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Tobacco & Marijuana

Health groups seek to intervene in U.S. tobacco case

Tobacco & MarijuanaJun 30 05

Anti-smoking and health advocates made a bid to intervene in the U.S. government’s racketeering case against cigarette makers, telling a federal judge the Justice Department was not being tough enough on the industry.

Six anti-smoking groups said they filed with U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler arguing that they should be made formal parties to the lawsuit so they can propose stricter sanctions against the industry.

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UK government consults public on smoking ban

Tobacco & MarijuanaJun 21 05

The British government began public consultation on Monday on proposals for a partial smoking ban in England, a day after it was forced to deny it intends a total workplace ban. Views are being sought on plans to outlaw smoking in enclosed public places and workplaces and on how a ban might operate in licensed premises like bars and restaurants.

Newspapers on Sunday indicated any partial ban would likely become total, but this was denied by health officials. On Monday, the government said it wants anywhere that serves food to be smoke-free but that all other bars and members’ clubs would have the right to choose.

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Oregon’s top lawyer OKs medical marijuana use

Tobacco & MarijuanaJun 21 05

Oregon’s attorney general gave the state the go-ahead on Friday to resume issuing cards that allow sick patients to smoke marijuana despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling the federal government could prosecute medical use of the drug.

“The (Supreme Court) decision has no legal impact on the operation of Oregon’s program,” according to a statement by Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers’ office.

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UK court rules against medicinal cannabis users

Tobacco & MarijuanaMay 29 05

A group of Britons appealing against convictions for illegally using cannabis for pain relief suffered a blow on Friday when three of the country’s top judges ruled they were not exempt from the law.

The five people mounting the test case argued they were entitled to a defence of “necessity” because the drug was needed for pain relief, was more effective than some conventional medicines and did not have the associated side effects.

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Fewer Americans smoking, study finds

Tobacco & MarijuanaMay 27 05

Fewer Americans are smoking, but their numbers are not dropping as quickly as U.S. health officials would like, according to a report issued on Thursday.

The survey finds that 21.6 percent of U.S. adults said they smoked in 2003, down from 22.5 percent in 2002 and 22.8 percent in 2001.

For the second year in a row, more people are former smokers than current smokers, the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds, with nearly 46 million now having kicked the habit.

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U.S. witness calls for $130 bln stop-smoking plan

Tobacco & MarijuanaMay 18 05

Cigarette makers should be forced to fund a 25-year, $130 billion program to help smokers who want to quit, a witness testified on Tuesday in the U.S. government’s racketeering case against the tobacco industry.

Smoking cessation expert Michael Fiore told a federal judge the expensive, long-running campaign would be needed to get counseling and medication to the 32.1 million people out of 47 million U.S. smokers who say they want to quit.

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UK doctors demand wider smoking ban

Tobacco & MarijuanaMay 12 05

British doctors called on Thursday for a ban on smoking in all enclosed public places, saying government proposals for a partial ban could be unworkable.

The British Medical Association, which represents three quarters of the country’s doctors, said plans to outlaw smoking in workplaces, restaurants and in pubs serving food do not go far enough.

It wants Prime Minister Tony Blair’s re-elected government to follow the example of Ireland, Norway and other countries that have banned smoking in all restaurants and pubs.

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Cocaine Users Face Greater Risk of Aneurysm

Tobacco & MarijuanaMay 10 05

Cocaine users face a newly discovered and possibly fatal risk: coronary aneurysms, a ballooning of the walls of coronary arteries. The condition increases the chance of suffering a heart attack, even years after users stop the drug, researchers in Minnesota are reporting.

The risk of developing an aneurysm was four times as high among cocaine users in their mid-40’s as among nonusers in the same age group, according to the study, reported yesterday in the journal Circulation, which is published by the American Heart Association.

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