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Shanghai scientists have located brain areas of smokers and drinkers, bringing new insights and opening possibilities for stopping addictive behavior. They found that regular smokers tend to have low functional connectivity, especially in the brain area associated with the processing of punishment, while those who drink often have high brain connectivity, especially in the reward-related brain area.

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The physicist Richard Feynman has been popularly quoted as stating that if you think you understand quantum mechanics, then you don’t. It is perhaps not a quantum leap to make the same claim about cannabis. The cannabis plant is not a single substance, but rather contains more than 500 identified chemical constituents. More than 100 of these are cannabinoids: when ingested, they interact with a naturally occurring communication network in our brains and bodies known as the endocannabinoid system.

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In a new White Paper, “Public Health—Much Harder than Rocket Science,” Philip Morris International (PMI) looks at the dynamics between consumers, corporations and authorities across a range of global public health issues. [...]

Consumers all over the world want their governments to do better at solving major public health issues, according to the IPSOS survey of 31,000 respondents across 31 countries commissioned by PMI. In the survey, respondents were asked how important they believed it is for governments to dedicate time and resources to nine global health issues [...]

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A report released on Wednesday finds that tobacco companies in India are systematically targeting children as young as eight by selling tobacco products and placing tobacco advertisements near schools.

These tactics, happening all over the country, is a clear violation of Section 5 and 6 of Cigarettes & Other Tobacco Products Act, it said.

To gather evidence regarding tobacco products being sold around educational institutions in violation of the law, two groups working in the area of tobacco control [...]

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Researchers say the popularity of vaping among young Australian women is a growing public health concern, with new data revealing how many are taking up the habit.

A study has shown that more than one in 10 Aussie women aged 19-26 have tried vaping, but that more than a quarter of users have never smoked cigarettes. Researcher Alemu Melka, [...] said that figure might seem positive, but it was actually concerning because some research indicated that e-cigarette users were more likely to go on to smoke cigarettes.

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Health experts are debating whether vaping could be banned following fears underage smokers are becoming addicted.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now warning that if the trend continues there could be an outright ban.

The FDA’s commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, said: “I’ll tell you this. If the youth use continues to rise, and we see significant increases in use in 2019, on top of the dramatic rise in 2018, the entire category will face an existential threat.”

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The head of Philip Morris International has said the cannabis market remains too risky for it to follow rival cigarette maker Altria by making a significant investment in the nascent sector.

André Calantzopoulos, chief executive, stressed that there was a paucity of scientific data on the long-term impact of cannabis. Because international regulators were adopting different approaches to the drug, there could be logistical and reputational risks, he said.

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On January 12, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a plan to raise the minimum age for tobacco and e-cigarette sales from 18 to 21 in the 2019 executive budget.

“We have made great strides to stamp out teen smoking,” said Cuomo, “but new products threaten to undo this progress to the detriment of millions of Americans. In New York, we refuse to stand idly by while unscrupulous businesses target our young people and put their very futures at risk.”

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With Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo continuing to push legal recreational marijuana use and retail sales for the state of New York, Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello said he would be interested in the county opting out of legal retail sales of the drug. Cuomo said that future legislation would allow county and city governments to choose whether to allow retail sales within their boundaries. He mentioned in his recent State of the State address that statewide legalization would raise an estimated $300 million per year from taxes.

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I would like to tell Minister for Health, Simon Harris, that I believe the time has come to radically address the smoking epidemic in this country.

The deaths and carnage to people’s health are undeniable. I think of the smokers who are now terminally ill lying on a hospital bed saying goodbye to their family. I have 2 girls under 2 years of age and the thought of knowing they would not have their father around because he smoked himself to death. That must really be the most tragic experience possible.

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People, particularly young people, don't understand the risks of vaping, says the P.E.I. Tobacco Reduction Alliance, and it has launched an education campaign to change that. Julia Hartley, co-ordinator of the P.E.I. Lung Association, a member of the alliance, said vaping dangers include toxic chemicals such as metals and flavourings, as well as ultra-fine particles.

"Ultra-fine particles can really harm your lungs over time," said Hartley.

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Nearly a century after the film “Reefer Madness” alarmed the nation, some policymakers and doctors are again becoming concerned about the dangers of marijuana, although the reefers are long gone.

Experts now distinguish between the “new cannabis” — legal, highly potent, available in tabs, edibles and vapes — and the old version, a far milder weed passed around in joints. Levels of T.H.C., the chemical that produces marijuana’s high, have been rising for at least three decades, [...]

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A number of health organizations are calling on the Saskatchewan government to update provincial tobacco laws to deal with high smoking rates in the province.

 

The latest data from the 2017 Canadian Tobacco Alcohol and Drug survey released in October 2018 found 21.9 per cent of youth aged 15 to 19 in the province currently smoke.

That number jumps to 23.4 per cent of those aged 20 to 24.

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In this latest Voices of Vapers podcast, Guy Bentley, a research associate at Reason Foundation, rejoins the show to discuss his latest brief “A Question of Taste: The Public Health Case for E-Cigarettes.”

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It might surprise you to know the global finance industry still works hand in glove with the tobacco industry. Big insurers insure it, big banks lend to it, and many superannuation funds invest their members' money in it. Melbourne oncologist Dr Bronwyn King is on a mission to change all that.

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Japan Tobacco Inc (2914.T) on Thursday unveiled two “heat-not-burn” products, as it races against market leader Philip Morris International Inc (PM.N) for a larger share of the vaping space with conventional cigarettes steadily falling out of favor. Despite commanding 60 percent of the local cigarette market, Japan Tobacco has been caught on the wrong side of the rising popularity of heat-not-burn (HNB) alternatives and has lagged in the category in its own backyard versus the Marlboro maker.

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SA is at risk of losing its tobacco-growing industry following a decision by British American Tobacco Southern Africa (Batsa) to notify the country’s only tobacco processor, Rustenburg-based Limpopo Tobacco Processors (LTP), that it may have to consider buying foreign tobacco should the illicit industry gain further traction. Batsa has written to LTP, which buys and processes most of SA’s tobacco crop from about 100 commercial farmers and about 150 emerging farmers, pointing out deteriorating market conditions for the tax-paying portion of the industry.

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Tucker Carlson debated the potential negative effects of marijuana Wednesday night with an author who recently published a pro-marijuana book. David Bienenstock is the author of “How to Smoke Pot (Properly): A Highbrow Guide to Getting High.” “Most of the claims made by [marijuana] proponents are unproven. But the CDC does say there is a relationship between marijuana use and rising schizophrenia rates and violence. So why should we legalize something we know causes schizophrenia?” Carlson asked.

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FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has announced that sales of e-cigarettes and other vaping products could be banned, but suggested that it might take his agency another year to even decide whether to begin the long legal process of doing so. He claimed that he was horrified by the rapid rise in the teen use of such products which are designed to permit users to ingest the drug nicotine, and to become addicted to it, often a precursor to switching to tobacco cigarettes.

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The government allowed the tobacco industry to get away with murder for more than 40 years. In 1964, the Surgeon General issued a report linking smoking to lung cancer. Yet not until 2009 was the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act passed to effectively regulate tobacco products in our country. Today, the e-cigarette epidemic represents a virtually identical crisis and our government is turning a blind eye to history repeating itself. The rise in e-cigarette use among teens is unprecedented.

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