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Wednesday, 28 March 2012

FROM AROUND THE WORLD AND AROUND THE CORNER

 

Convincing evidence that New York’s mayor Bloomberg has totally lost it touch with reality:


 



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One of the best examples of why government can't be trusted with social policy.

Veil of secrecy lifts slowly on decades of forced adoptions for unwed mothers around the globe.

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It’s a common enough argument around the world at the moment, that various unhealthy behaviours increase the costs to health care systems. (…)The only problem with the argument is that it is entirely gibbering nonsense, unhealthy behaviours reduce costs to health care systems’’




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There is big money to be made with anti-obesity and they don't care who they hurt in the process of making it.  Doctors will not be exempted from the stigma. 
  

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Conflicts of interest are running rampant in the anti-tobacco industry.  


 The ‘’Ottawa Model’’ is a blatant example of the same conflict of interests problem in Canada.  
   
Please note how the program is strongly focused on NRT varenicline and buproprion. 
And then note the conflicts of interest:
  
Robert D. Reid has received research support, speaking  
fees, and honoraria from Pfizer, and is supported by a New  

Investigator Award from the Heart and Stroke Foundation  

of Canada.  

Andrew L. Pipe has received research support, speaking  

fees, and honoraria from Pfizer.   
 
Is it any wonder that the same Andrew L. Pipe worked diligently to have the controversial Ottawa outdoor smoking ban implemented?   Support creation of new smoke-free spaces

Since the link no longer functions, here's the letter he wrote in support of the Ottawa outdoor smoking ban.  

Support creation of new smoke-free spaces
 By Andrew Pipe, Ottawa Citizen February 6, 2012

Re: No smoking at Ottawa's outdoor patios, parks, Jan. 31.

I write to support Ottawa Public Health for introducing a bylaw that will eliminate smoking in outdoor spaces in Ottawa.

The importance of limiting exposure to second-hand smoke has been recognized for many years. Ottawa has provided distinct leadership in addressing this important public health challenge in the past; the adoption of the proposed bylaw will continue that tradition of public health leadership. It is important to ensure that current and future generations of Ottawans are provided with the opportunity to enjoy smoke-free public spaces and facilities. Our children deserve no less.

Evidence continues to accumulate, attesting to the reduction in cardiovascular incidents and deaths that follows the introduction of smoke-free environments. At a time when the sustainability of our health system is increasingly in question, it is paramount that we adopt evidence-based, best-practice approaches to disease prevention.

Our public health department, the board of health and our council are providing exemplary leadership in this respect and their efforts merit our congratulations and support.

Andrew Pipe, Chief, Division of Prevention and Rehabilitation, University of Ottawa Heart Institute



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In Australia, whether you’re a criminal or not, plans to register your DNA are gaining momentum. 
 




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And speaking of Australia, you had better sit down stand up before you read this ‘’new’’ discovery.  A study from the University of Sydney suggests doctors prescribe "reduced daily sitting time" to their customers.  The study found that prolonged sitting will do us in within three years.  So perhaps the first logical step is to remove all chairs from our kids’ classrooms before they keel over?   Did we really need a study to tell us that moving around and exercising regularly is good for us?  What did this study cost the taxpayers? 


Tuesday, 27 March 2012

A STEP IN THE “RIGHT” DIRECTION FOR PROSTITUTION LAWS.

The Ontario Court of Appeal has issued a ruling yesterday that may finally allow prostitutes to work indoors, in more controlled and secure surroundings.


  
If we were forced to summarize the 132 page ruling into a single sentence – we would phrase it as such:   Prostitutes are people too, and they are entitled to reasonable protections from violence and abuse, and exercising their trade in a ‘house’ is not unreasonable.

This ruling, although it issues from a provincial court, addresses criminal law which is a Canada-wide matter, and therefore it nudges our entire Canadian society in a very positive direction.  Unfortunately, and as may be expected, the loudest protests to this ruling come from the political Right, and the Federal Conservatives will surely react to try and counter the benefits of this ruling through legislation.  Such a reaction is expected, but counter-intuitive.  When one examines core values, the conservatives and the Right should be those who most support a liberalization of the anti-prostitution laws.

Three of the most basic tenets of conservatism are property rights, privacy rights and individual liberties. The only limitation being that you do not harm or unreasonably inconvenience your neighbour. All three of these tenets are applied to how one treats one’s land, but for some reason, conservatives (generally speaking) seem reticent about applying such concepts to how one treats one’s own body. Isn’t one’s rights over their own body the ultimate bastion of the three concepts of property rights, privacy rights and individual liberties? If you cannot decide what you can do with your own body, then what good is the abstract property right to choose whether to put up a fence versus a shed on your land?

At C.A.G.E. we consider  that a capable adult, age of majority, has every right to do with their own body whatever they want, and no stuffed shirt in Washington or Ottawa or any other capital city should have a say in that respect. This includes one’s choice to apply tattoos, piercings or scarrification, one’s choice to rent their body out for a few hours in exchange for cash or favours, one’s choice to inject it with stimulants or sedatives or muscle enhancing hormones, or one’s choice to practice extreme sports and push the limits of their endurance without the aide of any artificial enhancements.

There is no justification for preventing an adult man or woman from choosing to practice the trade of prostitution as a full-time, part time, short term or long term career.   The various arguments proffered, such as protection from abuse or the good of society, are usually red herrings.  These arguments are used to justify laws which not only promote abuse and increase the danger to those who are already at risk, but which may also serve as camouflage for political stances that are more likely motivated by religious preconceptions than by compassion and concern for one’s neighbour, or the best interests of a free and liberal society.

The ruling of Ontario’s Court of Appeal is indeed a step in the right direction.  Now, if only the Right would catch up....

Monday, 26 March 2012

QUELQUE CHOSE D'ÉTRANGE SE PASSE DANS LE MONDE DE L'ANTI-TABAC

Après que Fagerström, le père du fameux test à la dépendance à la nicotine ait finalement avoué que seule la nicotine n’explique pas la dépendance au tabac  et que Connolly Directeur pour le  ‘’Center for Global Tobacco Control ‘’ ait lancé une bombe dans le monde anti-tabac en déclarant que les substituts nicotiniques pharmaceutiques sont inefficaces, voici que le UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies (UKCTCS), abonde dans le même sens avec sa récente étude sur l’inefficacité des patches, gommes etc…
 
Après plus de deux décennies de publicité insistante sur ces produits et des millions, voir même des milliards, dépensés par les systèmes de santé publiques de divers pays (le Québec en est un qui défraie les coûts et le Dr. Fernand Turcotte a encouragé les bénéficiaires d’en profiter au maximum), les compagnies d’assurances privées et les consommateurs eux-mêmes,  que se passe-t-il au juste pour que les plus grandes instances anti-tabac les boudent soudainement? 

La réponse se trouve peut-être dans la commercialisation imminente de la cigarette X-22 par une compagnie pharmaceutique qui, selon ses manufacturiers, aura la propriété d’assister ceux qui veulent abandonner le tabac.  Un récent article du Pr. Robert Molimard dans le FORMINDEP analyse bien les enjeux.  

Il est quand même étrange que certaines hautes instances de l’industrie anti-tabac, qui ont crucifié l’industrie du tabac pour ses produits à faible teneur en nicotine, qui ont interdit toute publicité ou mention de la cigarette légère, qui ont condamné la cigarette électronique qui ne dégage aucune fumée, qui clament haut et fort depuis des décennies que le danger de fumer n’est pas avec la nicotine (on prescrit des produits nicotiniques même aux femmes enceinte) mais la fumée que la cigarette produit, sont sur le point de donner leur aval pour un produit fumé comme aide à la cessation de fumer.  Doit-on conclure que la fumée produite par une ‘’cigarette pharmaceutique’’ sera aussi bénéfique pour le consommateur que les bénéfices pécuniaires qu’elle rapportera à ses actionnaires? 

Friday, 23 March 2012

''FREAKINITUS PINOCHIOTUS'' EXPLAINED BY Tom Naughton

Fat Head' writer/director Tom Naughton's speech about how to tell good science from bad science.

Whether one agrees with Tom Naughton's theories on paleolithic dieting or not, this video on epidemiological studies is a must watch both for the accurate information and the entertainment his explanations provide.   

Sunday, 18 March 2012

LORSQU'ON COMPARE DES POMMES AVEC DES CAROTTES

Acrylique en chantier .Mohamed Aib
La SAQ se réjouit des dernières statistiques de la vente d'alcool aux mineurs qui a baissé depuis le rapport que les médias ont fait il y a quelques années. Comparé à il y a 4 ou 5 ans, il semblerait que seulement 8% pour cent des mineurs ont été capables de se procurer de l’alcool auprès de la SAQ en déjouant le commis. Et bien tant mieux si la situation a changé pour le mieux malgré que les enquêtes ont été menées par la SAQ elle-même et risquent donc d’être biaisées, mais 8% est déjà trop pour une société publique qui dépense une fortune en salaires, avantages sociaux et formations pour sa main d’œuvre.

Supposons que les enquêtes de la SAQ aient été menées aussi impartialement que celle qu’un journaliste indépendant a fait récemment auprès des dépanneurs et qui a trouvé que 5 mineurs sur 10 ont été capables de s’en procurer, est-ce que ceci démontre nécessairement de la mauvaise foi de la part des dépanneurs qui ne peuvent pas se permettre les mêmes largesses avec nos taxes que la SAQ se permet pour payer ses employés?  Ces petits commerçants font ce qu'ils peuvent avec les moyens du bord et doivent composer avec le roulement constant des employés qui changent pour un meilleur emploi à la première occasion.  Si le gouvernement devait composer avec les minuscules marges de profit que les dépanneurs font qui plus est on leur enlève même le petit surplus de revenu qu'ils faisaient avec l'étalage du tabac, il est fort probable qu’il n’y aurait pas autant de disparité dans les statistiques entre les dépanneurs et les sociétés d'état en ce qui a trait à la vente aux mineurs des produits de consommation pour adultes.  On a pour ce qu'on est capable de payer, alors mettons les choses en perspective et comparons des pommes avec des pommes. 


Thursday, 15 March 2012

THE MEANING OF ''HELPING'' IN NEWSPEAK


And the ''we know what's best for you and our wallet'' movement keeps marching on.
So when will the W.H.O. set the trend for other employers to ban obese people from getting a job like they did with people who smoke? 

It's not that the idea didn't cross certain employers' minds.   Toby Cosgrove, CEO for the Cleveland Clinic, is one of them. If it were up to him, if there weren’t legal issues, he would stop hiring obese people as was reported here

This is the same individual  who banned people who test positive for nicotine from employment.  His explanation is that  ''As a healthcare institution devoted to the health and well-being of our patients and employees, it is our responsibility to do something to help those who suffer from this terrible addiction. ''  Obviously Dr. Cosgrove believes that using tobacco or nicotine in any form is terribly addictive but his solution to such a ''terrible addiction'' that doesn't interfere with anything or anyone when it is done outside one's working hours, is to bar such people from employment.   In fact you can be engaging in criminal activities outside your working hours and you can still get a job at the Cleveland Clinic but if you test positive for nicotine you become persona non grata.  

As a pre-requisite to employment, the Cleveland Clinic tests an applicant's body fluids for traces of nicotine and all those testing positive for ''the dreaded substance'' (irrelevant of the source) are barred from employment unless they're ''clean'' for 90 days at which time they can reapply.  Why is this less of an invasion of privacy than installing a camera in one's home to monitor what one does outside his working hours?

The Cleveland Clinic is in direct violation of article 23 of the Declaration of International Human Rights which stipulates that : Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment but in the present anti-smoking hysteria climate who's going to stop Cosgrove and his ilk from engaging in such unethical and immoral discrimination?   

 He pushes his idea of ''helping'' even further by strongly advocating for university campus bans, indoors and outdoors.    

If making ”those who suffer from this terrible addiction” uneducated, unemployable and poor is Cosgrove’s idea of ”helping”, what exactly is his defintion of ”harming”? 

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

REVUE DE PRESSE


Big Brother en œuvre

Incroyable mais vrai! La Tabagie Bélanger à Plessisville, vieille d'au moins 50 ans, arbore une feuille de tabac et une pipe sur le haut de sa porte d’entrée.  Le commerçant s’est vu donner deux mois pour changer son enseigne par la police anti-tabac, si non il risque une amende de 2000 $ .   

Fini les boissons énergisantes dans les édifices municipaux à vocation sportive de Saguenay.

Qu’est-ce que la ville de Saguenay a l’intention de faire avec la vente de ces produits ailleurs que dans les édifices municipaux?  A-t-on rien appris avec le fiasco de l’interdiction de la malbouffe dans les arénas? 

Un méga procès qui pourrait durer des années

«On peut savoir quand ça commence, mais on ne sait jamais quand ça va finir»
Des centaines de milliers de dollars seront sûrement dépensés pour rendre les deux recours collectifs contre les compagnies de tabac à terme. De l’opportunisme de la part des plaignants pour soutirer de l’argent à l’industrie du tabac, ou des recours légitimes?  Il reste à suivre de près les arguments des plaignants pour comprendre pourquoi qu’ils considèrent que l’industrie du tabac est responsable de leur refus ou incapacité d’arrêter de fumer malgré les dangers connus depuis longtemps, pendant que des millions d’autres ont été capables d’arrêter avec succès. 

Obligation de s’attacher en autocar en étude.

On pense de se doter d'une loi qui obligerait les passagers, des adultes pour la majorité, de s’attacher en autocar mais pas un mot pour les autobus scolaires.  Et pourtant n’est-ce pas que cela serait plus logique de protéger ceux qui n’ont pas encore l’âge de prendre des décisions éclairées plutôt que les adultes majeurs et vaccinés?