Thursday, November 1, 2007
Stick it in Your Ear
If you surf cable TV channels late at night you're sure to see a new low in smoking cessation ads.
This is the "auricular" treatment that allegedly eliminates the desire to smoke in two weeks.
A crazed blonde claims the device is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (it's not) and so easy to use. The system is two small magnets, perhaps strong rare earth magnets.
The smoker puts magnets on both sides of the left ear. Here's a chance to brush up on the external anatomy of the human ear. The magnets are to be placed on the Scapha, the outermost C-shaped plane next to the outer fold.
That's it. Why would sticking magnets to your ear ease the desire to smoke? A "pressure point" in the ear stimulates the same parts of the brain as nicotine. This is signified in the ad by fireworks going off in the smoker's head.
This suggests that a smoker could give up tobacco and get hooked instead on little magnets in the ear. If any of this contained a grain of truth, that would be good.
However, stimulating the smoking parts of the brain does not seem as if it would quell the desire to smoke.
Or maybe you end up wanting to smoke magnets.