News Briefs

Today's top news stories for February 12, 2008.

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Da snus is on da loose
Look out Western students, the snus is loose and may be headed your way.

Snus is a new European oral tobacco product currently being tested out in Ottawa after an initial test run in Edmonton.

Snus is similar to other smokeless tobacco products; it is simply placed between the lips and gums, then nicotine is absorbed directly into the blood stream.

Imperial Tobacco, the Canadian seller of the product, is making claims that snus is a safer alternative to smoking. The company has cited a Swedish study showing it Sweden has the lowest rates of lung cancer among industrialized countries and the highest rate of snus use.

There is much disagreement amongst health experts regarding these claims and the safety of snus.

Chris Walsh, campus coordinator of health education and Leave the Pack Behind, explained some of the health risks involved with oral tobacco products.

He said, “Smokeless tobacco products would not cause lung cancer but still contain tobacco, still contain carcinogens, still contain nicotine, could cause tongue, lip and mouth cancers and are still habit forming.”
"Zach Gable

Western’s reek centre has, like, five gyms
The south end of Western’s campus is rarely used aside from those who park at the Huron Flats lot. Come fall 2008, it may just become campus’ newest hotspot.

Construction of Western’s $30 million, 140,000-square-foot Thompson Sports and Recreation Centre is heading into its final phases this spring.

Several aspects of the building will be a step up from the University Community Centre’s facilities, including a new Olympic size pool, five gymnasium spaces and three multi-purpose rooms that may be used for dance and martial arts instruction.

The two-phase construction project began in late 2006 with the excavation of the large hill where the building now stands.

The building was designed to the standards of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), though the university will not be seeking certification. The centre will make use of the latest in energy efficient machinery.

“The mandate to our designers is energy savings and renewable use of resources,” Boris Pertout, project manager of Physical Plant, said.

Second-year management and organizational studies student C.J. Cabrero and his workout partner Chris Sinnott, also a second-year BMOS student, are both looking forward to shorter waits for equipment.

“Anytime a new building opens, it’s exciting for everyone,” Cabrero said.

Geoff Vogt, manager of Campus Recreation, hoped the new facility will meet users’ needs. “Campus Rec is very much appreciated on this campus,” he said regarding customer feedback surveys conducted in the fall.

“I think it is because we are welcoming to the entire campus.”
"William Harris

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