Ghostwritten letter for Rowland T. Nichols, MD CCFB
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appeared in the Alberta Doctors Digest, 1998
I was astonished when I saw the latest Shoppers’ Drug Mart Television commercial.
They encourage customers to consult with their pharmacists on all their asthmatic needs. Asthma is a serious disease, and the company’s scheme is an excellent support program asthma sufferers can use to supplement their physician’s prescribed treatment and advice. However this laudable customer service is offered by a chain store that also sells tobacco products. Shoppers’ Drug Mart would serve all their customers better if they were to stop selling a major cause of asthma attacks — tobacco.
Smoking and inhalation of second-hand smoke both aggravate asthma. Take away tobacco and you reduce the number of attacks for many asthmatics.
Handing out potions and pills to alleviate a condition caused by a product sold by the same company must have marketing managers rubbing their hands with glee. It’s a self-perpetuating market.
Rowland T. Nichol, MD. CCFP