Johnson & Johnson have seen a huge rise in pretax profits this year, following the successful launch of a new range of products designed to help people kick long ingrained addictive habits.
The company's success with their Nicorette products, which help many thousands of people quit smoking every year, inspired them to create a raft of new devices which have been lauded by health officials and which have been pounced on by the desperate.
Michelle Batley of Rotherham took up using the 'Lardomatic Beef Sponge' last June in an effort to wean herself from her 5 a day burger habit. Michelle had been haunting fast food restaurants for 17 years, eating copious amounts of supersized double cheese burgers with bacon and extra fries. She tried many times to kick the habit following advice from her GP that the fat content of her diet would lead to serious health problems in later life. However none of her previous attempts had been successful in keeping her from the extra full fat yoghurty chocolate cream drinks available at her nearest drive through.
All that changed when a friend introduced Michelle to the fat replacement benefits of the Lardomatic, she never looked back. "It's amazing", claimed the new, 7 stone, lithe version of Ms Batley, "Just 3 sucks on the beef sponge every hour, and I'm completely satisified. I don't get none of the cravings, I'm hardly ever ratty with the kids, not like when the doctor tried to get me to eat cold turkey last Christmas. That were rubbish".
But at GBP52 per sponge, this new therapy isn't a cheap option, and many people remain in fast food poverty, having to spend more than 10% of their annual income on fast food bills.
There are calls to offer these products on prescription, but many health authorities believe that their budgets can't stretch as far as Ms Batley's tracky bottoms used to, and so refuse to offer subsidies.
Meanwhile further advances are being made in helping other people break their addictions, with new products being launched such as the 'Big Bang Bong' cannabis substitute pipe, the 'Prick-o-rette' heroine replacement needle and the mains operated 'Handy Helping Grippotron', a device which is expected to see a vast reduction in the addictive use of internet porn sites.