Archive for May, 2014

Rally at Tim Hudak’s campaign office re seniors & healthcare –

Monday June 9 at noon.

– in Beamsville…

click HERE for report


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More than 50 public health experts and nicotine experts, including five Canadians, are urging the World Health Organization not to classify e-cigarettes as tobacco products, because they say doing so could jeopardize a “significant health innovation” that could save hundreds of millions of lives.

In an open letter to WHO Director General Margaret Chan, the scientists from Europe, North America, Asia and Australia argue e-cigarettes are “part of the solution” in the fight against smoking.

“These products could be among the most significant health innovations of the 21st century — perhaps saving hundreds of millions of lives. The urge to control and suppress them as tobacco products should be resisted,” the experts wrote.

The UN health agency seems to view e-cigarettes as a “threat” that should be classified like regular cigarettes, according to leaked documents from a meeting last November.

David Sweanor, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, who works on tobacco control, is one of the signatories.

“We’re here to try to get rid of cigarettes, we’re here to try to make cigarettes obsolete and we have the potential with technology to start to do that, and that would be one of the biggest breakthroughs we’ve ever had in public health,” Sweanor said in an interview.

Sweanor and the other writers refer to “tobacco harm reduction” — the idea that 1.3 billion people worldwide who smoke could do much less harm to their health if they consumed nicotine in a low-risk, non-combustible form, given that the majority of harmful effects attributed to tobacco arises from tar and toxic gases drawn into the lungs.

In response to the letter, Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, said: “The overall impact of e-cigarette use on public health is currently unclear. While they could prove to be an important tool to help people stop smoking, the unregulated status of e-cigarettes is problematic.”

So far, research shows overwhelmingly that e-cigarettes are used by people who want to quit smoking, Sweanor said. There’s little evidence e-cigarettes are used by young people to start smoking, although that is a risk, he said.

Nova Scotia plans to introduce legislation in the fall to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to those under the age of 19.

“We don’t want to see e-cigarette and flavoured tobacco juice again seeing smoking increase in our province,” said Leo Glavine, Nova Scotia’s health minister. “We’ve had too many gains in a province that has high cancer rates and death strongly associated with smoking.”

Health Canada continues to advise against the use of e-cigarettes.

“Currently, the advertisement and sale of electronic cigarette products, including e-liquid, that contain nicotine and/or have health claims is non-compliant with the Food and Drugs Act., and is therefore illegal,” a spokesman for Health Canada said in an email.

“To date there is not sufficient evidence that the potential benefits of e-cigarettes in helping Canadians to quit smoking outweigh the potential risks. A company would have to provide evidence of safety, quality and effectiveness in order to have its product authorized. Without this scientific evidence, Health Canada continues to advise Canadians, especially youth, against the use of these products.”

Health Canada has sent cease and desist orders to sellers of e-cigarettes, mostly because people have been making health claims, said Tony Carver, owner of Evape Electronic Cigarette in Newmarket, Ont.

Carver said the scientists’ letter gives him hope.

“I think that is the best news I have ever heard for the electronic cigarette, business it answers a lot of the misinformation that there is out there.”

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Peeping Tom

text sent by e-mail 2014-05-30

 This woman I know lives on the 3rd floor of an apartment building.

It is a private end-unit surrounded by mature oak and cedar trees.

And even though it is a good neighbourhood,

she has been having trouble with a Peeping Tom that lives next door…

Every time she goes out on her balcony to catch a bit of sun,

this Peeping Tom looks over from his balcony as soon as she steps out, and stares at her…

She has complained to the superintendent about this Peeping Tom,

but he says she must have positive proof before he can do anything…

She FINALLY got a picture of him while he was staring at her.

click HERE


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Rapunzel 2014

Thanks to LST

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For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.

People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them. When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.

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