Saturday, November 30, 2013

This just in: Romancing The Smoke rapidly gaining "cult" status....

A buzz is rising about the book Romancing The Smoke: Reflections of a Nicotine Addict, on Amazon-
that it sails you through what it takes to quit 
without telling you that you should, with stories 
to which you can relate. What you do after you read 
it (and look at the pictures) is up to you. Hot topic 
is that the book is gaining a cult following for its 
unfiltered approach to the truth about tobacco.
Don't be shy. It's time you thought about it.

Eastern Arizona Teens Take A Stand Against Tobacco

This article and photos in the Eastern Arizona Courier 
by Jon Johnson talks about the Graham County teen 
anti-smoking group STAND- Students Taking 
Different Direction. These kids are doing great things 
to increase awareness about the dangers of tobacco.
Eastern Arizona Courier: Teens Take a Stand Against Tobacco

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A photo by Leonardo Patrizi

Recalling the seductive nature the habit  with a tech twist...even more diabolical 

ABC News: Chicago seeks e-cig ban in public...

This article by Liz Neporent via Good Morning 
America shows that some cosmopolitan areas aren't 
warming to the idea of e-cigarettes or rolling over 
as they come barreling into town; and Chicago is 
the first big city to challenge the product's cavalier 
use in public... the law also seeks to prohibit the sale 
of the products to minors within city limits... hoping 
other major cities get the Leonardo Patrizi
ABC News: Chicago may ban public use of e-cigarettes...

RTS: The Fourth and Final Condition of Quitting Smoking- Cranial Paralogism

As the physical characteristics of the addiction began 
to diminish, and I felt like I might have conquered this 
demon, the most insidious condition waited in the
wings for my resolve to falter. Cranial Paralogism.
It's the Shadow Mind at work dissolving the resolve.

My mind built a case for quitting being a non-smoker
by reversing the negative viewpoint into the positive
to justify abandoning the effort. Logic does a 180.
All the lies about smoking return from time to time to 
convince me that "I can go back any time; because I 
can quit any time I want to....?" This mental state 
marched me right into gas stations to buy a pack a 
dozen times after I had become an "unsmoker."

This is the most powerful withdrawal disorder. I'm 
guessing it lasts a lifetime, is entirely mental, and 
is the core of what all addictions are about.

Should Cranial Paralogism try to change your mind, 
breathe like you're trying to take in all of the fresh air 
of the world. Ten breaths. Then ten more. Do this until 
you have flushed the mental state from your head.

Beating this condition almost always left me dizzy.
After a year, this condition mostly disappears.
But please, never let down your guard...

Monday, November 25, 2013

Planning to quit Smoking on New Years? Chesterfields used to tell you to do this...

Chesterfield was never one to pull punches,
using movie stars and floozies to keep you
wrapped in the soft pack fold. From 1938...
Their advice to you at New Years...

As a fashion statement...

For the wise college graduate...

RTS: The Third Condition of Quitting Smoking: Wet Towel Torque

After I stopped wanting to gnaw upon things,
I experienced a weird clenching of my veins 
and arteries and almost seizure-like tightening
through my body. Wet Towel Torque. It was
kind of like a wet towel shrink-wrapping around
me. Mummy in a steam room being wrung out.
This phase is mostly physical and may be some
of the final objections the body is experiencing
when it's getting weaned off of nicotine. It went
all the way to the bones; and my pulmonary
capacity temporarily got worse. This was my
final physical battering in the effort to get smoke
free. I experienced this for two weeks. After a 
month smoke free- the physical battle was
mostly over. But the mental one was yet to come...
Wet Towel Torque

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Guardian: This is the funniest piece on e-cigarettes yet...

Thank you Guardian for pointing out what is some
of the lamest assemblage of words surrounding an
action in the past ten years of the English language.
My songwriting teacher used to say that too many
people reach for the first available rhyme...and "vaping"
shows that no one spent any time whatsoever thinking
about it. The article is right: smokers must be furious!
Hipsters, sometimes what you think is cool is
downright clueless and painful!
The Guardian: Is "Vaping" the best word for smoking e-cigarettes?

RTS: The Second Stage of Quitting Smoking- Furniture Gnaw

In the chapter in Romancing The Smoke where 
I discuss withdrawal, the second condition I 
encountered was the battle to disable the repetitive 
oral fixation of tobacco handling. A big part of the 
habit. I named it Furniture Gnaw. After about three 
days, I had the urge to gnaw on the nearest wooden 
doorjamb or metal drawer handle. Furniture Gnaw 
pressed to convince me that this behavior was a 
suitable alternative to replace cigarette smoking.
My mouth was craving constant activity. While this 
makes no sense, they were authentic mental and
physical cravings. Like Tornado Face, very primal.
The dog thought I wanted to play...

Furniture Gnaw

RTS: The First Stage of Quitting Smoking - Tornado Face

The first stage of quitting is what I call Tornado Face.
When my mind realized I was actually stopping, it
released a swirl of static- audio, visual and olfactory hallucinations. Strange sounds, sights and smells... You’ve seen someone walk into a spider web? 
Quitting cigarettes feels like what that looks like. 
There’s a tornado in my head- and what's with all
these spiders? My head was twirling upside down 
in a cotton candy machine. Things were going too fast to follow- like when Neo is confronted with
dozens of Agent Smiths in The Matrix. All these sensations are normal when a smoker decides to quit.
While it feels like forever, this lasts about three days...
Tornado Face

Have you or someone you know experienced
this condition? How would you describe it?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

How many cigarettes have you smoked?

In my book, I wrote that I had smoked about 
140,000 cigarettes in my lifetime, based upon 
a pack a day habit. Then I found this calculator 
offered by the American Cancer Society-
and realized I was really wrong...I had smoked
nearly 220,000.  Not a one in the last three years.
I got away with attempted murder...of myself...
Please calculate your usage...and then QUIT. Calculator for how many cigarettes you've smoked...

Link- Facebook Page: Romancing The Smoke: Reflections of a Nicotine Addict

This is the FB page that's slightly different from the 
Romancing The Smoke FB "Group"...                       Facebook Page: Romancing The Smoke: Reflections of a Nicotine Addict

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Click on the Green for your FREE Kindle copy of Romancing The Smoke... Breathe Easy!

Available TODAY! Nov 21 Click the 
green to see what we mean...! FREE 
during today's Great American 
Smoke Out 2013! Your Kindle copy of Romancing The Smoke - FREE!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wish this guy had stopped smoking alot sooner....

This is my dad. His name was Art. He smoked 
for 40 years. Quit two years before he died.
Of lung, brain and pancreatic cancer.
He was only 56 and I was only 19.
Didn't really get a chance to say goodbye.

I still miss him.
If you quit smoking, you'll stick around longer.
Your kids and grandchildren will thank you.

List of Smoke Free Schools: The greatest thing is this list is changing every week....

To offer you a head start on tomorrow 11/21; An Affirmation to Get Smoke Free...GASO '13

Repeat out loud to yourself
as needed between deep breaths...
it's okay to start today

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Inconvenienced....wrong place wrong time...

Sometimes the mere act of buying cigarettes can place
a person in the wrong place at the wrong time.

...Thirty some years ago, I walked into a convenience
store to buy a pack of Marlboros one Saturday night.
Gunshots rang out in the parking lot- I hit the floor, 
and hid behind a wall of chocolate. As the police 
pulled up to the door, the clerk threw me the keys 
and asked me to unlock it. When I did, the cops burst 
in, grabbing me and pinning me onto the counter.
"He's not the guy!" the clerk exclaimed; and they
let go, kind of dusting me off as they went. Things 
settled down; and the world returned to semi-normal.
But buying a pack of smokes would never be the same.

"You've just been shot at by the bad guys and roughed 
up by the cops. Welcome to Marlboro Country! 
Will that be regular... or menthol?"

excerpt from Romancing The Smoke: Reflections 
of a Nicotine Addict by John Aaron

NYC Raises the Smoking Age to 21...Mayor Mike ain't foolin' around...

This report, by Ryan Jaslow, points out the tough 
stance Mayor Bloomberg has taken towards smoking. 
The law goes into effect in May, 2014 and will effect 
27,000+ smokers between the ages of 18-21 in NYC.
CBS: NYC Raises the smoking age to 21 & the price of cigarettes to $10.50/pack

RTS's Gift to You To Honor The Great American Smoke Out...11/21 One Day Only!

Available the day after tomorrow!
Nov 21 Click the green to see what 
we mean...! FREE during the
Great American Smoke Out 2013!
Click here Thursday- It's FREE!
Your FREE Kindle Copy of Romancing The Smoke! One Day Only!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Historic Exhibition and Film Documentary about Tobacco and Surgeon General Luther Terry at the Univ. of Alabama

This upcoming exhibition and film documentary 
opening Nov. 20, 2013 at U of A's Gorgas Library 
in Tuscaloosa is the most significant overview into 
the sordid history of Tobacco and its relentless battle 
to deny the health risks. Surgeon General Luther Terry's
landmark findings in 1964 are central to this presentation.
This information is provided by exhibit curator 
Dr. Alan Blum, the Gerald Leon Wallace MD Endowed 
Chair in Family Medicine, UA's College of Community 
Health Services. Dr. Blum and his colleagues are 
anti-smoking champions; this work is crucial to the 
future of a smoke free world.
Melissa Brown contributed to this story.
UA News: "The Surgeon General vs. The Marlboro Man: Who Really Won?"

Thank you to Tobacco Free UK for this...

This ain't no party...this ain't no disco... 
this ain't no foolin' around.... David Byrne

Thursday, November 14, 2013

"after all...we're not in it for their health...!"

...while I waited in line to buy a Milky Way at the local 
liquor store, a young gamer geek hovered over the 
counter, oblivious to those behind him. looked around 
to see he was engrossed in the machinations of what 
was a clarinet-sized e-cigarette. It was colorfully gaudy 
and seemed somewhat complicated. He took a drag off 
of his new toy and paid for it just as his father came in, 
asking if the kid needed ID to prove he was old enough 
to buy it. The owner said "no" and the lad shuffled out 
after his dad, armed and ready to "vape" with a bong-
sized piece of equipment. He was maybe seventeen.

As I got my candy bar, I asked the shopkeeper if that 
contraption was an electronic cigarette.

"Yes, but you know there's no nicotine in those things!" 
He seemed ignorant of the product except for how to 
load it and sell it. "Me, I don't smoke" he said.

"Actually," I said, "most of them have plenty of nicotine 
and they're fruit flavored to get the kids hooked. Makes 
sure the smoking habit stays firmly in place til they get 
bored fooling around with these gadgets and take up 
tobacco- just like their ancestors...!"

The man smiled. "That is why he also bought cigars!"

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Guardian: Can England Stop Smoking?

An article by Sarah Parfitt addresses the British 
government's efforts to convince its population 
to quit smoking. This comprehensive review covers
a lot of ground. As my book is popular in the U.K.,
this is of great interest to me...
The Guardian: Can England Stop Smoking?

The Great American Smoke Out: 21 November

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Be Prepared for the Great American Smoke Out...November 21

The perfect encouragement for one who wants to quit...
Great American Smoke Out Nov. 21
Romancing The Smoke on Amazon- Paperback or Kindle

USA Today: E-Cigarette Ads Model the Big Tobacco Ads of Old....

As legislators lumber towards the high speed fast track 
e-cigarette marketing campaign making efforts to 
regulate them on the local state and federal levels, 
Big Tobacco has jumped in with both feet to make sure 
promotion of E-cigarettes gets a firm chokehold on tech 
savvy youth to keep them interested in the concept of 
smoking. They are adopting the old style advertising 
with uber cool movie stars proclaiming their rights to 
use e-cigarettes anywhere, anytime. This is nauseating.
Government would be wise to make closing loopholes
in the laws about e-cigs an urgent priority. Because 
Big Tobacco is reeling in the next generation while 
we're talking about it.  Jolie Lee's article for USA Today.
USA Today: E Cigarette Ads Model the Big Tobacco Ads of Old...

When it comes to smoking, dogs know better...

Thank you to Black and White Films Pages on 
Facebook for this pic of WC Fields trying to convince
this dog to take up smoking..from It's a Gift (1934)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Bloomberg News: E-Cigs are drifting down the workplace halls....

The inroads made about keeping smoking out of the 
workplace is being undone by electronic cigarettes 
a quarter century after the initial ban...why are we 
having this conversation again? Bluntly, I'm tired 
of people who claim they're promoting e-cigs "to 
honor of dear departed Dad who died of lung cancer".
.. if you really cared, you wouldn't be trying to make 
such a fast buck out of this product; and you'd not be encouraging "vaping" which is still keeping the habit 
of smoking in place. You "Vapires" know this. 
You are greedy creeps. Don't tell me you know better-
I buried six family members from smoking.  
Bloomberg: E-Cigs wafting into workplace 25 years after Smoking ban

Friday, November 8, 2013

Open Letter to the Public from Big Tobacco

Dear Public,
Since you're figuring out how to quit smoking 
cigarettes, we figure that you can just stay hooked 
on nicotine through a similar device that will 
eventually lead you back to smoking. 
E Cigs!!!! 

Isn't that great? It's the tech you crave to be cool, 
hip and now, and you can circumvent rules and 
regs about smoking by "vaping" compliments of 
our revamped full tilt unstoppable marketingand 
legal wrangling- just like we dragged our feet and argued for decades about the safety of cigarettes. 
We're sure, in the long run, your lungs will thank 
you, 'cuz now you're breathing in even weirder shit.
We know you'll be dying to return...
we will get you coming and going...
Big Tobacco

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

NY Times: Quitting Smoking? It's Probably Monday....

This article by Nicholas Bakalar points out that queries 
about quitting smoking are at their highest on Mondays, 
except in Russia, where they seem to reach 
that conclusion one day earlier in the week- 
there, Monday is second to Sunday. 
And from now through New Year's Day, 
we'll be encouraging you to pick up 
Romancing The Smoke: 
Reflections of a Nicotine Addict
in paperback or Kindle eBook
just in case a friend of yours needs some help 
with getting nicotine under control. 
This illustrated memoir has become a way.
Observe The Great American Smokeout on Nov. 21

Monday, November 4, 2013

ROMANCING THE SMOKE is the perfect gift for the smoker you love who wants to quit...

Just saw where Amazon is selling used versions 
of my book for $67. You better pick some up 
while they're NEW!!!! Help your smoking friends...
John Aaron's Amazon Author Page- Romancing The Smoke

Tobacco once again a viable and profitable crop in Zimbabwe...

Once one of the largest African exporters flue-cured 
tobacco (a half billion pounds in 2000) Zimbabwe's 
tobacco farming is once again the country's top crop. 
Pres. Robert Mugabe drove out white farm owners and 
their workers in a bloody redistribution of property in 
2000, an act that resulted in Zimbabwe's economic 
crash and record setting inflation. Only now are 
segments of the economy recovering, mainly tobacco, 
while the country's past agricultural mainstays like 
roses, corn & horticulture remain almost non-existent. 
No longer farmed in large operations, Mugabe made 
sure that money and incentives from tobacco attracted 
the public's alliance by encouraging tobacco growing 
on as many small farms as possible. There are now 
more than 110,000  tobacco farms. Additionally, as 
Godfrey Marawanyika reports for Bloomberg, 
Zimbabwe has had to import many staples they used 
to export, like corn.

During my stay in Zimbabawe in 1998, Kingsland 
Cigarettes, the local brand, were 95 cents US. I would 
be interested to find out what they cost now...

Bloomberg News: Mugabe makes Zimbabwe's tobacco farmers land grab winners 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

GIVE IT UP November 21!

The Great American Smoke Out is coming...
GIVE IT UP November 21!

Lines Drawn In The Ashes- The Battle Begins

While I spoke a little soon of the impending law about 
to be passed in New York that raises the age for buying 
tobacco products to 21, it is going to happen...and it's 
drawing a line in the ashes for a multi-faceted war of 
rights- Big Tobacco proclaiming this a violation of its 
civil right to provide product access to young smokers 
versus the anti-tobacco forces that are lobbying to take 
cigarettes out of the hands of teenagers, arguably, for 
their own good. I don't think Big Tobacco should be 
granted much in the way of rights when it comes to 
their historic treatment of humans. 

I am for this change in law for global health reasons.

If less young people get hooked on nicotine, then 
future health care costs won't be so tied to the 
therapy, maintenance and procedures smokers and 
their health care providers end up having to deal with. 
Illness from tobacco products is a major percentage 
of overall health care costs. Making it harder to smoke 
will not result in an unhealthier population.

Only exception I would consider with this is if those 
under 21 join the Armed Forces, they have the right
to decide for themselves, as the law currently exists. 
Soldiers should be able to make this decision.

I am a warrior for peace, justice, authentic art, and 
fresh air. Since Big Tobacco has never played by the 
rules, I'm not sure we should be so concerned with
allowing the Industry a fair shake...after all, 
my uncle called for Phillip Morris right after they 
removed his kidney...

The article by Steven Nelson from U.S. News and 
World Report:
U.S. News: Nationwide Fight Begins Over Raising Tobacco Age To 21