Posts Tagged ‘ mom ’

Mike Lockley: Cigarette warnings are costing a packet

Jan 8 2012 by Mike Lockley, Sunday Mercury

I BELIEVE parents should rail against those ads that involve a host of lisping children pleading: “Please don’t smoke, dad/mom/grandma because I worry you might get cancer and die.”

It’s none of their bloody business, to be quite frank about it.

Those shamed parents should sit their offsprings down and gently clarify: “I’m not going to die of lung cancer, you silly fusspot. the doctor’s already told me it’s the irrevocable damage caused to my coronary arteries that will kill me within five years.”

I reckon those kids would sleep a lot simpler.

If it was my child on those commercials, I’d be mortified, and demand a televised right of reply.

“Simon, if you’re watching, please stop eating sweets because you’re morbidly obese as it is and we don’t want a stout, toothless son who’ll be dead by the age of 16. That’s what your doctor says, anyway.”

I’m appalled, frankly, that the Government is encouraging youngsters to publicly shop their parents and wonder where it will end.

“Daddy, please get rid of those magazines under your bed because it makes mommy very miserable.”

The truth is the medical profession picks on smokers and drinkers because we’re a cheap option. You don’t have to spend thousands on pills and potions, you simply have to tell us to quit.

And it’s not enough to offer gentle advice. the health service has employed ghastly scare tactics.

There are terrifying pictures on packets (I only need the throat cancer image to have a full set. I’m prepared to swap two limited edition gum disease prints).

Then there are grim warnings. Really, ‘smoking lowers your sperm count’ isn’t that worrying. I didn’t know how many I had to start with. And it’s not something you brag about.

Such are the depths to which the NHS has descended, a once glorious institution now so cash-strapped that it doles out placebos and relies on fundraising. Only last week my doctor gave me a quick once over, then prescribed anti-hypochondria tablets.

I’m absolutely terrified of the side-effects.

Our village’s amateur dramatic society held a charity panto in aid of paranoid schizophrenics. it descended into chaos when someone shouted: “He’s behind you!”

The NHS has even stooped to sponsorship. I pray Ikea don’t get the suppositories franchise.

It’s a concern that our public health service is in meltdown at a time when I need it most: at a time when bits of me are going awry at an alarming rate.

With money in such small supply, the health service now tries to prevent the public from becoming sick through a plethora of TV, radio and poster campaigns outlining steps to avoid – or nip in the bud – a myriad of illnesses.

There are alerts about sexually transmitted diseases, mumps, measles, strokes, dementia, hypothermia, skin cancer, meningitis…

I even spotted one harrowing ‘bird flu’ poster in my surgery. it said, in bold letters: “if you experience any of the following, seek medical treatment immediately: fever, nausea, headaches, aching in the joints, fatigue and an irresistible urge to defecate on somebody’s windscreen.”

It’s a far cry from my youth when there was just one health campaign: “Coughs and sneezes spread diseases, keep them in your handkerchief.” Not a word about what steps should be taken by the poor souls who had to wash the germ-ridden pieces of cloth.

I gave up on the NHS when my GP tried to palm me off with a visit to a homeopath.

“And how the hell,” I demanded, “is a gay serial killer going to cure my bad back?”

I’ve gone private for a forthcoming operation after encountering problems when under the NHS knife. I complained the surgeon had let slip a four-letter word, which I found distressing, while I was on the operating table. it was ‘Oops’.

The difference in quality of service is amazing. It’s like a four-star hotel: admittedly, a four-star hotel where they cut you open.

A doctor knocked on the door of my private room, came in, ordered me to strip and examined every inch of my naked body, from top to bottom, front to back.

When he’d finished, I plucked up the courage to question: “Just one question, doctor, why the hell did you bother to knock?”

The medical team have probed for every illness known to man and I’ve tested positive for OCD. to date, I’ve rung 25 times to check the results. I have but one complaint. the rectal examination was extremely painful.

“That’s because I used two fingers,” smiled the good doctor.

“Was that really necessary?” I questioned.

“Most certainly,” he stressed. “I needed a second opinion.”

Mike Lockley: Cigarette warnings are costing a packet