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Saturday, 26 November 2011

POT POURRI II


Little does it matter that contrary to what he claims alcohol consumption has decreased in Canada since 2004, the Nova Scotia Chief Medical Officer, Robert Strang is launching a crusade against alcohol . 

Alors que l’O.M.S. nous annonce qu’ ‘’en matière de boisson, il n’existe aucun seuil de sécurité’’ une étude norvégienne effectuée auprès de 149 729 personnes nous confirme qu’une consommation modérée d’alcool serait bénéfique pour le cœur et réduirait les risques de décès par maladies coronariennes de 40 %.  Le Canada pour sa part, adopte désormais des nouvelles normes de consommation d’alcool. 



The myth that smokers and the obese are burdening the healthcare system has once again been debunked.  A leading actuary has lampooned health lobby figures on the costs of smoking and obesity as being extravagantly inflated and based on suspect methodology.’’


‘’Smokegate’’ happened long before climategate as we can read from this 1995 letter from one of Australia’s top anti-smoker activists to his colleagues.    http://members.iinet.net.au/~ray/ETS1.jpg
http://members.iinet.net.au/~ray/ETS2.jpg
 
Climategate 2.0: Une nouvelle publication de courriers électroniques refait tanguer le débat 
sur le réchauffement climatique.


Chemins de fer autrichiens : le retour du compartiment fumeurs.  ‘’En bon businessman, 
l'ancien directeur  des CFF a compris qu'on ne peut se priver impunément d'une clientèle qui représente  30 % de la population: les fumeurs.’’

The British Medical Association (BMA) retracts original press release that uses bad science to justify car smoking bans.  Brian Monteith: BMA’s ‘facts’ prove to be all smoke and mirrors 


Un juge fédéral américain a émis une injonction préliminaire bloquant  les avertissements graphiques sur les produits de tabac, jugeant que ceux-ci enfreignaient les droits constitutionnels des compagnies de tabac. 



 Irvin Leroux, the beleaguered taxpayer who suffered financial ruin following a nightmare audit by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), has won the right to continue his lawsuit against the CRA in the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

 
Le Canada part en croisade contre le sel malgré qu’une telle campagne peut être néfaste 
pour la santé d’un bon nombre de personnes.  Lire notre analyse (en anglais) à http://cagecanada.blogspot.com/2011/11/is-sodium-reduction-campaign-worth-ones.html 

Friday, 25 November 2011

IS A SODIUM REDUCTION CAMPAIGN WORTH ONE'S SALT?

Instead of constantly meddling in our lives to reduce healthcare costs, how about our elected officials stopped pushing on the panic button every time some epidemiologist, health lobbyist, pharma lobbyist, politician investing in future votes, or anti-this and anti-that comes up with a ‘’brilliant’’ solution for the betterment of the collective ‘’we’’, often to justify their raison d’être?   Contrary to cattle feeding on the same diet and in controlled living environments, we all have different genetic heritage, lifestyles and habits that can and do influence our health and a universal remedy will not fix the problem.    It can even make it worse.  What is good for a person with a tendency to hypertension is not necessarily good for someone with hypotension and what is beneficial to a healthy person can be fatal to an unhealthy one.  Isn’t this the reason we each (hopefully) have a doctor looking after our individual needs?  If we were all the same, wouldn’t the on-line advice of a medical site published by the government substantially reduce healthcare costs?   It doesn’t work that way, otherwise our public healthcare problems would have already been fixed.

The incessant public health campaigns and the ‘’one fits all’’ preventive measures confuse and cause unnecessary fear to the individual who runs to the E.R. and to his doctor to be reassured that his pain, discomfort or temporary loss of appetite doesn’t hide something more insidious.  This and the easily prescribed medication that usually follows such visits, is precisely what increases healthcare costs.  The body is not perfect nor should we expect it to be in an always optimal condition.  We are neither gods nor semi-gods and there are no magic pills that will make it so no matter how much we spend in medicating our less than perfect bodies.   What will temporarily soothe our aching body might cause us even less desirable permanent side effects and will definitely further burden the healthcare system in the short and long term. 

One of the latest health scares is sodium intake (salt).  There is now a global campaign against it and as we have learnt to expect Canada is following in the steps of other countries.  An article in the Globe & Mail (linked at bottom of this page) informs us that the provinces (Quebec excluded) are looking for a health funding deal with Ottawa to campaign for the reduction of sodium consumption in an effort to reduce visits to the hospital and the doctor.  

But the scientific literature does not warrant such universal measures in reducing salt consumption.  Albeit the studies we reviewed generally seem to agree that salt consumption influences the health of the elderly, the obese and people with hypertension and heart disease, it does not suggest that it is harmful to otherwise healthy individuals.  As a matter of fact one recent Canadian study demonstrates that reducing it to levels governments suggest can be hazardous to one’s health as we can read in this analysis of the study from the American Council on Science and Health.  

Another unintended consequence of legislation against excess sodium in processed foods or even voluntary compliance from the food industry is that when sodium is lowered or completely removed from foods, it is replaced with potassium chloride.  This substance and salt substitutes derived from it can be  dangerous to some people and even fatal to the uninformed yet they are available on supermarket shelves for all to buy. 

Considering that some 6 – 7% of Canadians still can’t find a family doctor, surely our taxes would be much better spent in filling that shortage rather than mimicking international preventive campaigns that, depending on the individual, can cause more harm than good.  

Provinces seek Ottawa’s help to lower Canadians’ sodium intake

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

THE DIRECTOR OF THE HEALTH POLICY PROGRAM AT THE NEW AMERICA FOUNDATION WAGES WAR ON THE OBESE

The opinion piece we link to below perfectly illustrates the slippery slope in which we are now well engaged ever since we allowed our governments to control people’s smoking behavior without raising our voices loudly and unanimously to protect our fellow citizens’autonomies. 
   

As much as they like to gloat that it is thanks to their heavy handed policies that smoking prevalence decreased significantly in the last decades, the reality is somewhat different.  While it is true that public health campaigns against smoking did well in lowering the number of smokers, they stopped being effective the day they became a ruthless war against smokers themselves.  Very few people like to be bullied and shamed into compliance for the betterment of the ''collective we'' and this is exactly what public health has been doing to smokers in the last decade.  The unintended, albeit predictable, consequences are that smoking rates have been more or less stagnating both in the U.S.A. and Canada and even increasing in some countries ever since public health went from educating the people to brow-beating them into complying with its dictates.  Did the writer consider how human nature works before advocating to follow the same path for people who are overweight or obese?   


If we obstinately refuse to learn valuable lessons from the war on smokers and foolishly repeat the same error of allowing the state to go into a heavy artillery war against another ‘’drain on the economy’’ (their words) and shame the obese like this writer suggests, why would we expect to be able to stop the state when one day they wage wars against people who want to bring to term their less than perfect fetus or who wish that their old and sick parent dies naturally?  If we accept that public health policy is based on collectivist and economic perspectives rather than human and compassionate bases and we irresponsibly jump on the bandwagon of shaming overweight and obese people , we would be clearly inviting eugenic and Soylent Green type of ethics to take over our societies sooner than we realize.  
   

Is this what we want? 

What can we as individuals do to stop it?  Be proud of who we are and respectful of ourselves and what we want or don't want out of life.  Keep informed, critical and alert and explore various perspectives that we don't necessarily hear from the mainstream media.   Be tolerant and respectful of our fellow citizens' differences.  Offer our unconditional assistance and compassion only to those who solicit it.  Tell alleged do-gooders that our minds and bodies are ours and not open to public scrutiny or criticism.  Express to our politicians, the media, forums and on open lines how we feel about public health stepping way out of line and robbing us of our most precious belonging - our intimacy.  








Monday, 7 November 2011

LES PROFITS DES GÉANTS PHARMACEUTIQUES SONT MENACÉS

Nous vous dirigeons vers deux articles (au bas de la page) d’un très grand intérêt, publiés dans le site http://www.unairneuf.org
Le premier rapporte les résultats d’une étude récente sur le Champix, médicament prescrit pour la cessation du tabagisme.  L’étude ( PLoS ONE: Suicidal Behavior and Depression in Smoking Cessation Treatments ) conclut que les risques pour des problèmes d’ordre psychiatrique chez les utilisateurs sont beaucoup plus élevés que pour le médicament Zyban et les produits nicotiniques qu’on trouve en vente libre dans les pharmacies.  Sans grande surprise, Pfizer dément ces allégations et conduit sa propre étude avec une date projetée pour la publication des résultats en 2017. Study Links Chantix to Suicide Risk, but FDA Disagrees

Encore cinq ans à profiter des revenus que Champix rapporte est certes très intéressant pour Pfizer, mais qu’en est-il des fumeurs à qui on continuera de prescrire ce médicament susceptible à mener jusqu’au suicide? 
     
Le deuxième article expose les craintes de l’industrie pharmaceutique en rapport avec la menace que la cigarette électronique présente pour leurs profits.  Rappelons-nous que la cigarette électronique est bannie au Canada mais est légale en France et dans la grande majorité des autres pays occidentaux  y compris les États-Unis.  Lire ici (en anglais) la correspondance de C.A.G.E. avec Santé Canada :  http://cagecanada.blogspot.com/2009/05/e-cigarettes-letter-to-health-canada.html 


Friday, 4 November 2011

WHY ARE SHELTERED DESIGNATED SMOKING AREAS OR E-CIGARETTES NOT AN OPTION?

Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.  C. S. Lewis

Excerpts from an article that appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press. 
 

‘’ She wanted a smoke.
An hour later, she was found comatose in a snowbank. The woman had suffered hypothermia and frostbite to her hands and feet. Four fingers on her right hand had to be amputated. She was left with limited mobility in her left hand.’’

‘’ The woman successfully sued Seven Oaks Hospital and the nurses. The hospital secured a confidentiality agreement.’’

‘’ Dr. Michael Routledge, in charge of population and public health at the WRHA, said city hospitals are proud of their smoking bans. Security guards enforce them by asking patients who smoke to move away from hospital entrances.

"We try to create a smoke-free atmosphere," Routledge said. "And this is about making sure everybody knows we have a policy."

Did the ''omnipotent busy body'', Routledge,  ever question Health Canada why they have nixed electronic cigarettes which is a perfect solution to the predicament that anti-smoker zealots and their pimps at Big Pharma created not only for patients in hospitals but for old age people, prisoners, and even common citizens who just want to get their social and family life back?

For those who still don't know what e-cigarettes are, look them up in this blog or elsewhere. In summary they are nicotine delivery devices that mimic the act of smoking without the smoke and the smell. They have been shown to be a) not any more harmful to the user than overpriced pharmaceutical inhalers  b) harmless and odorless to by-standers c) satisfying for the cigarette craving when it's just not possible to smoke. d) some people have quit smoking altogether thanks to e-cigarettes. In fact the quit success rate is magnitudes higher than NRT.

Why did Health Canada ban them? From all looks of it they want to protect both  the pharmaceutical industry that peddle ineffective NRT, and perhaps even Big Tobacco, not to mention their own tax revenue. ( http://cagecanada.blogspot.com/2009/05/e-cigarettes-letter-to-health-canada.html ) Meanwhile sick and frail patients and old people will continue suffering injuries, or dying from hypothermia or frost bite. Shame on our medical authorities, shame on Health Canada, double shame on all those passive aggressive citizens that find it all perfectly normal because it is only smokers who have brought it upon themselves after all!
And does this study Smoking bans backfiring at some hospitals  that appeared in newspapers across Canada at the same time, have anything to do with compassion and attempting to find real solutions to a problem they have created or is it another marketing ploy for the nico/gummy/patchy partners of the medical community?  Label us cynical, but we believe it’s the latter.  

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is soliciting the citizens’ opinion here.  Please take a few moments to let them know how you feel even if this does not touch you personally because you don’t smoke.  Today it’s the smokers, tomorrow it might be you.