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    Studies show Allergies Impact Athletic Performance

    TORONTO, June 10 /CNW/ - For the more than ten million Canadians affected
by seasonal allergies, successfully incorporating outdoor activity into
everyday life depends on the ability to effectively treat troublesome
symptoms(1). According to the 2008 Reactine(R) Quality of Life Index, 72 per
cent of Canadians with allergies suffer through their symptoms to stay active
outdoors, rather than treating them head-on(2). In an Olympic year when the
focus on outdoor summer sports is paramount, learning how to leave allergy
symptoms at the curb is more relevant than ever. In fact, studies show that
allergies impact the quality of life and performance of athletes, ultimately
keeping them from achieving their personal best(3).
    "Whether you are an Olympian or an everyday athlete, allergies can affect
your quality of life," says Brent McMahon, Olympic Triathlete. "If I don't
treat my symptoms properly, seasonal allergies definitely impact my
performance and when I am training for the Olympic Games, this is not an
option - I have to perform at my best."

    Canadians on the move: impact of allergies on outdoor activity
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Despite the resources available to alleviate allergy symptoms, the
Reactine(R) Quality of Life Index shows that 49 per cent of Canadian allergy
sufferers don't do anything special or different to prepare for being active
outdoors - a potential stumbling block for those who want to enjoy the best of
the season. In fact, when specifically asked, 26 per cent of Canadians with
allergies stated they have avoided outdoor activities because of their
symptoms(4).
    "Many Canadians with allergies participating in outdoor activities suffer
unnecessarily," says Toronto family physician, Dr. Jennifer Malcolm, "but they
can significantly improve their quality of life, and their athletic
performance, with one simple step - by taking a non-drowsy antihistamine, like
Reactine, before their symptoms start. Staying inside all summer is just not
realistic or enjoyable for active Canadians."

    The "smollen" effect: environment affects active Canadians
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    The hazy combination of smog and pollen, coined "smollen", continues to
have an impact on those who refuse to live indoors during allergy season. The
2008 Reactine(R) Quality of Life Index reveals 60 per cent of Canadians with
allergies report that smog increases the severity of their allergy symptoms -
and 30 per cent of sufferers are less likely to be active outdoors on smoggy
days, due to an anticipated increase in symptoms.
    According to Environment Canada, air pollution is linked to a number of
health concerns including: respiratory diseases, cardiovascular disease,
neurological effects and allergies. In fact, poor air quality can make allergy
symptoms even worse(5).
    "Whether at home or abroad, I always need to consider the environment in
which I'm training or competing ahead of time," says McMahon. "The potential
to be distracted by allergies caused by poor air quality could mean the
difference between going for gold and going home empty-handed."

    
    How to cope
    -----------
    Whether you're spending time in the garden this summer, or racing an
Olympic triathlon, Dr. Jennifer Malcolm suggests the following tips to keep
you healthy and active throughout allergy season:
    1.  Optimize timing for outdoor activities: Pollen levels tend to peak
        from early to mid morning (between 5 and 10 a.m.) so try to schedule
        outdoor activities after this time period.
    2.  Block Smog and Allergens: Relieve symptoms by taking a non-drowsy
        antihistamine like Cetirizine (the medicinal ingredient in Reactine)
        throughout the season. In addition, Visine Advanced Allergy can be
        used to provide relief of itchy eyes and Benadryl is ideal for
        combating allergic reactions, such as hives.
    3.  Go Online: To learn more about how active Canadians affected by
        allergies can manage their symptoms, visit www.yourqualityoflife.ca.

    Non-Drowsy REACTINE(R)(6) provides fast, effective relief of symptoms
associated with seasonal and year-round allergies. Non-Drowsy REACTINE(R) can
start to work within 20 minutes. Non-Drowsy REACTINE(R) comes in four
convenient formulations: Regular Strength, Extra Strength, REACTINE(R) Allergy
+ Sinus and REACTINE(R) Syrup for Children. Non-Drowsy REACTINE(R) is owned by
Toronto, ON-based (C) McNeil Consumer Healthcare, division of Johnson &
Johnson Inc.

    B-roll footage is available via satellite June 10th: Satellite coordinates
- Anik F2 (111.1'West) C Band Transponder 7B - Analog, Downlink Frequency:
3980 Vertical from 13:30-14:00 p.m. Firm EST. Beta tapes of B-roll footage
available upon request.

    -------------------------
    (1) REACTINE(R) Quality of Life Report 2007. (April 2007)
    (2) REACTINE(R) Quality of Life Index 2008, Harris/Decima, January 2008
    (3) C.C. Randolph. Allergic rhinitis and asthma in the athlete. Allergy
        and Asthma Proceedings, Volume 27, Number 2, March-April 2006
        pp. 104-109(6)
    (4) REACTINE(R) Quality of Life Index 2008, Harris/Decima, January 2008
    (5) www.ec.gc.ca/cleanair-airpur/Allergies-WS5C35DA76-1_En.htm
    (6) The REACTINE(R) brand is affiliated with a Proud Partner of the
        Canadian Olympic Team
    





For further information:

For further information: or to book an interview with Brent McMahon or
Dr. Malcolm please contact: Ryan Lockhart or Lorna Freeman, Environics
Communications, (416) 969-2749, (416) 969-2711, rlockhart@environicspr.com,
lfreeman@environicspr.com; Tina Peyregatt, Johnson & Johnson Inc., (905)
968-2028, tpeyrega@conca.jnj.com

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