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Monday, December 3, 2012

Advertising Dependency


Did you ever see a commercial on television or hear one on the radio that was advertising heroin or methamphetamine? Can you imagine such a thing? How horrible would that be? Concerned citizens with bats and crowbars would begin gathering at television stations or radio stations, wherever they dared to transmit such an outlandish blandishment for an addictive and destructive drug.

Advertisements have only one purpose, and that purpose is to persuade people to buy the product being advertised. I don't believe they work on me; you probably don't think they work on you either. One thing is certain however; commercials must work or companies wouldn't pay for so many advertisements. For years, cigarette and chewing tobacco manufacturers were allowed to advertise their products on television and on the radio. They were allowed to entice people—especially children—to purchase and use tobacco in one form or another. Once we became hooked on their product, they had a customer for years, perhaps for a lifetime.

Whether you're a tobacco user or not, one thing is very clear, using tobacco products causes a greatly increased chance of having one or more of your cells mutate out of control; this is cancer. Cancer is just one of the terrible side-effects caused by tobacco. It also causes heart disease and increased chances to contract pneumonia and emphysema. These few side-effects I've just mentioned barely scratch the surface. Click the link here for a more comprehensive list.

There seems to be no good reason to use tobacco products; therefore doing it is stupid. It doesn't make you look cool; it makes you look stupid! By the way, full disclosure: I'm an ex-smoker. I smoked off-and-on for twenty years. I'd quit successfully for a year or so and then some high stress event would cause me to bum a cigarette from somebody. One cigarette to an ex-smoker means he's back to being a smoker again. I quit for good in 2007.

On the drive to work today, I heard—as I usually do—a commercial that was promoting a prescription medication. The product they were promoting this morning is called Nuvigil—(armodafinil)—and it has a lot of horrifying side-effects. First the commercial asks you some asinine question like: "Do you find yourself nodding off at work?" Who doesn't? That's what I'd like to know. "You may suffer from shift-work sleep disorder." Great! So now, every hypochondriac listening, has a brand new disease that they need the cure for. Give a listen to this young lady. She's pretty smart.

This prescription medication helps you stay awake and its side-effects make it sound like some variant of methamphetamine and—just like meth—there is a risk of dependency. So it keeps you awake and it's addictive. Why—he asks shaking his head in disbelief—do we keep making the same stupid mistakes, over and over and over? Leaving aside the fact that this new drug is just another variant of speed, why are they on the radio trying to be my doctor? What on earth would cause them to think that they can diagnose my condition without ever knowing my name? It's outrageous! And it ought to be against the law.

Is there any reason you can think of why drug manufacturers should be allowed to advertise a prescription medication? The way it's supposed to work is that first you have a medical problem. This problem is noticed by you because of one or more symptoms that you actually have. You go to the doctor and you list your symptoms. He listens and then he makes a diagnosis. The way it's not supposed to work is that some commercial coaches you on a list of symptoms that you're to repeat back to your doctor like some wide-eyed hypochondriacal parrot.

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