"Notice no one is jumping up and down about alcohol"

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A Hamilton alcohol and drug expert is disappointed the council’s draft Local Alcohol Policy (LAP) hasn’t drawn the same level of concern, or interest, as its legal highs policy which drew more than 500 public submissions. A total of 93 submissions were received to the draft LAP, with 41 people asking to speak at the council hearings in support of their written submissions. Hearings are on March 28. "Notice no one is jumping up and down about alcohol," said Alcohol and Drug Community Support Trust director Stephen King. He praised council for putting restrictions in place for off-licences but said he had concerns about on licences. Council has proposed restricting any new off licenses to retail centres and cutting trading hours to 9am-10pm, from the current hours of 7am-11pm. "What they have done about off-licences in the community that is fine, that’s good. What I am concerned about is the front loading before people go to town, the side loading in the car parks outside, and the on-licences notion of intoxication is questionable." Mr King would like to have seen … Read More

The Escalating Debate Over E-Cigarettes

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Follow the bouncing ping-pong ball. “E-cigarettes are likely to be gateway devices for nicotine addiction among youth, opening up a whole new market for tobacco.” —Lauren Dutra, postdoctoral fellow at the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. “You’ve got two camps here: an abstinence-only camp that thinks anything related to tobacco should be outlawed, and those of us who say abstinence has failed, and that we have to take advantage of every opportunity with a reasonable prospect for harm reduction.” —Richard Carmona, former U.S. Surgeon General, now board member of e-cigarette maker NJOY. “Consumers are led to believe that e-cigarettes are a safe alternative to cigarettes, despite the fact that they are addictive, and there is no regulatory oversight ensuring the safety of the ingredients in e-cigarettes.” —From a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) signed by 40 state attorneys general. “E-cigarettes need more time to develop and to out-compete deadly conventional cigarettes, but they have the potential to end the tobacco epidemic. So if regulators decide to ban them or submit them to stricter regulations … Read More

Legal high users in Hawkes Bay better watch out!

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Police target people buying synthetic cannabis in Napier. Napier has had an influx of synthetic cannabis buyers after both shops that sold the drugs in Hastings were closed by the Health Ministry. Hawke’s Bay police had increased their focus on the drug due to the influx, they said. The two shops selling synthetic cannabis in Hastings closed this week due to breaching bylaws. That has led to many Hastings users travelling to Napier to buy the drug from Adult Selections in Dickens St. Police issued a statement today saying they had "used the opportunity to carry out vehicle stops on Dickens St checking for driver-licence breaches, registration and warrants of fitness, people wanted on warrants and people with outstanding fines". In just two hours yesterday morning they issued more than 40 tickets outside the shop. They also arrested a man who owed more than $40,000 in unpaid fines. Sergeant Nigel Hurley said synthetic cannabis had a high criminal customer base and the influx of people into Napier this week provided police with a good opportunity to check vehicles and people. … Read More