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Canada's Health Minister seeks vaping feedback; Lupus drug linked to depression, suicide

Vaping feedback wanted

Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Liberal Health Minister of Canada, has launched a consultation period on vaping regulations.

The minister cited concerns of youth vaping trends increasing across Canada, undermining work being done in tobacco control.

Many vaping products are flavoured and contain nicotine. The added flavour makes it more appealing for young people, Health Canada said.

The consultation period will run until May 25, 2019, and will influence regulatory framework around vaping laws in Canada, with the hope of reducing youth access and appeal to vaping products.

According to Health Canada, 15 per cent of students in grades 10 to 12 used a vape in the last 30 days – up nine per cent from 2014.

As of 2017, the organization said 4.6 million Canadians 12 years old and older have used the products.

The consultation period will gather information regarding prohibiting certain flavours or ingredients, restricting nicotine concentration in vaping products, regulating design features, restricting online retail access, restricting product packaging and increasing regulatory transparency and openness.

For more information about the consultation period, and to see a draft of the proposed regulatory framework, visit:

Lupus drug linked to depression, suicide

Health Canada has issued a warning for the drug BENLYSTA.

The medication – which is prescribed to patients with lupus – has been linked to an increase in depression, suicidal ideation or behaviour and self-injury.

During a post-marketing study done on the drug, it was discovered that patients using BENLYSTA reported having serious depressive side effects more frequently than those prescribed a placebo.

BENLYSTA is used in addition to standard therapy, slowing down the effects of lupus in adults with the disease.

Health Canada is urging people with lupus to talk to their doctor if they’ve ever struggled with depression, self-harm and/or thoughts of suicide, before using the drug.

If already using BENLYSTA, patients should reach out to their doctors immediately if they’re experiencing any signs of mental illness connected to depression and suicide, having trouble sleeping and experiencing unexpected changes in their mood.


Dayla Lahring

About the Author: Dayla Lahring

Dayla Lahring joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2017. She writes about business, health, general news and features. She also contributes photographs.
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