Tuesday, December 1, 2015

For those who want to Kindle the spark to quit...!

As a gift to the world for 
the Holidays, the Kindle 
version of Romancing The 
Smoke: Reflections of a 
Nicotine Addict, the memoir
about quitting after decades
of addiction, is available to 
all for the astonishingly low 
price of $2.99 for the month 
of December! Make it a gift 
for a loved one you want to 
see become smokefree! 
It's time to reKindle efforts
to quit. Reading Romancing 
The Smoke just might help...
Romancing The Smoke- Get your Kindle copy for $2.99!

Yahoo: Newport Beach man injured when e-cigarette explodes...

Yahoo and ABC News report on
a major scare for e-cigarette user 
Reed Morrison in Newport Beach, 
CA; and the growing concern as to 
the safety of e-cigarette devices.
Yahoo: Newport Beach Man suffers burns when e-cigarette explodes

Thursday, November 19, 2015

If you're feeling like you need help to quit.....

Romancing The Smoke: 
Reflections of a Nicotine 
Addict is the book for you!
An anti-smoking memoir 
that tells it like it was & is.
Quitting cold turkey after 
almost 40 years as a smoker,
it chronicles the absurdity 
and the process of the habit, 
and the events that led me 
back to a smokefree life.
Full color, 25 illustrations; 
in paperback or Kindle. 
Smoke Demons Begone!
Click the link. Just do it...
Romancing The Smoke: on Amazon


QUIT. Just. Do. It.

Today's the day to go 
smokefree. Never a 
better day than today 
to quit...make that last 
one YOUR last one...

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Bloomberg: U.S. Smoking Hints at Rare Comeback After Long Decline

According to an article by 
Jennifer Kaplan of Bloomberg, 
Americans appear to be smoking 
more for the first time in a decade.
It is suggested that e-cigarettes
encourage the habit, as they are 
being used by smokers in addition 
to cigarettes. RTS expressed concern
about this trend several years ago.
Anti-smoking strategies once 
implemented by states through 
tobacco control measures are 
currently spending $490 million 
as opposed to close to $10 billion 
year in Big Tobacco marketing. 


The effective strategies that were 
being used, cigarette taxes, 
restricting access, increased education
as to the actual dangers have 
not kept pace with Tobacco 
Industry's "Party like a Rock Star"
marketing practices to youth.
Another per pack federal 
excise tax increase is needed,
along with tighter restrictions.
Yeah RTS said it. It's time that
Americans stopped being so 
cavalier about their health.
Self asphyxiation is no way to die... 

Bloomberg/MSN: U.S. Smoking Appears To Be On The Rise...

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Thursday, August 20, 2015

This week marks 5 YEARS since I smoked...

I woke up August 25, 2010 
and couldn't breathe. I had
been smoking a pack and a 
half on and off for 40 years.
Almost 250,000 cigarettes.
My lungs had had it. 

I promised myself that if I 
could just regain my ability 
to breathe, I'd never smoke 
again. I threw tantrums, cried,
screamed, pounded on walls, 
bargained with the Smoke 
Demons...and began my final
smokefree journey that saved
my life. I have NOT smoked
55,000 cigarettes.

I have not had so much as 
a puff since that day; and 
am far healthier today than 
was twenty years ago...

I wrote Romancing The Smoke 
to commiserate with others
going through the battle with
nicotine. 

To all my friends whom I have 
not yet met who are waging 
this battle to quit smoking, 
I say YOU can do this!
This means YOU, Facebook 
Quit Smoking Community!

There's NOTHING romantic 
about smoking; RTS will do 
what it can to cheer you on.

Begone Smoke Demons-Forever!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Daily Telegraph: Australian Outdoor Smoking Ban to Begin...

The outdoor smoking ban in 
Australia is slated to go into 
effect July 6 and one of the 
world's toughest countries 
on smoking isn't fooling 
around. As of Monday, 
smoking in the outdoor 
areas of restaurants will no 
longer be allowed; and serious
fines are forthcoming for those 
who willfully ignore the ban.
Dailytelegraph.com: New law banning outdoor smoking takes effect in Australia tomorrow

A comment on Freedom on the 4th of July...

About five years ago, 
I made a life saving 
decision. Since then, 
have NOT smoked 
43,000 cigarettes.
Freedom from Smoking. 
Freedom from Nicotine.
Best decision EVER.

Friday, June 19, 2015

HealthGrades.com: What happens to your body when you quit smoking...

Vanessa Caceres reports on the 
changes that happen to your 
body when you quit smoking...
Check out this link RTS found 
on CNN. My book discussed a 
number of aspects of this, though
not as succinctly. 
Totally worth the read... 
Thank you also to CVS for their

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Amazing art about Cigarettes...

Highly imaginative artwork 
by Cranbrook Academy of 
Art MFA candidate Alex 
Thomas...

Photos thanks to Michael Janis


































CHALK4PEACE Indiegogo film Campaign...a project founded by the creator of Romancing The Smoke

For those who follow this blog 
and are used to the pithy, 
relevant sarcastic commentary 
in the anti-smoking vein, and 
are wondering why RTS has 
grown quiet as of late, there's 
a good reason... I'm working
on another cause at the moment.
It's an Indiegogo Crowdfunding
Campaign for my other project 
CHALK4PEACE, the global 
chalk art project.

CHALK4PEACE is headed to 
Ferguson, Missouri this fall to
participate in a major peace event.
We're making a documentary 
film called "CHALK4PEACE:
Drawing FergUSon Together"
Please take a moment to see
what we're up to.
Drawing FergUSon Together-an Indiegogo film

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Telegraph: Has President Obama begun smoking again?

An Instagram photo taken at 
the G7 summit last weekend 
shows President Obama talking 
with Italian Prime Minister 
Matteo Renzi while holding
some little package that looks 
suspiciously like a pack of 
cigarettes. Either that, or a 
giant pack of breath mints...

Then again, with a job like that,
it's understandable that a habit
like that would rear its ugly head.
Talk about pressure...

Cut him some slack...the stress 
of that job is off the charts...

Telegraph.co.uk: Has President Obama begun smoking again?

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Is smoking on its way to being stamped out?

This comprehensive overview 
of the global smoking trends by 
Ben Martin sites the various 
changes in countries' smoking 
percentages and the particular
smoking bans that have changed
the course of the habit worldwide. 
He also discusses the impact 
that the steady decrease of 
smoking, aided by legislation
and taxation, explaining the
effects of these actions and the
increasing mindset that smoking
is a habit best encouraged to
proceed towards extinction.
Good idea that will take another
hundred years. Centuries from
from now, the habit will be
viewed as a curiosity and 
practice of self-destruction... 
if we last that long and evolve that far...

Telegraph.co.uk: Is smoking finally on its way to being stamped out?
Photo: Alamy

Friday, June 5, 2015

The number 5 makes me nervous....

There are some days that a person 
never forgets because of the impact 
that day has on them. June 5 is one 
such day for me. I cannot help but 
remember its significance because 
it was life changing in 1972. It had 
to do with the number 5. 

I was living in L.A. when I received 
a call from my mother telling me 
that my father had been diagnosed
with lung cancer, and (ironically)
maybe worse. It was. I learned of
his illness on this day 43 years ago;
I immediately flew home to Michigan.
On July 5, he went into the hospital; 
he died there on August 5. He was
born December 5, 2015.  He was 
diagnosed with cancer of the lung, 
liver, pancreas, brain and kidney.
Think it started out as skin cancer.
Can't say as I'm a big fan of Five.

I remember the call and the day.
Like an assassination. He was
dying and there was nothing to 
be done. June 5 will always have 
an air of doom to it.  Even on a 
bright sunshiny day, it's a memory 
I wish I could forget. 

The good news is, it's almost been 
5 years since I quit. Five is good.
At least now it is....

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

RTS's "Smokefree is the way to be" is now a national anti-smoking motto...

When Romancing The Smoke: 
Reflections of a Nicotine Addict 
was released in 2012, the tagline 
for the book and all signed copies
was and is, "because smokefree
is the way to be!" It's in the book.
It is heartening to see that the 
Center for Disease Control, 
Tobacco free division has adopted
our tagline for its national 
campaign. Thank you CDC 
Tobaccofree...well you know how
hard catchy mottos are to come by...
Smokefree is the way to be!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Friday, May 29, 2015

CNN: World No Tobacco Day is May 31

Meera Senthilingam reports 
for CNN about the World
Health Organization's World 
No Tobacco Day, May 31, 
and shares a list of ten great 
reasons to quit. WNTD also 
asks that you post your own
personal reason for quitting 
on Twitter using the hashtag 
#WhyIQuit.
CNN Health: Why you quit smoking...

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

NY Times Op-Ed: Smoking, Vaping & Nicotine by Joe Nocera

Joe Nocera reports on the 
efforts of Mitch Zeller, the 
Director of the Center for 
Tobacco Products, a division 
of the FDA. As Mitch quotes
Michael Russell, the South 
African tobacco scientist to 
first discovered that people 
became addicted to smoking 
because of the nicotine, Russell
said, "People smoke for the 
nicotine, but die from the tar..."
Zeller says that "there needs 
to be a rethink in society about
nicotine." Figuring out this 
reappraisal about nicotine is
Mitch Zeller's job. The dialogue
about nicotine expands....

NY Times Op-Ed: Smoking, Vaping & Nicotine by Joe Nocera
Photo courtesy the FDA


























Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Monday, May 25, 2015

May 25 is Buddha's birthday...

Today is the day many cultures
celebrate Buddha's birthday.
It may not be an occasion
folks celebrate where you live;
but in places like Hong Kong, 
it's a holiday.

It's a good day to meditate 
on the way your life opens up 
once you become smoke free.
The following paintings are 
meditations about fresh air, 
and doing the right thing 
for yourself and the world.
Breathe...



Monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery paint a Sand Mandala
at the Center for the Work, Ojai, CA , Vesak, 5/25/15   








Remembering Billy, who didn't make it out of Viet Nam...

A day to remember 
the sacrifices of loved 
ones and friends...

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Breathe easy this Memorial Day...

A safe smokefree 
Memorial Day 
weekend to you all...
you can breathe easy...
calm down and meditate...
May 25 is Vesak, Buddha's
birthday...

Friday, May 22, 2015

Terminally hip....

I was so obsessed with being 
cool when I was young, this 
could have resulted in my 
succumbing to Terminal Hipness.
(and lung cancer and COPD)
I bailed out in the nick of time...
I'm not cool anymore...
just healthy.
Be cool this Memorial Day weekend. 
Don't smoke.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

CNN-Koval: Mad Men got the smoking issue right after all...

Robin Koval is CEO and 
President of Legacy, and was 
particularly observant of 
Mad Men's approach to 
smoking over the program's 
seven year run. Robin 
pointed out that Betty's 
diagnosis was revealed on 
Mother's Day, a particularly
poignant time to bring attention
to the hazards of cigarette smoking.
As Legacy is dedicated to ending
the tobacco epidemic in the US,
Ms. Koval said that Mad Men
brought the smoking issue full
circle, with Betty's cavalier 
resignation at her fate...
hard core smokers know when it's 
too late. The key is getting free 
before then. One of the lessons 
learned from one of television's
great period dramas.

CNN: Koval: Mad Men got the smoking issue right after all...


This is our coast...the infrastructure is washing ashore...


Photo courtesy KEYT News
The Santa Barbara coast is 
experiencing its second major 
oil spill. Think of having a quart 
of 10W-40 poured down your 
back while you surf...according 
to Ed Shultz, this pipeline was 
built in 1951. UPDATE: Just 
read that the pipeline was built 
in 1987. That didn't last long...
This is at Refugio State Beach, near 
Hwy 101. A favorite destination.
Especially for holiday weekends 
like Memorial Day, this weekend.

They say 105,000 gallons of oil 
are spreading down the coast.
Our shores are getting covered 
in tar for probably 50 miles to 
the south and east. The beaches of 
Goleta, Isla Vista, Santa Barbara, 
Montecito, Summerland, 
Carpinteria and maybe Ventura. 
We'll keep our readers posted.
I walk the beach almost every day. 
I saw a whale outside the 
breakwater two days ago. 
What is this going to do to 
them? The pictures coming in look 
worse and worse. Why is okay for 
the petroleum industry to destroy 
our shores and wetlands? This 
makes me ill; and it should you too.
Why did I bring this up in an
anti-smoking blog? Just last post,
we were speaking about TAR....
and now it stretches for ten
miles along our coastline...we
feel real sorry for the creatures
that live near or in the sea...






Huffington Post: Time to make the distinction between smoking and nicotine addiction...

Kate Kelland reports on this 
stunning take on differentiating 
between smoking and nicotine 
addiction perpetuated by 
nicotine replacement therapy.
Once smoking is removed from 
the equation, does nicotine have
a beneficial medicinal use in issues 
of Alzheimer's or dementia? 
This is the new topic for serious 
thought. It is some of what e-cigs 
claim makes them beneficial; and
that nicotine also works as a natural 
pesticide that's less dangerous that
the chemically formulated ones
requires a closer review as to the 
value of the substance. As the old 
saying goes, "The nicotine addicts 
you; but what kills you is the tar..." 
If not smoked, is nicotine so bad?
This article is a lot of food for thought...

Huffington Post: Smoking vs Nicotine Addiction- Time to make the distinction...
Courtesy of Jupiter Images

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Indy Star: Indiana Appeals Court to Hear Challenge to IndianapolisSmoking Ban...

This article by Jill Disis for
the Indy Star follows the 
challenge by two Indianapolis 
bars to strike down the 
citywide smoking ban because
it allows smoking in its only 
off track betting facility and 
prohibits it in bars that don't 
offer gambling.

It's okay to smoke in a gambling 
facility, but not in regular bars;
so two bar owners are going after 
the law to get smoking allowed 
once again since the 2012 
smoking ban went into effect.

Seeing that Indiana has one of,
if not the highest, smoking rate 
of any state in the US, it might be 
suggested that the state needs to 
get a grip about maintaining a 
stance that perpetuates and 
encourages this habit. Get with 
the program Indiana. You're 
sounding a little too Big Tobacco 
for us. Oh, that's right, you grow 
alot of the stuff, don't you...?
You give new meaning to the 
motto, "Smoke free or die..."

Indy Star: Indiana Appeals Court to hear Challenge to Indianapolis Smoking Ban...


Mad Men: It was not a happy ending for Betty...

Mad Men Finale-
Episode 92: 
Person to Person...
It was not a happy 
ending for Betty...
still smoking at the 
kitchen table even 
after the diagnosis...

Sunday, May 17, 2015

RTS 2015 Pain In The ASH Award goes to: JEFF THE DISEASED LUNG

Romancing The Smoke's
2015 PAIN IN THE ASH 
Award goes to the guy
who has done more to 
encourage and influence
the anti-smoking movement 
while making a mockery
of Marlboro's sleazy efforts
to hook Millennials and
the Third World...
CONGRATULATIONS!
JEFF THE DISEASED LUNG


#JeffWeCan on Twitter!
Big thanks to John Oliver 
for bringing this issue to 
the forefront and Jeff into 
our smokefree homes!

Jeff's likeness is on bus 
stops in Uruguay, (and 
PMI is suing the little 
country over this gesture);
he's on t-shirts in Togo;
he has led an ASH Flash
Mob in Times Square, and 
danced til he dropped 
(which wasn't long) on 
John Oliver's Last Week 
Tonight. Jeff the Diseased 
Lung is the perfect anti-
pitchman to call Marlboro
on their, as John Oliver 
says, "Pile of horseshit!"
Everyone should be 
wearing a JEFF t-shirt 
to remind Marlboro of 
their "new Mascot"... 


Thank you to Action on 
Smoking and Health and 
Campaign for Tobaccofree 
Kids for their unceasing 
efforts to make the world 
more smokefree; and to 
John Oliver for inventing
our honoree, JEFF.
Someone please tell JEFF he 
won the PAIN IN THE ASH
Award over at #JeffWeCan... 


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Tobacco-Free Kids: Youth Advocates of the Year...

Our congratulations to 
Spencer Flanders of 
Carson City, Nevada for 
being named the the Campaign 
for Tobacco-Free Kids' National 
Youth Advocate of the Year; 
and to Denver's Evolvement 
for being the Group Winner
in the Campaign for Tobacco-
Free Kids. Also to Joshua 
Pritchett, Chesapeake, VA;
Madison Larimore, Bellevue, 
Nebraska; E. Tyler Boyle,
Paris, Kentucky; and Lily
Kraft of Bridger, Montana
for being Regional Winners.
What you are all doing now 
will make a huge difference 
in our smokefree future... 
keep up the great work!
Twitter: #tobaccofreekids
Tobacco-Free Kids: Youth Advocates of 2015

Friday, May 15, 2015

Romancing The Smoke- The Book... it's not just my story...

For those of you actually taking 
the time to wonder, who is this 
guy and why should we listen
to anything he has to say about
smoking and tobacco... you
have a point. Why should you?
Just because I quit after 40 years, 
burying six smoking family 
members along the way is no 
reason to think I know much 
about what smoking is about
or how to get free of it. But...
I have alot of experience quitting.
After all, it took me four decades.
I tried almost everything to quit.
And I have too much experience 
watching people who couldn't quit, 
die. This book chronicles the events 
& experiences where cigarettes led
me right up to the edge of the grave.
Written in tongue & cheek with
a bit of black lung humor, I lived
to tell the story and continue
to do my best to keep the world
informed about the global battle
for a smoke free world.

Every smoker that reads this
book will see themselves in 
the stories.  Can we rid the planet 
of cigarettes by 2050? 2100? What 
does it take? Can it be done? How 
does one, or collectively, the world
quit the world's most deadly
addiction?

Romancing The Smoke: 
Reflections of a Nicotine 
Addict is the story...
and it's not just my story...

AMAZON Author Page: John Aaron- Romancing The Smoke: Reflections of a Nicotine Addict


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Coming soon: 2015's Anti-Smoking's Global Advocate of the Year: The Pain in the Ash

Romancing The Smoke 
will be posting its 1,000th 
blog post later this week; 
and we will celebrate by 
honoring the most effective 
global anti-smoking 
advocate of the year- 
a hero in the eyes of many; 
and a hot ash on many a 
Big Tobacco executive's 
backside...coming soon...
Romancing The Smoke's
Pain in the Ash Award:
that live wire that keeps 
the anti-smoking 
movement on fire...
(hint...this is post #996...)

StopMarlboro.org: Marlboro's strategy: Throw a party....

This is how Marlboro 
is marketing to teens
in more than 60 
countries...worldwide
they're succeeding in 
hooking 100,000 new 
smokers a day...
Thank you to the 
Campaign for Tobacco 
Free Kids for this info
on the StopMarlboro.org
petition...
Watch the video; then 
Help Stop Marlboro...
StopMarlboro.org: Marlboro Marketing Strategy #2: Throw a Party...