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Over 150 years of minimising harm by maximising prevention

'She was in a lot of pain': Call for ban on flavoured vapes popular with young Australians

health charity is calling for a ban on the over-the-counter sale of vapes, after finding harmful chemicals including disinfectant, petroleum and fish euthanasia drugs inside the electronic smoking devices.
Lung Foundation Australia wants action on the sale of vapes, also known as e-cigarettes, which are largely unregulated but, with colourful packaging and fruity flavours, mostly aimed at young people.
Research by Curtin University and partly funded by the foundation found all of more than 50 vapes bought over the counter contained chemicals with "unknown effects on respiratory health".
…some often wrongly believe they're "healthier" than cigarettes. He said he knows as part of his health studies, as well as the recent findings, that's not at all true.
For complete article go to Vaping news: Lung Foundation Australia calls for ban on flavoured e-cigarettes popular with young | Exclusive (9news.com.au)
 
International research shows ‘strong evidence’ linking vaping to cigarette smoking
People under 20 who used vapes were more than three times as likely to have ever smoked tobacco cigarettes, and more than twice as likely to have smoked cigarettes in the previous month, according to a review of 25 studies globally.


Serene Yoong, an associate professor at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne and the study’s lead author, said the findings pointed to the need for youth prevention programs and better regulation of e-cigarette products.
“Every single study showed an association between [e-cigarette] use among non-smokers and increased use of cigarettes at follow-up,” she said.
 
For complete article International research shows ‘strong evidence’ linking vaping to cigarette smoking | Health | The Guardian
 
Dakota's doctors thought she might have COVID, but it was vaping that put her in ICU (E.V.A.L.I Here)
 
By the Specialist Reporting Team's Alison Branley and national medical reporter Sophie Scott
Dakota Stephenson started vaping to help manage her anxiety. When 15-year-old Dakota Stephenson first started vaping with friends after school she never imagined it could have Dakota Stephenson lying in a hospital bed with an oxygen mask covering most of her face.potentially deadly consequences.

Key points:
  • A teenager ended up in ICU with a condition doctors suspect was linked to regular vaping
  • She is now speaking publicly to warn others about the potential dangers of vapes
  • There are mounting concerns about vaping advertisements targeting teens through social media



'It looks so innocent'
Dakota was released from hospital after a week, but months later the previously fit teen still struggled with basic cardiovascular exercise.
Her mother said she narrowly escaped permanent injury with some nodules still showing up on lung scans months later.
Dakota said she was speaking out to warn other teenagers about what she believes are the potential risks of vaping.
"It looks so innocent but it could kill you. It's so scary," she said.
Ms Stephenson said she was shocked to learn her daughter had been secretly vaping, saying neither she nor Dakota's father smoked and were very anti-smoking.
"The hardest part was definitely when they said they had to take her to the Children's Hospital," she said.
"Words can't describe as a parent how it made me feel."
For complete story click here 
For Further Resources on Vaping Check out Vaping Crisis Info Sheet
Dual Use of Alcohol & Cannabis a Real Problem for Young Adults – Greater Risk of Alcohol Use Disorder?
Public Health Significance—Dual use of alcohol and cannabis appears to be associated with adverse behavioral and psychological consequences and is a rapidly growing public health concern. This study suggests dual users have greater demand for alcohol, steeply discount delayed alcoholic drinks, and are at higher risk for alcohol use disorder than individuals who consume alcohol but do not consume cannabis. For complete Research Dual use of alcohol and cannabis among college students: A reinforcer pathologies approach. - PsycNET (apa.org)
High Truths – Podcast: Dr Bertha Madras on the Addicted Brain
What Can Drug Use do to Your Skin – The Other Important Organ of Your Body!
 
 
Alcohol Is Bad For the Heart – New Study: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a condition which creates irregular heartbeat/rhythm. Previous research has found that chronic alcohol use could predict the condition. 
A new study has found that acute alcohol use is also linked to triggering of AF episodes.  Which means by reducing/stopping alcohol use patients could improve heart health by decreasing the number of AF episodes, check out the link here
 
Increase Alcohol Tax – Reduce Cancers – Save Lives:

ABSTRACT
Background: Reducing the alcohol-attributable cancer burden in the WHO European Region is a public health priority. This study aims to estimate the number of potentially avoidable cancers in countries of the WHO European Region in 2019 for three scenarios in which current excise duties on alcoholic beverages were increased by 20%, 50%, or 100%.
Interpretation: Doubling current alcohol excise duties could avoid just under 6% (or 180,900 cases and 85,100 deaths) of new alcohol-attributable cancers within the WHO European Region, particularly in Member States of the European Union where excise duties are in many cases very low.
For complete research Modelling the impact of increased alcohol taxation on alcohol-attributable cancers in the WHO European Region - The Lancet Regional Health – Europe
 
An Opioid Vaccine? – Will more ‘chemical’ interventions help, or simply enhance the unhelpful disease model, and the helplessness and disempowering ‘victimhood’ it fosters in drug users?
 
Pill Checking/Testing: Helping or Harming – What is the Subtext?
The Redemption of Ginny Burton (I’m so grateful I was ‘locked up’ by people who loved me enough to help me change!)
Legalize Cannabis and Public Health Suffers
New Study Outlines Public Health Impacts of Marijuana Legalization: USA: A study in the journal Neuropharmacology analyzing the public health impacts of marijuana legalization in the United States found the following developments have resulted due to the change in drug policy towards the substance: 
Highlights
  • Perceived risk of cannabis use has declined in adolescents and adults over time.
  • Potency has increased and prices decreased in legal and illicit cannabis products.
  • Traffic fatalities involving cannabis increased in some states post-legalisation.
  • More presentations to medical services related to regular cannabis use click this link
People Against Drug Driving

Cannabis and Covid-19 – Study: Genetic Liability to Cannabis Use Disorder and COVID-19 Hospitalization
Background: Vulnerability to COVID-19 hospitalization has been linked to behavioral risk factors, including combustible psychoactive substance use (e.g., tobacco smoking). Paralleling the COVID-19 pandemic crisis have been increasingly permissive laws for recreational cannabis use. Cannabis use disorder (CUD) is a psychiatric disorder that is heritable and genetically correlated with respiratory disease, independent of tobacco smoking. We examined the genetic relationship between CUD and COVID-19 hospitalization.
Conclusions: Problematic cannabis use and vulnerability to serious COVID-19 complications share genetic underpinnings that are unique from common correlates. While CUD may plausibly contribute to severe COVID-19 presentations, causal inference models yielded no evidence of putative causation. Curbing excessive cannabis use may mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
For complete research click here
 
Your phone can tell when you're high: Data from accelerometer and GPS sensors can be used to predict with 90% accuracy if someone is stoned, study finds
  • An algorithm based on sensors data combined with the time of day and day of the week was right nine out of ten times
  • The most important features were sensors tracking movements, GPS location 
  • Current marijuana tests have a three-day window and are difficult to administer in the field
  • The algorithm could 'deliver a brief intervention when and where it might have the most impact to reduce cannabis-related harm' 
For complete article click here
 
 
Case Reports on the Failure of Smoking Marijuana to Prevent Relapse to Use of Opiates in Adolescents/Young Adults With Opiate Use Disorder

Abstract: Twenty-six adolescent/young adult patients with opioid use disorder smoked marijuana in an attempt to avoid relapse to opiate use. In each case, smoking marijuana increased cravings and urges for opiates and promoted opiate relapse. Adolescents/young adults with opioid use disorder who tried to smoke marijuana as a harm reduction strategy to not return to opioid use were not successful. Smoking marijuana appeared to enhance cravings and urges for opiates and promoted relapse to opiate use. These clinical case reports show that smoking marijuana was not helpful as a harm reduction strategy to prevent return to opioids in young people with OUD. For complete research go to ScienceDirect
 
Cannabis users at 'much higher' risk of developing poor mental health
Those with a recorded history of cannabis use in general practice records are at a much higher risk of developing mental ill health problems such as anxiety or depression as well as severe mental illnesses, new research shows. For more (University of Birmingham) 01 Oct 2021 click here for more.
 
 
Refraining from use diminishes cannabis-associated epigenetic changes in human sperm 
Environmental Epigenetics, Volume 7, Issue 1, 2021 Published: 21 September 2021
Abstract: Cannabis use alters sperm DNA methylation, but the potential reversibility of these changes is unknown…These results indicate that sustained cannabis abstinence significantly reduces the number of sperm showing cannabis-associated alterations at genes important for early development.
In summary: this report is the first to characterize the impact of cannabis use on the entirety of the sperm DNA methylome. It furthermore shows that refraining from cannabis use for 11 weeks resolves a substantial proportion of the effects of cannabis on the sperm methylome. These data begin to address critical knowledge gaps about the biological effects of this exposure, which is especially important as cannabis legalization expands.
For complete Study click here 
 
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