Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Posts Tagged ‘health

Tobacco Executives Perplexed That Drug Chain Won’t Sell Their Drug

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CVSWoonsocket, Rhode Island, February 6 – The heads of America’s largest tobacco companies are scratching their heads at a decision by CVS, the nation’s largest pharmacy chain, to stop selling cigarettes, wondering why the drug they sell is somehow different from all the others.

CVS announced yesterday that as of October 1 it would cease to stock cigarettes, which represent $1.5 billion annually in revenue. The company announced the move as part of a strategic shift toward a healthier image. Executives from RJ Reynolds, Altria, and British American Tobacco, three of the world’s largest cigarette sellers, professed confusion over the move, noting that the active ingredient in product they manufacture is nicotine, a bona fide drug.

“We are as yet unsure how to formally react,” said a Vice President at Altria who spoke on condition of anonymity. “I mean, tobacco is basically nicotine in smoking form, and nicotine is a drug. CVS is a drug store. They sell drugs. What am I missing here?”

CVS’s 7,600 retail outlets represent the US’s largest pharmacy network. Recent years have seen the chain offer an increasing variety of low-cost healthcare services, attracting consumers and insurance providers alike with costs noticeably lower than those at hospitals and health clinics. In keeping with its emerging image as health-oriented, CVS elected to forgo the tobacco revenue in favor of a more wellness-friendly image that it calculates will more than make up for the loss in sales. However, the pharmacies will still sell such dangerous items as razor blades and abuse-prone substances, which the tobacco executives see as puzzling.

“They sell cosmetics, some of which can be positively lethal if ingested, so clearly this isn’t a health-based decision,” said a British-American Tobacco VP. “And they traffic heavily in greasy, salty, fatty, and sugary snack foods, which means that any claim that the move is specifically motivated by long-term health concerns doesn’t seem to hold up,” he added.

“It might be some warped considerations of painting tobacco companies as peddlers of evil, but really, why would anybody think that?” wondered the executive.

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Written by Thag

February 6, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Agency Surprised By Backlash Against Ads Mocking Fat Kids

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fat kid ad

The ad reads, “When your child gets fat, his smile gets smaller.” Not shown: the McDonald’s ad on the sign’s opposite side, touting the array of “SuperSize” offerings.

Tel Aviv (AP) – Publicity firm JCDecaux was taken aback by the completely unforeseen reaction to an advertising campaign that distorted the images of children to make them look excessively overweight. The company found itself unexpectedly on the defensive after large swaths of the public expressed disgust at a campaign intended to draw attention to the growing problem of obesity in children, a campaign that revolved around mocking images of fat kids, a development no one in the organization foresaw.

In a statement, JCDecaux apologized for its strategy, saying it had no idea anyone could find offense in the notion that fat children should be mocked. It attempted to explain its actions by noting that no one had ever thought overweight children might suffer disparagement of their girth, so naturally the firm could not expect the public to object to such a series of depictions.

The campaign, plastered on billboards throughout the Tel Aviv metropolitan area, was scheduled to end next week, but the company removed the ads yesterday, replacing them with a self-congratulatory statement about having succeeded in raising awareness of the issue, as if only a small portion of public was aware of children who take up more space, and thus are more visible, than other children. The statement also called on the viewers to make the next move, as if JCDecaux’s job were done, without an indication as to what any “next move” might be.

JCDecaux-Israel’s spokeswoman Mor Bidlio-Beese said the campaign targeted the parents of overweight children, emphasizing the social pitfalls of obesity related to appearance and gait, and the disparagement that such awkwardness would attract. What the firm did not count on, she said, was that people would defend their fellow humans from just that sort of disparagement, pointing out that the last thing an obese child, who already suffers from low self image and motivation problems, needs is more negative input that only serves to make the underlying issues more severe.

“We were dumbfounded,” admitted Bidlio-Beese. “Since when does anyone care about fat people?”

Her remarks to reporters were the source of a second round of opprobrium from all corners, including a Facebook campaign to have Ms. Bidlio-Beese dismissed. Company executives have declined to comment, merely issuing a second press release accusing the media of focusing wrongly focusing on JCDecaux as the story instead of the tens of thousands of obese children in the country who require constant browbeating so they will finally get off their ample derrieres and do something to shed that weight.

Written by Thag

January 9, 2014 at 6:42 pm

Texas To Offer Gluten-Free Lethal Injections

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Texas sealAustin, TX (AP) – The Lone Star State was the first US state to perform an execution by lethal injection, and aims to retain its leadership in the administration of the death penalty by offering health-conscious alternatives for Death Row convicts. The certified gluten-free alternative will be made available for all executions taking place after July 2014.

Governor Rick Perry signed the new legislation into law on Wednesday, touting it as an important demonstration of his administration’s dedication to balancing an uncompromising attitude toward crime with a compassion for the rights and needs of those accused, a continuation of his predecessor George W. Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” policy.

Currently, 32 states practice capital punishment, and each of them uses lethal injection, though some also offer alternative methods such as hanging or firing squad. Texas has the largest number of convicts on Death Row among all states, and the state accounts for 40% of all executions in the United States. It was only natural, says Perry, that Texas should leverage its status as the capital punishment leader to institute a more enlightened, healthful method of lethal injection, one that would not put such a strain on the digestive system.

“More and more people are showing sensitivity or allergies to gluten, unfortunately,” acknowledged Perry, “and our current methods do not adequately account for those awaiting execution who nevertheless still benefit from the right to have the state take their dietary needs into account.” The new bill, he promised, will make a gluten-free chemical or combination of chemicals available to executioners upon the request of the inmate. He pointed out that Texas is the first, and for now the only, state that shows concern for convicts’ dietary sensibilities as it kills them, and he hopes other states follow Texas’s lead in providing healtheir options for those executed.

Lethal injection methods vary among the states, but the most common method involves a three-drug combination that anesthetizes, paralyzes, and stops the heartbeat of the convict. Various degrees of controversy surround some of the drugs, as do difficulties in securing an adequate supply of the necessary chemicals. The new law does not specify what drugs will be procured or synthesized for the gluten-free executions, nor how the state will ensure that the chemicals will be certified as gluten-free. Given some recent shortages of some of the drugs commonly used for lethal injections, it remains unclear how Texas will fare in having a steady supply on hand, especially if the state is to maintain its position as the most prolific performer of capital punishment.

Governor Perry, however, remains confident that the law will be carried out with little trouble. “We had some of the same difficulties when we expanded the available menu for a prisoner’s last meal back in 1985,” he recalled. “People doubted we’d be able to secure both beef AND turkey. Well, we had no problem then.”

Currently, a prisoner’s last meal in Texas automatically comes with wheat rolls, and cake for dessert.

Written by Thag

December 25, 2013 at 4:27 pm

CDC: Nothing Wrong With Gluten; ‘Man Up’

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CDCAtlanta (AP) – Urging Americans to grow a pair, the Centers for Disease Control has issued new dietary recommendations yesterday that dismiss widespread concern over gluten in grains.

A two-decade study of dietary components and human physiology have led the CDC to conclude that, “the all-too-common assumption that the human body is somehow incapable of properly processing gluten – principally wheat gluten – has no scientific basis and rests solely on the documented increasing wussiness of Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Thag

November 28, 2013 at 2:51 pm

NYC Marathon Canceled: ‘Running 26 Miles Is Stupid’

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NYRRNew York (AP) – Organizers of the New York City Marathon have announced that they are canceling the event this year and do not intend to schedule one for the foreseeable future, citing the realization that it is monumentally stupid to run 26.2 miles.

The New York Road Runners, the body that administers the race, issued a press release and online notices to the effect that the annual competition held every November would no longer Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Thag

November 14, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Coroner: Subject Killed By Not Enough Prayers And Likes On Facebook

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BatesGainesville, Florida (AP) – Jennifer Bates, a local high school senior, died last Wednesday because news of her plight was only shared 228 times on Facebook, according to the County Medical Examiner. The number that would have allowed Ms. Bates to survive her battle with an infection was estimated at 250.

Friends and family gathered this afternoon to mourn the former cheerleader and accomplished student, lamenting the cruelty of a world hat could not spare 22 more Likes and Shares. Her closest friends, in particular, found it difficult to absorb that all it would take to save Jennifer was a click of the Share link, yet untold numbers of Facebook users decided not to expend the fraction of a calorie necessary to do so. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Thag

October 20, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Experts To Confirm Internet Addiction Exists As Soon As They Check FB Again

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internet addictionCharlotte, North Carolina (AP) – Mental health professionals studying the pathology and incidence of internet addiction are set to announce that it is a bona fide psychiatric phenomenon, right after they go onto Facebook and Twitter again just to check a couple of things.

In a landmark study involving more than 2,000 social media users, researchers were unable to meet their data collection objectives because they were too busy using the very platforms they were commissioned to study, all while denying they were in any way dependent on their obvious attachment to them. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Thag

October 14, 2013 at 2:20 pm