Wednesday, May 17, 2006

All-Natural Poison!

It was another long day of patients offering to knock my block off if their tobacco-related demands were not met. One fellow slept through one of the five smoke breaks (officially and euphemistically called “fresh air breaks”), then demanded that staff take him out for a “make-up” break. When this didn’t happen, he paced the unit with clenched fists. When I offered some nicotine gum, he threatened “ninja-level violence”. Another big guy was transferred from a different (smoke-free) hospital; the transferring team coaxed him into going along with the move by the promise of smoking at Green Acres. They neglected to tell him that we do not actually supply people with cigarettes, we simply let them smoke 'em if they got 'em. (Although at times beleagured staff, legitimately fearing for their personal safety, will break the rules and buy patients cigarettes out of their own pockets.) Anyway, since this guy came with no cancer sticks, he had none to smoke. My offer of nicotine inhalers was met with a tirade against “gas chambers” which I shall not reprint here.

Came home and was reading Newsweek. I found in the middle of the magazine an ad for “American Spirit” brand cigarettes, which touts “Made with 100% organic tobacco”. Excuse me? What bizarre niche market are these aimed at? The health-conscious smoker? This is rather like marketing organic cyanide or mercury-free lead paint. In fact, you might well be better off smoking tobacco-free chemical fertilizer than chemical fertilizer-free tobacco.


Anonymous co-chief said...

In my professional world, the minute anybody threatens "Ninja-like violence" they are immediately placed in to 4-pt. restraints and placed on an involuntary regimen of Haldol 10mg PO/IM tid until they say "uncle". I don't take any chances because I don't have to...I'm guessing there are administrative restrictions against that type of thing at GA?

5/17/06, 10:37 PM  
Blogger Turboglacier said...

Oh yes indeedee.

5/17/06, 10:44 PM  
Anonymous Johanna said...

"Excuse me? What bizarre niche market are these aimed at? The health-conscious smoker? This is rather like marketing organic cyanide or mercury-free lead paint."

Well, if your argument is that the only common basis for buying organic items is the personal health benefits received by the consumer, maybe. I make that decision based more on the impact the production practices have - how is this different from fair-trade coffee? Its health outcomes/hazards/buzz inducement/taste is identical to the other stuff, you pay a premium for a benefit you don't personally receive. I don't have to be a smoker to get the concept of organic tobacco.

5/18/06, 7:16 AM  
Blogger Turboglacier said...

"how is this different from fair-trade coffee?"

Well, I'll give you one way: tobacco is a known deadly poison, while coffee is not.

That said, I accept your point. If any of my reader(s) are smokers who have chosen organic cigarettes in order to help protect the environment, I applaud you. But please, please, please try to quit. We like you here, and we can't afford to lose our reader(s) to grisly illnesses.

5/18/06, 9:24 AM  
Blogger girl MD said...

i saw a mother give her teenage son a cigarette in the parking lot outside the hospital today.
maybe he threatened ninja-like violence to make her give him cigarettes when he was clearly underage. is this enabling?
i can only hope that it was organic tobacco.

5/18/06, 11:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You sanctimonious g*t, have a cigarette - carpe diem. Jesus, living is bad for you.

7/15/06, 3:21 PM  

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