Shaping Opinion
Shaping Opinion
Robert Page: Does Weed Attack Your Heart?
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Robert Page: Does Weed Attack Your Heart?

Robert Page, a professor in the Departments of Clinical Pharmacy and Physical Medicine at the University of Colorado, joins Tim to talk about some new developments in determining significant cardiovascular risks associated with marijuana use, regardless of the reason. He’s the lead author on a new paper from the American Heart Association that exposes major risks. We talk about his paper, some of the myths surrounding medical marijuana usage, and what it all means. https://traffic.libsyn.com/forcedn/shapingopinion/Robert_Page_-_Weed_and_Heart_Health_auphonic.mp3 If I were to use a term with you, a propaganda term, do you think you’d fall for it?  Let’s give it a shot. So, here’s the term. What do you think of when I say, “medical marijuana?” Now, before we go any further, I need to give you a quick history lesson on the field where I work. I work in public relations. The founding fathers of this field actually called it the practice of propaganda back in those early days. And they weren’t wrong. Some 100 years ago, propagandists sold everything from war bonds to cigarettes, from oil and gasoline to railroad travel. And when something went wrong, they became spin doctors. They played with the truth, and it wasn’t always ethical. Since then, the field has done much to improve its own image by establishing ethical standards, but this doesn’t mean that “spin” has just faded away. The battle over the truth is never-ending. If you can believe this, back in the 1930s and 40s, the advertising and public relations fields convinced Americans that smoking cigarettes was actually good for their health. At that time, the medical community had not yet discovered the link between smoking and lung cancer or lung disease. In fact, most doctors smoked cigarettes. Of course, there was evidence all around them that lung cancer was on the rise, but no one blamed cigarettes at first. Some tobacco companies even used doctors in their ads. American Tobacco was the maker of Lucky Strike cigarettes. In 1930, the company created an ad that said, “20,679 Physicians say ‘LUCKIES are less irritating’” to the throat of a smoker. To arrive at this conclusion, American Tobacco’s advertising agency sent cartons of Lucky Strike cigarettes to doctors along with a letter. That letter asked those doctors whether they believed Lucky Strike cigarettes were “less irritating to sensitive and tender throats than other cigarettes.” To make sure they got the results they wanted, the letter that “a good many people” had already said Lucky Strikes were less irritating. In the end, millions of Americans came to believe that cigarettes have a medicinal effect. By 1937, the Philip Morris weighed in with an ad in the Saturday Evening Post. Keep in mind, that magazine was extremely dominant and powerful in influencing public opinion throughout the United States at the time. The Philip Morris ad said the company did a study that showed “when smokers changed to Philip Morris, every case of irritation cleared completely and definitely improved.”  The ad never mentioned the business relationship the company had with those doctors. For years, tobacco companies made claims in their advertising and marketing that smoking cigarettes are healthy, and if not good for you, the ads certainly never hinted that cigarettes could be bad for you. The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company even created a Medical Relations Division and promoted it through medical journals. That company paid for its own research to demonstrate the medicinal benefits of cigarette smoking. In 1946, R.J. Reynolds created a new ad campaign under the slogan, “More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette.” We talk to someone who knows a lot more than I do on this. Robert Page is the lead author on a new scientific paper called: “Medical Marijuana, Recreational Cannabis, and Cardiovascular Health: A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association.”

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Shaping Opinion
Shaping Opinion
The Shaping Opinion podcast helps you see through the spin. It reveals things you may not know, and it exposes other things some may want to keep hidden. Its focus is on how your thoughts and attitudes are influenced to create change in the culture, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse.
Host Tim O’Brien – author, senior media advisor and veteran damage control expert – empowers you with a fresh perspective. He comfortably takes you inside trending issues, stories and to the people who unravel it all through deep-dive conversations. After decades in handling high stakes and complex crisis management situations, Tim probes to uncover what’s real and what matters, and what will shape the future. Watch or listen every Monday wherever you get your podcasts.