RICHMOND, VA—At a press conference Tuesday, tobacco giant Philip Morris introduced its new medicinal cigarette, Marlboro Sinus PM, a smokable nighttime cough suppressant and analgesic designed to ease cold symptoms. “Marlboro Sinus PM uses the power of acrid tobacco smoke to restore and rejuvenate,” Philip Morris president William Gifford said. “Just inhale two cigarettes right before bedtime and the medicated tar goes to work by coating your mucus and packing it down deep inside your lungs. You’ll wake up feeling rested, refreshed, and ready for a smoke.” In addition to the Sinus PM cigarettes, Philip Morris will later this month introduce its new line of Non-Drowsy Daytime Formula 100s and Copenhagen Smokeless Birth Control Dipping Tobacco.
-from The Onion
CBC’s Marketplace nitpicks COLD-FX
If COLD-FX is a fraud, OFF WITH THEIR HEADS! Nobody would be happier than Sinus Sister to partake in their public shaming (Flogging is illegal, right?). To date, I’ve gladly shelled out about $900.00 from my purse for COLD-FX. Then came a CBC exclusive report, which you can watch here. When Peter Mansbridge introduced the segment last week, a chill went down my spine. The CBC’s Markeplace earns its reputation for outting charletons. Did this broadcast spell the end for COLD-FX?
Jaw clenched, I watched the segment, admiring host Erica Johnson’s hair. Her composure and style distracted me, momentarily, from the fact that the segment was a dud. It failed to launch. Here’s what I think happened: Marketplace devoted considerable resources to bringing down COLD-FX. When they couldn’t disgrace the cold remedy, they started nitpicking about the word “immediate” on the packaging, which is already being phased out anyway. Marketplace asked unbiased experts to look at the clinical trials behind COLD-FX and the experts concluded there is no evidence it offers immediate relief, as the packaging claims. The experts also say there’s scant evidence that COLD-FX decreases the duration of the common cold. It only reduces your risk of getting a cold by 15%, if you take it every day for two to six months. This is interesting. Except what about all the happy customers? Are we all suggestible dupes?
When presented with Marketplace’s findings, former COLD-FX spokesperson Don Cherry didn’t budge. He’s a believer, based on personal experience. Sinus Sister doesn’t scoff at the science, like Cherry, but I’m not willing to quibble over the wording on the package. Does COLD-FX cause “immediate relief”? Of course not. Did you expect it to? What it offers me, personally, is assured relief, soon. If that’s snake oil, I’ll take another bottle, please. But thank goodness the crack team at Marketplace caught up with COLD-FX, before we all….felt better?
Accusing COLD-FX of making false claims to provide “immediate relief” is like:
1) accusing the Concord of not getting you to Paris fast enough.
2) accusing your dentist of having a messy waiting room when you fail to nail her for malpractice.
3) accusing a tried-and-true cold remedy of being snake oil despite the fact that it works for millions of Canadians.
Nobody buys it for the flavour
So, why does Sinus Sister spend a small fortune on little bottles of this fowl tincture? Because it works! Germs and bacteria in her throat are decimated with oregano’s scorch-and-burn powers. She can feel it clear-cutting its way down her throat, smiting infection.
Recently, I got a 50 ml bottle of Hedd Wyn’s Wild Oil of Oregano for $35, on sale from $60—almost half price (If you’re flush with cash, you can get it directly from Hedd Wyn). While laying out that kind of “tin”, as they say on Breaking Bad, I like to read up on the science to justify the purchase. I learned oil of oregano is anti viral, anti bacterial, anti fungal, anti parasitic, anti oxidant, and anti inflammatory. That’s six reasons to keep it close. It works because of the carvacrol, a natural phenol that contains powerful anti-microbial activity. Flavonoids provide natural antiseptic properties, and terpenes (long chain hydrocarbons) are natural anti-inflammatory agents. It also helps re-balance your body after a nasty course of antibiotics.
Winner of the Worst-Tasting Must-Have Winter Health Item: Oil or Oregano
Rating:What did Sinus Sister get for Christmas? Traumatized. A parade of house guests and soirees left me vulnerable to everyone’s head cold—or, what I like to call The Party Plague. Refusing to shake hands seemed too rude, so I gave preemptive hugs, head turned sideways. The dodge worked, mostly. But around midnight on December 25th, I felt the germs rising. Hotter. Higher….HELP!
Dumping my Christmas stocking on the bed, I found my last hope: an econo-sized bottle of COLD-FX. Santa knew to get me Extra Strength. He also knew to get me hand sanitizer (travel size), Russell Stover chocolates and a cashmere sweater.
“If it works for the NHL, it’ll work for me,” I thought, gulping down three COLD-FX. The company doesn’t claim COLD-FX will cure you, but it claims to decrease the severity and length of your cold. There’s a regime to follow: the first day you feel crappy, take three capsules twice a day; the second day, take two capsules twice a day; the third day, take one capsule twice a day. That’s what the lawyers let them print it, so it’s safe. But my immune system is so rickety, that I gulped down nine pills a day for three days….and felt marvelous. Just marvelous. Sinus Sister would be the first to cry foul if COLD-FX was an expensive placebo. Not so. Maybe it only works for weaklings like me, but then why does it work for Marc Messier…
Jack Lemmon waves his freak flag in the name of sinus comfort.
Walt White explains Zincum Gluconicum
INT. DAY – DINER
WALT WHITE, a chemistry teacher and cancer-ridden drug lord, watches SINUS SISTER, who wears her FUR HAT indoors. CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS cannot improve the shabby diner where they sit, with a PAPER BAG on the table between them.
SINUS SISTER sneezes. She takes a bottle of COLD-EEZE from the FUR MUFF in her lap and holds it up to her ruby-red LIPS.
What’s that crap you’re spraying in your mouth?
It’s not crap. It’s Cold-Eeze. Mint flavour.
It’s probably just candy. Let me see.
SINUS SISTER whips the bottle of COLD-EEZE at WALT, so he can read the ingredients.
No, no, I stand corrected. There’s an active ingredient in here. Zincum Glyconicum.
Zinc, you moron. Didn’t you just learn about zinc last week?
SINUS SISTER pulls a GUN from the FUR MUFF on her lap. She points it as WALT.
You can talk to Jesse that way, but not to me. EXPLAIN ZINC.
WALT looks at the CANADA DRY CLOCK and swallows.
We don’t have time for this.
No, we don’t have time for me to have a bad cold during the Christmas rush.
He sighs, shrugs in agreement, and reads the BOTTLE more closely. SINUS SISTER puts away her gun.
Zincum Gluconicum is a form of zinc bound to a substance which makes for better absorption.
So it works?
Hang on. It recommends two sprays a day. That’s about 26 mg.
Studies have shown that zinc can reduce cold symptoms drastically…
…if you take it fast enough. Which I did. Two sprays last night.
Steady and holding, instead of full-on sick .
So, why are you asking me?
SINUS SISTER slides the PAPER BAG toward WALT. He tucks it into his coat.
Are you going to tell me what’s in there?
Stocking stuffers for the crew.
The questionable plot device of the common cold
My tongue is a woolen mitt
the ones you see abandoned
on the wet street
run over and over
My head is a soggy cave
my only ambition
to find the nomadic cool patch
on the bedsheets.
Having a cold
makes me question
whether there is a God
not because it’s merciless
quite the opposite
if God is the playwright
why conjure up such an undramatic bug
that does little
Sinus Sister lets off steam at work
Is it too late to add this to my Christmas list? It’s a portable humidifier disguised as a cup of ramen noodles. And it runs off a USB port. How cool is that? James Bond’s inventor, Q, would approve. So does Sinus Sister, who has often felt like a lizard in the desert while stranded at a desk with dry heat billowing from baseboard heaters. No more.
While the Air-O-Swiss Ultrasonic travel humidifier is perfect for hotels, the Cup Shitsuki USB Humidifier ($80 USD) blends into the average desk—a graveyard of take-out containers. The Cup Shitsuki holds about 75 ml of water. creating cool mist in about 3 minutes. It’s supposed to last about 4 hours (reviews concur) and it has stabilizer feet so it won’t tip over. Most importantly, it’s red, which my favourite colour. For a real review, check back in 2012, after Santa delivers. That’s a direct hint to Handsome Manling, if he’s reading.
He was only trying to help.
Now he’s being cast as the winner of this year’s Bah Humbug Award. Toronto Dr. Peter Lin dared to suggest that Christmas trees could be partially responsible for winter allergies, asthma and sinus infections.
I say, “Let the man speak!” Lin told the CBC that as soon as a tree is cut down, it’s dead and allergy-causing mould sets in. Studies have shown the normal mould count inside a typical household is about 500 to 700 mould spores per cubic metre of air. But after having a Christmas tree up for two weeks, the mould count jumps ten fold to about 5,000 spores, he said.
Then 20-odd haters wrote into the CBC web site, where they called him a Scrooge. Two level-headed comments, from “mikel357” and “BuckyCanuck”, brought some balance to the debate. Sinus Sister defends Dr. Lin’s brave move and refuses to join the backlash against caution.
What can we do to minimize the spores? Shake off dead needles before bringing the tree indoors.