Friday, February 02, 2007

The new stop-smoking drug Chantix is causing heated debate on a medical forum:

Dr. C: Spoiled North Americans would manage with a lot less pills if they gave up their addictions to tobacco and refined food (among many other expensive addictions), luxuries many of our brothers cannot afford.

Dr. M: We could manage with a lot less pills if we gave up our addictions (duh, we all agree), but the word "addiction" would have never been added to the English language if a habit were easily "given up". Thus the word addiction. What we are looking for is something to help the addict who has not found it within himself to overcome the habit. If it takes cross addiction to a less offensive entity [referring to a possible addiction to Chantix] so be it.

Dr. C: If we are agreed that the expensive addictions of developed societies are the main cause of most of their mortality and morbidity, then it is the first job of the doctor to deal with those addictions before prescribing panaceas that could do harm by encouraging those addictions. What often happens after tobacco addiction has been beaten is a transfer of the addiction to food. It seems the same pleasure center is stimulated by all addictions and it is insatiable. So, the likes of Chantix do not solve the fundamental problem.

Dr. M: Not an MI, CABG, stroke, amputation, nor the threat of impotence stops a Kentucky smoker from smoking. It's their right to die from tobacco use here, and they will defend it to the death,,,,,.......often do. If Chantix can work in this population, it can work anywhere.

And, courtesy of a philosopher/physician Dr. C, Aristotle gets his say :

I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.

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