Monday, March 10, 2008

Shock, horror: Men make rational decisions

Nobody who saw the cast of children's TV soap Grange Hill warbling 'Just Say No' in the 1980s as part of the anti-drugs campaign of the same name could seriously think such campaigns work. Why would anyone not do something simply because some chump in authority - or worse still, a precocious child actor - told them not to?

Men make rational decisions based on the information they have. They take risks because they think they're worth taking. The best way therefore to encourage men to take healthier decisions is to ensure that they're better informed about their health.

That's the line we've been taking in our research into buying drugs online. Many, many men are already doing this and, our research shows, the potential market is even larger. Telling blokes not to do it has not - and will not - work. On the other hand, once you know what's really going on behind the antiseptic looking websites and mispelt spams for V1agra, frankly only a fool would buy from an online buyer he didn't know. And most men aren't fools.

This philosophy - the more information you have the better your decisions are likely to be - has been vindicated today with research showing that smokers who are told their "lung-age" are twice as likely to quit as those who aren't. OK, the quit figures are still low - 13% compared to 6% - but quitting smoking is tough. Knowing that at the age of 30 you already have the lungs of a 60 year old might be the little bit of information that makes all the difference. Knowing that your online erectile dysfunction drug was made in a cement mixer using blue paint can have a similar effect.

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