Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Chicago Tribune: Cigarettes Flame Out As More Americans Quit Smoking

This article is a thoughtful 
overview on the current state
of smoking in the United States.
It might have been as hard to
change course as an ocean liner, 
and has taken 50 years; but the 
USA is definitely doing its 
best to decrease smoking and 
tobacco consumption and the 
health problems associated
with nicotine addiction. 
Smoking rates are under 18% 
for the first time since they 
started keeping track in 1965.
America is kicking butts...
Happy New Year!
Chicago Tribune: Cigarettes Flame Out as More Americans Quit Smoking

The Sequel to Romancing The Smoke is on its way....

As the sequel to 
Romancing The 
Smoke picks up speed
a portion of the new 
book is dedicated to 
sharing other smokers' 
stories. We want to hear 
about your experiences 
with tobacco and nicotine. 
Your observation of a 
family member. A friend.
YOURSELF. We know 
there are many compelling 
stories people thought 
they'd never be asked to 
tell. We want the success 
stories as well as the 
cautionary tales.

Please share your 
"Nicotine Tale"
(500 words max.)
in an email or Word 
doc by sending it to
using "RTS Tale by..."

You will receive full credit 
and a copy of the new book 
for your library. 
Thank you in advance. 
Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Thinking of Quitting Smoking for New Years? Here's some encouragement...

This is one New Years 
Resolution that you'll 
want to keep. 
Romancing The Smoke
helps a smoker maintain 
their sense of humor as 
they GIVE IT UP!

When you read this 
book, you'll see...
you're not alone!
Quitting is the best 
health decision a 
person can make...
Get Romancing The Smoke TODAY! On Amazon in Paperback or on Kindle!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Pack a Day: A rant by John Aaron

Pack a Day
(to be read out loud
as fast as you can)

Pack a Day 
Pack it up today 
Pack it in today
Soon as I was born 
I was puffin' away
I'd Inhalem...
Knocking down 
Like tombstones 
In a foot race with air
I didn't care...
can breathe when I'm dead... I can't
But that movie star 
president sold me 
When I was just three
Gave 'em as a Xmas present
Didn't even card me
Stole them from my folks 
for a smoke in the woods
And only YOU 
can prevent forest fires...
That Bear still scares 
The hell out of me
Everyone smelled like
A conflagration back then
When I was a
You need an extra lung
To smoke the extra longs  
You need an extra lung
To smoke the extra longs
You need an extra lung
To smoke the extra longs
Kool baby
Play it cool
Will that be a lung
Or a liver
Fight as you might
It still delivers
Is that what they call
A Lung Transplantation?
Uncle called for
Philip Morris
Right after they removed 
his kidney 
Somewhere R.J. Reynolds
Is laughing
Til he wets his pants...
It will persist
I will resist
I'm just one smoke away
From another pack a day
Just one smoke away 
another from ten thousand
Stitch my lips shut
Induce a coma
So I won't smell 
that tobaccaroma
Would you prefer 
(insert burst of smoker's hack)
...or menthol?

Rant by John Aaron

Is Your New Year's Resolution to Quit? A Primer...

Time to prep for 
a life of smokefree.

Memorize and repeat 
constantly through 
the month of January...

I Can Never Smoke 
Another Cigarette Again.

The Guardian: Anti-smoking Campaign Targets Roll-up cigarettes

Graphic Attack! 
Public Health 
England launches a
graphic anti-smoking 
campaign with TV 
and billboard ads, 
saying that rolling 
one's own can be 
worse than manu-
factured cigarettes. 
Rot and gore are 
prominently featured.

Without a filter, a 
cigarette is a much 
stronger experience... 
this current "roll your 
own" comes from a 
combination of two 
traditions- the pouch 
tobacco, one at a time 
practice of the 19th
century before the days
of the Bonsack rolling 
machine; and the more
recent ritual of cleaning
and prepping marijuana 
for consumption.
Bonsack Rolling Machine courtesy

New Age attitude towards
the smoking of "healthy
and natural cigarettes" 
has also contributed to 
the practice, with young 
smokers imagining 
themselves as tribal 
shamans preparing the 
"medicine"- a delusional 
understanding of tobacco, 
at best...

The Guardian: UK Quit Smoking Campaign Targets Roll Up Cigarettes

Sunday, December 28, 2014, Food and Drug Administration, is the real government website; promotes e-cigs

Talk about a scary 
case of smoke and 
mirrors. The website
for the Food and 
Drug Administration
is (Follow the 
link at the bottom of 
this post.) Another 
is a "wellness" site 
suggesting "FDA"
credibility, but
whose advertising 
revenue is derived by
prominently promoting 
e-cigarettes. While they 
state that they are not 
connected to the FDA 
in their disclaimer, 
there is no reason the 
site should be called
This is misleading...
and it infers that the 
real FDA endorses the 
use of electronic cigarettes.

The authentic 
government website is This is the real govt. site.

This is NOT a New Year's Resolution...

Quit...DON'T Switch...!
This was Big Tobacco's 
idea of a resolution in 
1939. Gone With Your
Wind. Give a damn.
For your own good 
and your loved ones-

Saturday, December 27, 2014

FDA TV ad: The Illusion of Control- Teen Smoking

Check out the FDA 
ad, The Illusion of 
Control. These new 
ads get to the heart 
of the matter about 
teenage smoking...
Note to teen smokers:
what these ads say is 
totally true. 
This ain't hype.
To see the ad, click 
the yellow link...
FDA TV ad: The Real Cost- The Contract

The Real Cost: 7000 Chemicals- Anti-Smoking TV Ad (FDA)

RTS totally endorses 
the new ads from the 
FDA called The Real
Cost, especially the 
most recent ads that 
can be seen on tv this 
season. The one here, 
(an RTS favorite) feels 
like a scorched lung 
moment from Michael 
Jackson's Thriller...
FDA: The Real Cost- 7000 Chemicals are coming for you...

Thursday, December 25, 2014

At the end of the day...

Somebody's tired 
of being a caring, 
responsible guy...
Don't try this at home...

May your Christmas be colorful, joyous and smoke free...

NY Times: Race to Deliver Nicotine's Punch with Less Risk...

Scientists at Philip 
Morris and other 
tobacco companies 
are hustling to come 
up with safer, more 
efficient ways to 
deliver nicotine to                                           the world's nicotine 
addicts. Must read
article for the NY 
Times by Barry Meier.
MSN/NY TIMES: Race to Deliver Nicotine's Punch with Less Risk 

Santa's been working overtime...a self portrait by Flip Cassidy

One heck of a selfie 
by Flip Cassidy...

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The term HACK outside of the technical world....

When I was a young 
smoker in my teens 
& twenties, I would 
smoke so much in the 
course of a late night, 
the next day would 
feel as though the air 
had been sucked out 
of my lungs & replaced 
with weird junk. I'd be 
coughing most of the 
day. That condition was 
known as Smoker's Hack.
It was the first time I
heard the word applied.
Doctors used this term 
to discuss the respiratory 
issues with their patients. 

Now the term hack 
means something 
completely different.

BBC: Three E-Cigarette Ads pulled from TV....

More trouble for 
e-cigarettes, this 
time in Great Britain.
The Advertising 
Standards Authority 
has pulled three ads 
from television after
complaints from the 
public and organis-
ations like Ash and 
the BMA that the ads 
were glamorising the 
habit of smoking as 
well as targeting non-
smokers/vapers to 
take up their products.
For more details,
click the link below...
BBC News: Three E-Cig TV advertisements banned

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

I guess if you're old enough...but he grew up way too fast...

Ahmed, a 7 year old Syrian 
rebel, stands guard... 
don't imagine he's much
concerned with the 
health effects of smoking...
May Peace prevail 
these Holidays...
7 Year Old Syrian Rebel

It's a wonder that, with all that partying, any of my generation came out okay...

This reminds me of 
Betty in Madmen...

Mom drank and smoked
while she was pregnant. 
Makes me wonder if 
a) I was drunk in the womb;
b) that is where I got my 
early penchant for smoking...
(with thanks to George Takei for posting this image on FB)
(grainy screen shot...)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Friday, December 19, 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Romancing The Smoke: The very beginning...

I was just a little 
buckaroo when 
they first invited 
me to Marlboro 
Country. I loved 
being a cowboy, 
and smoking fit
right in with ridin', 
ropin' and wranglin'. 
But once I got to
where the flavor 
was, it would take
me four decades to
find a trail out of 
Nicotine Canyon.
They told me I had 
lungs like leather 
and I could smoke
a pack a day forever. 
I finally ran out of 
reasons to smoke...
when I ran out of air...
- opening, Chapter 1, 
Romancing The Smoke...

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

How they got young folks to smoke: Part 1

from a German postcard 
from WWI which read, 
"He is verily not a brave 
man, if he cannot stand 

For the Holidays...Chesterfield had your lungs in mind...

Chesterfield and the 
other cigarette brands 
always seemed to 
have some thoughtful 
approach to habit-
forming gift giving...
From movie stars and 
fashion to Santa giving 
them out for the War 
Effort... here are a few
from way back when...

BBC: Smoking Ban in Cars with Children will begin October '15

Nick Triggle reports 
for the BBC on the 
upcoming ban in 
England on smoking 
in cars when children 
are present.

Both my parents lit up

constantly while I was 
in the back seat, and 
closed the windows so 
they could turn on the 
air conditioning...when
I opened the window to
get fresh air, they'd bark 
at me, "Roll that up! 
Don't you see we have 
the air conditioning on?"
It was like sitting in a 
smoldering fireplace... 
in those days, no one 
had a clue...
BBC: Smoking Ban In Cars With Children to Start in October '15

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 Smoking doubles mortality risk for patents during HIV therapy

Michael Carter reports 
for that 
smoking doubles the 
risk of death for patients 
in HIV therapy and can 
decrease the lifespan of 
a smoker with HIV some 
eight years, regardless 
of treatment...
Smoking doubles mortality risk for patients during HIV therapy

More US kids are using e cigarettes than smoking tobacco...

This article by AP's
Lauran Neergaard
reports on the survey
that shows that while 
teen cigarette use is 
reaching all time lows, 
teen vaping is attaining 
startling new highs...
Teen use of e cigarettes
has tripled since 2011; 
and 4-7% of teens who 
have never tried a regular
cigarette have tried e cigs.
Star Tribune: More teens use e cigs than the real thing...

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Addiction, Life and Death Explored- Alan Watts

Kristen Cowart outlines
this teaching by Alan 
Watts as he talks about
Addiction, Life and Death.
Hear the audio at this link.
The Spirit Science: Addiction, Life and Death Explored -Alan Watts

Romancing The Smoke accepted into prestigious clinical library...

Incredibly exciting news! 

The Joseph Campbell 
Library at Pacifica University 
has just accepted my book, 
Romancing The Smoke: 
Reflections of a Nicotine 
Addict, into their collection 
and is cataloging it today! 
What a honor!

This is the story of how I quit smoking...

It's that time of year 
again to assess how 
we can change for the 
better in the coming 
year. I offer the story 
of how I quit smoking 
and learned to breathe
AGAIN. It works. If 
you or a loved one are 
feeling trapped by the 
habit...reading this 
may help a smoker to 
find their way out of 
Nicotine Canyon... 
John Aaron's Romancing The Smoke on Amazon

Yale News: Smoking lights up brain responses differently in men and women

Article by Daniel Jones;
the study by the Yale 
Cancer Center was 
published in the Journal 
of Neuroscience found 
that when one smokes, 
the dopamine release 
happens more strongly 
in the region of the brain 
critical for habit form-
ation in men than it 
does in women.
For what that means, 
check the link below...

Yale News: Smoking Creates Different Response in the Brains of Men and Women

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Life imitates art....

Something creepy in 
the similarities...

NY Daily News: Smoking May Increase Menstrual Pain...

This article from Reuters 
and published by the 
NY Daily News cites 
research that suggests 
that the amount of 
smoking a woman does 
may be related to the 
amount of menstrual pain 
she suffers.The research 
was done at the Univ. of 
Queensland in a study of 
more than 9,000 Australian 
women smokers and non-
smokers over a period of 
13 years.
NY Daily News: Does Smoking Increase Menstrual Pain?
Photo courtesy 4 to 40

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

NZ Herald: 10 Years later-Why More Maori Smoke

Martin Johnson and 
Harkanwal Singh
investigate why, ten 
years after the NZ 
smoking ban, more 
Maori, the country's 
indigenous people, 
smoke than when the 
ban first went into effect.

New Zealand Herald: Smoking Ban 10 Years On: Why More Maori Smoke

Monday, December 8, 2014

Feds to ban smoking in prisons

Courtesy The Shawshank Redemption

Seriously? Isn't 
prison bad enough?
Convicts can't smoke?
For health reasons?
That's sort of like 
alcohol swabbing 
the guy's arm just 
before lethal injection.
Just how many of 
these guys want to
get healthy so that
they prolong their 
life terms? WTF? Look 
for some disciplinary 
issues in the prison 
system come early next 
year. Where's Chris Rock 
when we need him?
The Hill: Feds Ban Smoking In Prisons

To honor John Lennon...34 years ago...

The Imagine Peace 
Light Tower, Iceland-
Yoko Ono turns it on 
October 9, John's 
birthday and off Dec 8, 
 the day he went away...

Copyrights to these photos are owned and retained by the photographers.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Full Moon Meditation...breathe and be smokefree...

It is called the 
Cold Moon...
Gaze upon it 
tonight and take 
10 very deep breaths...
give your lungs the 
fresh air they need...

Businessweek: S. Korea tries taxing smoking into oblivion...

On the heels of 
China's sweeping 
smoking ban, South 
Korea is implement-
ing its own method to 
discourage smoking 
with a cigarette tax 
which will nearly double 
the price of a pack of 
cigarettes to 4,500 won, 
or $4.05 US. It is 
predicted that smoking 
rates will drop 20% 
from this tax. Bruce 
Einhorn reports.

Businessweek: S. Korea tries taxing smoking into oblivion

NBC: Y Quit? Smoking Destroys Y Chromosomes

NBC reports on 
Finnish research, 
published in the 
journal Science 
that points to smoking 
as the cause that 
destroys the Y 
Chromosome in men.
Quitting seems to get 
it to return....hmmm....
NBCNews: Y Quit? Smoking Destroys Y Chromosomes

Ian Fleming, author

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Folha de S. Paulo: Nationwide Smoking BanTakes Effect in Brazil

Thank you to the 
Campaign for 
Tobacco Free Kids 
for reporting on 
Brazil's nationwide 
smoking ban detailed 
in the link below. 
Three years in coming, 
the law mandates 
smoking bans for all 
enclosed spaces open 
to the public as well 
as other changes to 
make tobacco less 
accessible or attractive. 
Article by Natalia 
Cancian for Fohla de
S. Paulo...
Brazil's Nationwide Smoking Ban Enters In Force

When it comes to civil liberties, this fellow will make an eloquent lawyer...

In the argument 
for university 
campuses being 
smokefree, Ian 
Martin, who writes 
for the Michigan 
State News, argues 
the point of personal 
freedom to decide 
most eloquently. 
I'm not saying I 
agree with him...
but I understand...
The State News: Smoking Is A Basic Right, Banned or Not...

A little encouragement for New Years...

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Statement: E-Cigarettes and Cancer Patients

The leadership of the 
International Association 
for the Study of Lung 
Cancer asked the 
Tobacco Control and 
Smoking Cessation 
Committee to formulate 
a statement on the use 
of e-cigarettes by cancer 
patients to help guide 
clinical practice. 
This link is the statement.
Very important read.
Thank you to @Wdekanter.
Tobacco Control and Smoking Cessation Committee: E-Cigarettes and Cancer Patients

Monday, December 1, 2014

A bad habit...We'll have nun of that...

Lovable Smoking Traveler's Pet...

What a way to entertain 
the kids on a long drive. 
Give 'em Yogi Bear and 
Huckleberry Hound and
a bundle of hand rolled 
spiffs to teach the young-
sters how to smoke and 
play with fire. These were 
actual toys when I was a kid. 
It was all part of the ploy 
to encourage us to think
smoking was fun...
Courtesy of David Murphey