Forget apples – a packet of fags a day keeps the doctor away

It’s amazing how often conventional wisdom can be wrong – right from early childhood we get it drummed into us that an apple a day keeps the doctor away when in fact a recent study shows that a packet of fags a day is more effective at keeping the doctor away.

I must say that as a smoker myself, I’ve long suspected this. I’ve only ever eaten a handful of apples but as a small boy I was rushed to hospital when a rogue piece of apple got lodged in my throat, and another time I got a very upset tummy and was off to the doctor.

In contrast, after switching from apples to smoking I haven’t gone to the doctor once. There’s been the odd emphysema scare but a few swigs of medicinal whiskey at the Squirrellickers and a firm thump on the back from Eddie soon fixes that.

So it was with no great surprise that when perusing the highly respected “Smoking is Good” forum, I came across a study confirming that consumption of apples leads to more doctor’s visits than smoking.

The statistics were there in black and white – people from 13 years old up who had an apple a day had 20% more doctor’s visits over their lifetime than the equivalent person who smoked a packet a day. I obviously acknowledge that one reason apple imbibers had more doctor’s visits is, on average, they live 30 years longer. But this still doesn’t alter the cold, hard fact that apple fans total doctor’s visits are higher.

The apple a day advice is not the only pro-fruit and vegetable myth. Carrots are supposed to help you see in the dark but tell that to Reverend Tansy Forster who tripped over during a nocturnal visit to the parish vegetable garden. That he landed in such a way that he got a carrot wedged up his bottom was incredibly unlucky, especially so as he landed on the pointy end.


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