Addiction News

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Switzerland repeals tobacco tax on cannabidiol (CBD) products

The federal Swiss court has repealed a 25% tax on cannabidiol (CBD) products. Previously, CBD products containing less than 1% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) were classified as tobacco substitutes and were therefore subject to tobacco taxes. The court ruled that CBD products were commonly sold for health reasons that were not related to smoking and so should not be subject to tobacco taxes. 

Source: https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/court-ruling_tax-on-legal-weed-repealed/45567738

Egypt increases tobacco and vaping taxes and fixes cigarette price

The president of Egypt has approved a law to increase Value Added Tax (VAT) on all tobacco products. The new law introduces VAT for vaping and heated tobacco products and new taxes for shisha tobacco products. The government has also introduced a fixed price for cigarettes that ranges from EGP16.5 to EGP40 depending on the brand.

Source: https://egyptianstreets.com/2020/02/26/vat-increases-on-local-imported-tobacco-products/

​600% increase in MDMA seizures in New Zealand

New Zealand’s National Drug Intelligence Bureau (NDIB) has reported substantial increases in the amount of gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) and methamphetamine seized by border police between 2017 and 2019. MDMA seizures increased by 600%, with the equivalent of 2.5 million tablets seized in 2019. GBL seizures increased by 69% over the same period to nearly 500 litres.

Source: https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2020/02/customs-sees-600-percent-increase-in-mdma-seizures-at-new-zealand-s-border.html

Belarus and US to share drug enforcement data

A memorandum of cooperation has been signed by the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the State Forensic Examination Committee of Belarus (SFEC). The two countries will now share information on the sources of drugs, the sources of analogue and precursor chemicals, new and emerging drugs and methods to analyse illicit substances. They will also cooperate to reduce international drug trafficking.

Source: https://eng.belta.by/society/view/belarus-usa-to-step-up-joint-efforts-to-combat-illegal-drug-trade-128487-2020/

Benzodiazepine use in Ireland over 65s highest in OECD

Ireland has the highest use of benzodiazepine medication among people aged over 65 of all countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The Irish Department of Health also reported that use of benzodiazepine medication was 40% higher among women than among men.

Source: https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/lifestyle/healthandlife/bitter-pill-benzodiazepine-medication-by-irish-over-65s-in-ireland-highest-in-oecd-984920.html

Police officers deployed to all Sri Lankan schools to combat drugs

The Sri Lankan Ministry of Education has announced that every school will be provided with a police officer to combat drug use. The increased security measures, which also include a hotline for people to report drug-related activity around schools, is part of a programme intended to eliminate drug use among young people.

Source: https://menafn.com/1099726110/Sri-Lanka-Police-to-be-deployed-to-eradicate-drugs-from-schools

UK online betting company fined £3m

Mr Green, an online gambling company, has been fined for ‘systematic failings’ over its response to problematic gambling and money laundering. The company, owned by William Hill, was fined £3m for failing to make appropriate checks on large sums of money used for betting, and for failing to check on customers identified as problem gamblers. Mr Green is the ninth gambling firm to have been fined by the Gambling Commission for similar issues, with fines now amounting to £20m.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/feb/27/william-hill-online-betting-gambling-firm-mr-green-fined-for-systemic-failings

Purdue Pharma advertise how to claim against them

As a result of ongoing lawsuits over its role in the opioid crisis, Purdue Pharma is filing for bankruptcy. As part of this process it has launched a $23.8m advertising campaign to inform people how they can claim against the company. It is standard practice to notify people who may have outstanding legal claims against a company about bankruptcy proceedings, but this rarely requires a national advertising campaign. It is estimated that the campaign will reach 95% of the US population and that people will see the advert an average of six times.

Source: https://apnews.com/12e28efd385b2e7c9c56aecc48e411d0

Vietnam issues decree against alcohol in films

Vietnam has issued a decree to restrict depictions of alcohol use in films as part of the new Law on Preventing Alcohol’s Harmful Effects. Displays of alcohol use will only be permitted in films where actors portray historical characters or where alcohol use is criticised. Films are specifically banned from depicting alcohol use as a way of celebrating success.

Source: https://e.vnexpress.net/news/news/vietnam-says-no-more-drinking-scenes-in-movies-4060729.html

Alcohol related hospital admissions in England at a record high

Data from the Local Alcohol Profiles for England tool show that alcohol-related hospital admissions recently reached an all-time high. In 2018/19 there were 358,000 occasions where the main reason for a hospital admission was alcohol related. There was an 8% increase in admissions to hospital where the primary or secondary diagnosis was alcohol related compared with 2017/18.

Source: http://www.ias.org.uk/What-we-do/Alcohol-Alert/February-2020.aspx#Alcohol-admissions-in-England-at-highest-ever-level-once-more