute for the Study of Drug Dependence. The collection policy was literally everything in English on illegal/non-medical drug use. We ended up with one of the best English language drug libraries in the world. But there was a lot of dross – and the one category we soon dropped were animal studies. Researchers would inject a rodent with high levels of the psychoactive THC, watch it fall over and then declare that cannabis caused everything from cancer to Ebola. And we would be sent many similar studies, so reproducability wasn't the issue, it was just pointless with no relevance to real world situations and just a way of building up a publishing record.

0
0
0
s2smodern

Harry Shapiro Director DrugWise

Despite the best efforts of the powers-that-be to convince Americans that e-cigarettes are just as dangerous as smoking tobacco, a new study ( http://www.news-medical.net ) shows that among US smokers with respiratory conditions who continue to smoke, many are switching to e-cigarettes believing them to be less harmful.

0
0
0
s2smodern

Harry Shapiro Director DrugWise

Forget La La Land (you know, that place where WHO and CDC views on vaping live) – instead grab your popcorn for some much more rewarding screen time.

0
0
0
s2smodern

Harry Shapiro Director DrugWise

As a newcomer to the world of tobacco harm reduction, I am continually impressed by the expert forensic scrutiny of the published research much of which is aimed at undermining the positive impact of heat not burn technologies when compared to smoking cigarettes.

0
0
0
s2smodern

Harry Shapiro Director DrugWise

Writing for the Australian online news outlet News.Com Joe Hildebrand reported, “when I quit smoking last year, I got a message from Associate Professor Colin Mendelsohn from the School of Public Health at the University of NSW “Congratulations,” he said. “You’ve just added almost 10 years to your life.” He then added: “You’re also now a criminal.”