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Health Canada launches campaign to educate teens on the health risks of vaping

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  • Health Canada is ramping up efforts to warn young Canadians about the potential risks associated with vaping, the agency said Thursday.

    Spokeswoman Maryse Durette said the government body has launched a multi-phase campaign to tackle what it sees as an increasing problem among youth.

    “The vaping market is evolving rapidly, with the regular introduction of new products into Canada,” Durette said in a statement outlining the planned campaign. “We are aware of both anecdotal information and unpublished research showing increases in the rate at which Canadian youth are trying and using vaping products.”

    Durette said the first phase of the campaign got underway last month and featured paid and social media ads urging parents to start discussing vaping health risks with their kids.

    The next step, set to launch next month, is aimed squarely at the teens themselves. Durette said the campaign will feature both paid ads and hands-on learning events in high schools and community venues targeting youth between the ages of 13 and 18. Social media influencers will also be involved to help reach parents and teens alike, she added.

    Health Canada said much of the research around youth vaping is still in its early stages, adding it could not provide firm figures for Canadian vaping rates. But Durette said both unpublished research as well as international data paint an alarming picture.

    A study released in the U.S. last month prompted a warning from the country’s top physician amid reports that e-cigarettes and other vaping devices were undermining decades of declines in tobacco use.

    A federally funded University of Michigan study that’s been tracking teen substance use for more than four decades documented an unprecedented spike in the number of teens using e-cigarettes. The study, released last month, found the number of teens using the devices last year had doubled from the one before — the largest single-year increase in the survey’s 44-year history, far surpassing a mid-1970s surge in marijuana smoking.

    Separate U.S. government research found an estimated 3.6 million U.S. teens are now using e-cigarettes, representing one in five high school students and one in 20 middle schoolers.

    E-cigarettes and other vaping devices have been sold in the U.S. since 2007, growing into a US$6.6-billion business. Most devices heat a flavoured nicotine solution into an inhalable vapour.

    While research on the effects of vaping is still taking shape, officials in Canada and abroad have long cautioned that nicotine poses an elevated risk to youth.

    Durette said the Canadian government is prepared to take stronger action if necessary, saying it’s working on strengthening regulations around vaping and prepared to lend “scientific and policy support” for provinces or territories thinking of imposing restrictions of their own.

    “Health Canada has the authority to implement further measures to address the potential harms of vaping,” she said. “The department will not hesitate to propose further restrictions, should they prove necessary in light of the emerging data on youth vaping.”

    Several school boards report anecdotal evidence that vaping among students is on the rise, with one Ottawa-area institution recently making headlines for its efforts to address the trend.

    This week the principal of St. Joseph High School published a post on a school blog informing the community that bathroom doors would be removed in a bid to discourage vaping. Don Murphy also said the school will be issuing fines of up to $305 for those vaping indoors or visibly holding a vaping device.

    “I am extremely confident that the removal of washroom doors and the issuing of fines will discourage those tempted to vape, or smoke, indoors,” he said in the post.

    A spokeswoman for the Ottawa Catholic School Board said principals are entitled to establish “progressive discipline” to address issues at their schools.

    “The principal (Murphy) has been very open with his community, and his actions have received wide support from the students, staff, and parents,” Mardi de Kemp said of the new washroom door policy.

    School boards in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver echoed the stance that vaping was barred on school property.

     

     

     

     

    Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press


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    Health

    Feds have ‘significant concern’ about impact of economic shocks on indebted

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  • OTTAWA — In the lead up to his pre-election budget, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau has been alerted by his department that Canadians’ heavy debts have made abrupt shocks to incomes, house prices or interest rates a “significant concern,” according to internal documents.

    On March 19, Morneau will release the Liberal government’s final budget before the October federal election. He’s underlined several issues expected to be addressed in the document, including prescription-drug costs, skills training for workers and support for seniors. 

    Morneau’s also hinted changes are on the way to help make home-buying more accessible for millennials, a generation of people now in their mid-20s to late 30s.

    But with concerns about Canadians’ debt levels, it’s unclear how far the government will go.

    Internally, briefing documents show Morneau’s been told “the high level of debt of Canadian households remains a key domestic risk,” even though rising interest rates have helped slow private borrowing and stricter policies have made mortgages less risky for lenders.

    Last November, when budget preparations were likely well underway, a Finance Department briefing addressed to Morneau warned of “dynamics” that could have important implications for the economy in late 2018 and into 2019.

    Among the issues, officials urged him to be mindful of Canadians’ stretched finances.

    “How households would respond if the Canadian economy were suddenly hit with a shock to incomes, house prices or interest rates, given higher debt levels, is a significant concern,” said the Nov. 16 note, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.

    Industry has pressed Ottawa to ease stress tests that have tightened mortgage qualification rules and, as a result, cooled housing markets.

    The federal changes, combined with provincial and municipal guidelines, were brought in to improve the quality of mortgage debt and to lower risks to the broader economy.

    Asked Friday about pressure to loosen the stress tests, Morneau said he had nothing new to announce about them and that they were needed for a reason.

    “We wanted to make sure that the market was stable, we wanted to make sure that prices were not escalating in some markets at a pace that was unsustainable,” Morneau told reporters in Toronto following his pre-budget meeting with private-sector economists.

    When it comes to helping more young people buy property, Paul Taylor, CEO of Mortgage Professionals Canada, has said he’s made recommendations to federal officials that they reintroduce insurance on 30-year mortgages as a targeted way to help people at the lower end. Taylor has also argued the stress tests have succeeded in taking some of the froth out of the market and he believes Ottawa should loosen them now.

    The stronger economy has encouraged the Bank of Canada to hike interest rates five times since 2017 to its current level of 1.75 per cent.

    Governor Stephen Poloz said Thursday that the rate will keep rising — or normalizing — over time to somewhere between 2.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent. But he noted the path is “highly uncertain” because of unknowns related to global trade, business investment and household debt.

    Poloz was asked by reporters in Montreal whether the time had come to dial back the stress tests to help more people, including millennials, enter the market.

    He said that before the tests were brought in house prices were rising 10 or 15 per cent per year in some markets, which represents a much faster pace than rate increases. The central bank, he added, has been closely watching the data, but it’s still early since the latest rule change has barely been in force for a year.

    “I can tell you that underwriting of mortgages, the quality, has improved significantly and that matters a lot because the vulnerability of the economy to a normalization of interest rates was becoming extremely high,” Poloz said.

    When it comes to government debt, a preliminary analysis released Friday by Morneau’s department said Ottawa ran a surplus of $300 million through the first nine months of 2018-19. In comparison, Ottawa posted a deficit of $8.9 billion between April and December in 2017-18.

    The Liberals have predicted the government will post a shortfall this fiscal year of $18.1 billion. With just three months left in 2018-19, the final federal balance sheet will likely look far different.

    Pierre-Olivier Herbert, a spokesman for Morneau, said in an email Friday that the fiscal monitor’s results can be volatile and tend to be revised. He stressed it’s not uncommon to see movements in the budgetary balance in any given month.

    Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press




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    Alberta

    As Hair Massacure Returns for Another Year, Here’s A Moving Look at How it Began

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  • On February 22, 2019, thousands of heads will be shaved in honour of the journey of sick children losing their hair due to chemotherapy.

    People will gather once again at the Toyota Mayfield Ice Palace at West Edmonton Mall to collectively shave their heads, raising money in support of Albertans facing cancer.

    The Hair Massacure is founded, supported and organized by The MacDonald Family, in honour of their daughter Kali, a childhood cancer survivor.

    The MacDonald family partners once again with the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada and supports Terry Fox Profyle, a Pediatric cancer research project.

    With the support of their partners, the family plans to scale Hair Massacure to the national level with the support of the Children’s Wish Foundation, continuing to raise funding for pediatric cancer research and for children with life threatening illnesses.

    Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada

    Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada is a 100% Canadian charity that grants the single-most heartfelt wishes of Canadian children diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses. Every wish is as unique as the child making it.  In Alberta and the NWT, we grant a Wish every three days and approve around 180 new Wishes each year. Wish referrals can be made by anyone who has a child in their lives between the ages of 3-17 and meets the medical criteria. Become a supporter of the largest Wish granting organization in Canada today!

    Terry Fox Profyle

    For the first time in Canadian history, more than 30 pediatric cancer research and funding organizations have joined forces through Terry Fox PROFYLE, a pan-Canadian project to give children, adolescents and young adults who are out of conventional treatment options another chance to beat their cancer. Short for PRecision Oncology For Young peopLE, the Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI) and these research and funding partners are working and fundraising together under a unique partnership that to date is providing a total of $16.4 million to molecularly profile the tumours of these patients, no matter where they live in Canada. For example, if Terry Fox had been diagnosed with cancer today, he would have been eligible for PROFYLE when the tumour returned and spread to his lungs. A $5-million investment by TFRI is the catalyst bringing together top scientists and clinicians, research centres, cancer charities and foundations at children’s hospitals across the country to create new hope for young people who need it the most.

    Video produced by Storyteller Productions .


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    february, 2019

    fri15feb - 3marfeb 151:00 ammar 32019 Canada Winter Games1:00 am - (march 3) 1:00 am Red Deer

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