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Do e-cigarettes contain more nicotine that regular cigarettes? – The Globe and Mail

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‘What we do know is that both smoking and vaping can be addictive,’ says Dr. Peter Selby, chief of medicine and psychiatry at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. (File Photo).

David Mercado/Reuters

The question: I’ve heard that e-cigarettes may contain far more nicotine than regular cigarettes. Does that mean vaping is more addictive than smoking?

The answer: It’s true that some vaping devices can deliver more nicotine than cigarettes. But there are many different types of electronic cigarettes, and how they are used can affect the amount of nicotine that ends up in the bloodstream, and eventually the brain, says Dr. Robert Schwartz, a professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.

The battery-powered e-cigarettes heat up a liquid containing nicotine to produce an aerosol, or vapour, which can be inhaled. (Flavourings and other chemicals may also be added to the fluid mixture.)

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A lot depends on the nicotine concentration in the fluid and the power, or heat, generated by the e-cigarette. Other variables include how hard, how long and how often a person inhales. “Unless you know how to puff on the thing properly, and for long enough to heat the liquid sufficiently, you are not going to get huge amounts of nicotine,” says Schwartz.

So, it isn’t clear-cut whether cigarettes or e-cigarettes deliver more nicotine. But one thing is clear:

“What we do know is that both smoking and vaping can be addictive,” says Dr. Peter Selby, chief of medicine and psychiatry at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto

In fact, any amount of inhaled, chewed or snorted nicotine can be problematic – meaning that a person is likely to progress to daily use following a period of experimentation. “Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances we are aware of. It’s as addictive as heroin,” says Schwartz.

Originally, many public health experts looked upon vaping as potentially less harmful than smoking cigarettes, which produce about 7,000 toxic chemicals – including carcinogens – by burning tobacco. Some hope the devices might serve as quitting aids – or, at the very least, help reduce the number of harmful substances that smokers inhale.

But the recent surge in vaping among teens has set off alarm bells in the public-health community. And those concerns are intensified by reports of lung injuries among some vapers.

“My biggest concern is that we have already addicted a whole new generation of people to nicotine,” says Schwartz.

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Teenagers – whose brains are still developing – are especially vulnerable to the addictive powers of nicotine, according to a growing body of research.

Nicotine attaches to receptors in the brain, thereby triggering the release of dopamine – a chemical messenger involved in pleasure and a wide range of other neurological functions. It basically produces a feel-good high.

When teens smoke or vape, it is believed that their brains create more receptors to handle the influx of nicotine. As the number of receptors increases, they need higher levels of nicotine to get the same buzz.

Some researchers have dubbed this effect the “nico-teen” brain. They also speculate that these neurological changes may have long-term consequences for mood and mental focus.

In the debate over vaping, much of the recent attention has been about the spate of serious lung injuries. Many of these cases appear to be linked to the vaping of cannabis oils such as tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. The latest evidence suggests that vitamin E acetate, a filler sometimes added to black-market THC, might be causing the injuries.

But even without THC, routine vaping – and the other chemicals in vaping liquids – may lead to long-term health problems.

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Vaping-related illnesses have been in the spotlight recently amid accusations the makers of the products are targeting them at youth. Dr. James MacKillop outlines some strategies to use at home in conversations with your children about vaping. MacKillop is the director of the Peter Boris Centre For Addictions Research and co-director of the Michael G. Degroote Centre For Medicinal Cannabis Research. The Globe and Mail (staff)

“Kids who vape have almost twice the rate of coughing and wheezing as kids who don’t vape,” says Schwartz. Are these symptoms the early warning signs of chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma? Or, might vaping contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease? “We don’t yet know for sure,” says Schwartz. He adds that it will likely take some time to establish a clear picture of the risks.

Selby is also concerned that young people who have never used tobacco are now being drawn to vaping. He says better government regulations are needed to safeguard adolescents. However, he thinks vaping should not be vilified to the point where the devices are actually banned.

“Some individuals are going to take up tobacco smoking anyway, and they will be better off if they have the option to vape,” says Selby. “It’s all about relative risks between combustible cigarettes and vaping devices that deliver fewer dangerous chemicals.”

Indeed, despite the various problems linked to e-cigarettes, “there is very broad consensus in the scientific community that smoking is the most harmful way to use nicotine and it’s known to cause premature death in at least half of users,” says Schwartz.

According to Selby, “it would be completely ridiculous to ban the sale of vaping devices, while giving free reign to the most dangerous form of nicotine delivery – cigarettes.”

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Canada signs deal with Pfizer for millions of pediatric COVID-19 vaccine doses- PM Trudeau

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Canada has signed a deal with  Pfizer Inc to receive 2.9 million doses of their pediatric COVID-19 vaccine shortly after it is approved for use by Health Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday.

“We will be receiving enough doses in Canada to ensure that all children in Canada, aged five to 11, can receive the vaccine,” said Trudeau. The vaccine is currently being reviewed by Health Canada.

 

(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa, Editing by Franklin Paul)

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Canada government, provinces agree COVID-19 vaccine travel passport – officials

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Canada’s federal government and the 10 provinces have agreed on a standard COVID-19 electronic vaccination passport allowing domestic and foreign travel, government officials told reporters on Thursday.

The deal prevents possible confusion that could be caused if each of the provinces – which have primary responsibility for health care – issued their own unique certificates. The officials spoke on the condition they not be identified.

The document will have a federal Canadian identifying mark and meets major international smart health card standards.

“Many (countries) have said they want to see a digital … verifiable proof of vaccination, which is what we’re delivering,” said one official.

In addition, federal officials are talking to nations that are popular with Canadian travelers to brief them about the document.

The Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced earlier this month that from Oct 30, people wishing to travel domestically by plane, train or ship would have to show proof of full vaccination.

 

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Alistair Bell)

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The Ottawa area's weekly COVID-19 vaccination checkup: Oct. 21 – CBC.ca

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Highlights:

  • Updates to Ontario and Quebec’s proof-of-vaccination systems.
  • More details on the reopening of the U.S. land border.
  • Another step toward approval of a vaccine for children age five to 11.
  • Ottawa hits some major vaccination milestones.

Every Thursday, CBC Ottawa brings you this roundup of COVID-19 vaccination developments throughout the region. You can find more information through links at the bottom of the page.

There have been more than 3.5 million doses administered in the wider Ottawa-Gatineau region, which has about 2.3 million residents.

That’s about 25,000 doses in the last week, slightly fewer than the previous weekly count.

Provincial picture

Ontario’s proof-of-vaccination QR codes can be used starting Friday. People can still give paper or PDF proof, but the QR codes and provincial app used to check them are meant to be more efficient.

Quebec has a new vaccination record specifically designed for use out of the province.

Proof of vaccination is now required for visitors to many health-care facilities in Quebec. While its unvaccinated health-care workers aren’t yet suspended without pay, they are losing their pandemic bonuses.

Most members of Parliament — and anyone else entering the House of Commons — will have to be fully vaccinated when Parliament returns on Nov. 22.

Ninety per cent of eligible Quebec residents have had at least one dose and 86 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Eighty-eight per cent of Ontario residents age 12 and up have at least one vaccine dose, while about 83 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Quebec is allowing bars and restaurants to reach full capacity under its vaccine passport and halving the two-metre distance rule as of Nov. 1.

One week later, the United States land border with Canada reopens to non-essential travel for the fully vaccinated, including those with mixed doses.

WATCH | The upcoming U.S. border rules: 

Travellers with mixed vaccine doses to be accepted in U.S.

5 days ago

CBC News explains the United States’ new stance on travellers with mixed vaccine doses. The country will now accept Canadians with mixed vaccines, including AstraZeneca, when the new rules begin on Nov. 8. 3:15

After submitting its trial data, Pfizer has officially asked Health Canada to approve its vaccine for children age five to 11.

Ontario’s health minister says the province will be ready to go when the first such vaccine is available.

WATCH | What expanded eligibility may look like: 

COVID-19 vaccines for kids could face hurdles after approval

Health Canada is reviewing data for the first COVID-19 vaccine for younger children, but even if it’s approved, the hurdles could include vaccine supply, distribution and getting some parents on board. 3:38

Ottawa

The capital still has regular and pop-up clinics for anyone eligible to get a first, second or third dose, has neighbourhood vaccine hubs, and is bringing mobile vaccine clinics to those who request it.

There are pop-ups Friday afternoon at the Banff-Ledbury Pavilion and Saturday at Communauté Catholique Congolaise Bondeko d’Ottawa-Gatineau in Vanier.

More than 1.6 million doses have now been given to Ottawa residents.

Of the city’s total population of just over one million, 78 per cent of residents have had at least one dose, including 90 per cent of residents born in 2009 or earlier.

Seventy-five per cent of the total population is fully vaccinated, as are 86 per cent of eligible residents.

This combined bar and line graph shows vaccination numbers for Ottawa residents born in 2009 or earlier. Every age demographic is above 85 per cent fully vaccinated except for two: 18 to 29 and 30 to 39. Both moved slightly closer to that mark in the last week. (Ottawa Public Health)

An infectious disease specialist said this high level of vaccination will begin to reflect in a declining number of new cases — even among people who don’t have the vaccine.

Western Quebec

CISSSO continues to list recurring, mobile and pop-up clinics online.

The Outaouais has distributed more than 596,000 doses — combined first, second and third — among a population of about 386,000.

All in a Day8:57How to talk about COVID-19 breakthrough cases

Cardiologist and epidemiologist Dr. Christopher Labos talks to us about how to talk about COVID-19 breakthrough cases and possible side effects from taking the COVID-19 vaccines in a way that doesn’t contribute to vaccine hesitancy. 8:57

Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington

It’s managing smaller clinics and mobile clinics to better reach areas with lower vaccination rates, with options shared regularly online and on its social feeds.

A mobile clinic is coming to the Addington Highlands Community Centre in Denbigh Thursday afternoon.

The region, with a population of about 213,000, has had more than 328,000 vaccine doses — combined first, second and third — given to residents.

The health unit has now given a first dose to about 89 per cent of its population 12 and older, and about 85 per cent of eligible people have been fully vaccinated.

WATCH | What it means when a health unit is around 90% vaccinated: 

Ottawa reaches 90 per cent of residents with first dose, offering hope for herd immunity

2 days ago

Dr. Gerald Evans, an infectious disease specialist at Queen’s University, said Ottawa’s high rate of vaccination means case numbers should decline, even among those who aren’t vaccinated. 1:01

Eastern Ontario Health Unit

About 324,000 vaccine doses have been administered among a population of about 209,000. About 90 per cent of residents 12 and older are partially vaccinated, and about 86 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Details for its regular and pop-up vaccine clinics are regularly shared on its website and social media. There are clinics Thursday at Cornwall’s Benson Centre and Friday at Rockland’s Jean-Marc Lalonde Arena.

Leeds, Grenville and Lanark.

The health unit has given nearly 296,000 doses to residents, seeing 97 per cent of its eligible population with at least one dose and about 94 per cent of those residents have at least two doses.

The unit is posting walk-up vaccine locations on Twitter and online. Upcoming options include Prescott’s Leo Boivin Arena Thursday and the Christian Reformed Church in Athens Friday.

It’s making sure people saw the updated guidance they don’t have to space out flu and COVID-19 shots.

WATCH | Hospital workers in Ottawa area mostly vaccinated against COVID-19

Majority of Ottawa-area hospital staff fully vaccinated as deadline arrives

6 days ago

Dr. Alan Drummond, an emergency room physician at the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital, says health care providers have an obligation to get vaccinated in order to keep patients safe — and those unwilling to do so should find other careers. 0:55 

Hastings Prince Edward 

There are regular clinics in Bancroft, Belleville and Picton. It lists community clinics on its website.

About 256,000 doses have been administered to this area’s residents. Another 5,200 or so doses have been given at CFB Trenton.

Eighty-nine per cent of the local population 12 and older has now had a first dose. Eighty-two per cent are fully vaccinated.

When ready, the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte say their clinic for kids age five to 11 will operate out of the Mohawk Community Centre.

Renfrew County

The health unit regularly shares pop-up and walk-in clinic information online. There are clinics in Arnprior and Deep River Thursday.

With a population of about 109,000, Renfrew County has distributed about 154,000 doses as of its last update Oct. 12.

About 87 per cent of its eligible population, including military at Garrison Petawawa, have at least a first dose and about 83 per cent are fully vaccinated.

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