Most people who try one cigarette become daily smokers, study says

At least two-thirds of those who try cigarettes go on to become daily smokers, even if only temporarily, research suggests. Data from the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand found 60.3% of people had tried smoking and an estimated 68.9% of those progressed to a daily habit. The study’s authors said the research showed the “remarkable hold” cigarettes could establish

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Pharma giant Pfizer pulls out of research into Alzheimer’s

Drug company Pfizer has announced it is pulling out of research into drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease. The US-based pharmaceutical giant said it would be ending its neuroscience discovery programmes following a review, and 300 jobs would be lost. The Alzheimer’s Society called the news “disappointing” and a “heavy blow” to those living with dementia Companies should be encouraged to

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Japanese tycoon loans Basquiat masterpiece to Brooklyn

A Basquiat masterpiece, bought by a Japanese billionaire for a record $110.5 million, will make its museum debut this month, going on display in the artist’s home borough of Brooklyn. Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1982 “Untitled” has been virtually unseen in public and never previously been exhibited in a museum. It depicts a skull-like head in oil-stick, acrylic and spray paint, and

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Ecuador grants citizenship to WikiLeaks founder Assange: foreign minister

Ecuador has granted citizenship to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been sheltering at its London embassy for five years to avoid arrest, Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa announced Thursday. Espinosa told a press conference in Quito that Assange, a 46-year-old Australian, became an Ecuadoran citizen on December 12. As a result, she said Ecuador had asked London to recognize

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