Monday, March 31, 2014

One Un-smoker's opinion of e cigarettes...

The battle rages about e cigarettes.
Clearly now that the Tobacco Industry 
has embraced this product, we can 
assume that they see it as the stopgap 
for the decreasing numbers of smokers 
now fascinated by the new tech toy 
that delivers nicotine. It keeps the 
gestures of the addiction to smoking 
firmly in place. It encourages the 
perpetuation of the habit.                 

Almost no regulation of the nicotine-
based product is in place; yet numerous 
big cities (Boston, Chicago, New York, 
L.A., etc.) have banned public e cig use 
in the same manner that tobacco 
products are banned. Many towns 
across the western world are following 
suit. Yet the companies and advocates 
who are promoting e cigs are quick to
claim that they must be okay and safe 
since over a million people are now 
using them. 

Is that like guns are safe because 
myriads of people shoot them?

There are wild claims that electronic 
cigarettes are helping millions of 
people to quit smoking. Using screen 
stars and rockers to swagger with an 
arrogance about the right to use just 
seems like a lot of folks are getting 
paid off to say all of this is okay. Just 
like 40's and 50's cigarette advertising. 
Try pressing any doctors who are vocal 
e cig proponents, and we may find that 
they are also financially invested in 
seeing this product succeed; those who 
are pushing what some might call 
"magical science". It's all part of the 
strategy to reframe and re-profitize 
"the habit". E cigarette lobbyists are 
particularly creepy in their cavalier
proselytizing. Like a Fox News smile.

Those who have argued the benefits 
and have attacked my opinion 
directly grow eerily silent when I 
ask them which e cigarette company 
they work for. I look forward to the 
day when I am invited to hold forth 
with my point of view on a world 
stage; but I doubt the Industry has 
the stomach for that sort of 

It's knowing that something's toxic, 
but seeing the fast money that stands 
to be made. 

In my research, which includes very 
little magical thinking, most of the 
electronic cigarette users I've spoken 
with also smoke tobacco...and are very 
touchy about being asked about this.
It's a 20 something hipster thing; yet
many flavors appeal to teens and
tweensThey discuss the "hipness" 
of the particular style, color and form 
of their e cigarettes and proclaim the 
product's safety, having not really 
researched it at all. Like their IPhone 
or Android, it's part of their "Tech 
Collection". They don't want to 
hear what's wrong with the picture.

I have a new name for an e cigarette 
brand. IMMORAL.
Because it's not about the truth; it's 
about telling you what you want to 
hear...because when it comes to
smoking, people are desperate to 
believe anything. We're safe!

Like I carrots, honey 
roasted peanuts, pistachios, crackers 
and cheese...break the bond...

After all...candy cigarettes ARE 
what all my buddies and I started on.

Now go outside and take a deep 
breath of fresh spring air...
repeat as necessary...

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Few things are better when signing up for health care...

Few things are better than when 
one applies for health coverage 
and can truly check that box that 
says, "Non-smoker"...

It took me almost 40 years for 
that to be a true statement...

Monday, March 24, 2014

Nicotine e-liquids are a dangerous health threat according to experts

And to think I got verbally blasted 
when I insisted that this stuff was 
both dangerous and addicting...

MSN: Nicotine e liquids a dangerous health threat says experts

NY Times: Smoking rates stay stubbornly high amongst the poor...

This article by Sabrina Tavernise 
and Robert Gebeloff points out the 
decrease of smoking rates in more 
affluent areas, while the rates in 
poorer communities remain much 
higher than the national average 
of 17.8% in adults. The days of 
cigarettes as fashion accessories 
are over.
NY Times: Smoking rates stay high amongst poor

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Washington Post: New secretive trade deal will help Big Tobacco infiltrate and expand into Asian markets

From Lydia DePillis of the 
Washington Post. I forgot to 
post this last fall. Tobacco still 
swings the most powerful deals.
It built America on the smoking
habit it created in Europe. In this 
case, always better late than never.
Washington Post: US doing secretive trade deal that will help Big Tobacco infiltrate, expand into more Asian markets

Artist Xu Bing's "1st Class"

Xu Bing- Artist
Photos by Michelle Aldredge
This piece is comprised of 
500,000 cigarettes; or two times
the amount I had smoked before 
quit four years ago.
Xu Bing Artwork: 1st Class

Friday, March 21, 2014

Creepiest boat in the water...

Is this a tobacco smuggling device?

Irish Times: All change in the Smoking Zone

From Kate Holmquist's article 
in the Irish Times about smoking 
in Ireland..."There was a rise in 
smoking among 15- to 17-year-
olds in 2013, to 13 per cent. 
Smoking is most common among 
young adults, reaching 31 % in 
the 18-24 age group and 28 % 
among 25- to 34-year-olds."
Irish Times: All change in the smoking zone

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Colorado is getting hipper by the day....

This article by Trevor Hughes explains 
how Colorado's new quit smoking App, 
Tobacco Quit & Save, helps someone 
trying to quit in a number of ways. 
It is the only state in the country to 
have a quit smoking app; and it 
follows on the heels of the state's
legalization of recreational marijuana 
sale and use. Colorado, if only your 
winters weren't
USA Today: Colorado's Quit Smoking App motivates, tracks savings

Monday, March 17, 2014

"House of Cards"- a smoke a night is all right?

No matter what efforts occur to reveal
smoking as the maleficent behavior it is, 
some media phenomenon will undermine
those efforts by reinforcing its "coolness".
House of Cards and the nightly cigarette 
are case in point. 
Washington Post: House of Cards Smoking Habits...

Sunday, March 16, 2014

ABC News: Senegal Bans Public Smoking, Advertising

In some of the harsher international 
laws governing smoking, Senegal's 
lawmakers unanimously passed 
bans against both smoking in public 
and advertising tobacco products.
BTW, Marlboro has priced their 
cigarettes at 79 cents/pack to counter 
the advertising ban...
ABC News: Senegal Bans Public Smoking

Saturday, March 15, 2014

To order your copy of Romancing The Smoke...

To order a Kindle or paperback 
copy of Romancing The Smoke:
Reflections of a Nicotine Addict 
for yourself or a loved one,
head to Amazon and order here:
Romancing The Smoke by John Aaron

Jersey Beaches Banning Smoking Up and Down the Shore

This article by Dan Radel shows the 
rising power of the anti-smoking 
coalition as it enforces the changes
in tobacco usage and awareness.
Most of the beaches in New Jersey
now have smoking bans in place.
Rewriting the rules and regs seem 
to be the way to change tobacco's 
place in the world...
USA Today: Jersey Shores snuffing out smoking

Sheldon with Amy's "Smoking" Capuchin Monkey

In the Big Bang Theory, Sheldon 
visits Amy Farrah Fowler's apartment 
and meets her smoking capuchin 
monkey. When Sheldon steps up
to study the capuchin's behavior, the 
primate sends a blast of "smoke" 
directly into the geek's face. 

Upon closer observation, the monkey is 
using an e cigarette, (the cigarette itself 
lacks smoke; and the opacity and 
thickness of the smoke stream indicates 
it's vapor. Guess the monkey is taking 
back its independence... and no animals 
were harmed in the making of this 
program... after all, e cigs are harmless...

At the end of the show when the monkey 
complains, Amy screams "they didn't 
have menthol! Get off my back!!!"

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Facebook Group: Romancing The Smoke

For those of you who like to wander 
the world of Facebook, this is the link 
to the RTS Facebook Group. 
Please join us...
Romancing The Smoke Facebook Group

Celebrities who (still) smoke

A collection of stars that does a bad job of hiding it....

Philip Morris: No ethics when it comes to getting young folks to smoke...

"Don't be a Maybe. Be Marlboro."
Guardian article by Sarah Boseley
The Guardian: Marlboro's marketing campaign is aimed at young people


In the U.K., today is 
Thank you to 
The British Heart Foundation...


Today is NO SMOKING DAY! (U.K.)

This article also provides links to 
help teach a smoke free lifestyle.
Article by Valerie Hannah

The Guardian: Today is No Smoking Day!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Rehoboth is last of Delaware boardwalks to ban smoking...

Delaware Online: Rehoboth is last of DE boardwalks to ban smoking

This is soooo attractive....

what about this is cool? 
Please someone tell me...

So this is how Tobacco companies market their new product...

 Real class.

WUSF: Putting e-cigs in the hands of kids...

The interview in this link is hosted 
byNPR's Renee Montagne with 
Jenny Lei Bolario in conjunction 
with Youth Radio. E cigarettes are 
capturing the attention of adolescents 
and teens who have never had a real 
cigarette, but already "love" vape 
flaves like "Gummi Bear" & "Bubble 
Gum." Many states still have no age 
limit for purchase. What have we done?
Health News Florida: Candy Flavors Put E-Cigarettes On Kids' Menu

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Take a moment to take a deep breath of fresh air....

Go on...go outside...
take a deep breath... 
feel the peace and calm
of healthy lungs...

Young e-cigarette users also smoke, study finds

This article by Sabrina Tavernise 
for the NY Times confirms what 
I first published in my book and 
my subsequent opinion that e-cigs 
were simply gong to help to keep 
the habit firmly in place, especially 
for young folks so addicted to 
technology. Tiring to have to have 
repeatedly said, "I told you so..." . 
The truth was screaming to be heard 
long before this study, Ms. Tavernise 
or I brought it to peoples' attention...
Photo: Chris Polydoroff

NY Times: Young e-cig smokers also smoke, study finds

It continues to amaze me...

...why the anti-smoking consortium 
wants to show those who are dying 
from smoking and the ugliness of 
the habit as cautionary tales, but 
don't have any use for those who 
have successfully battled the 
addiction and beat it. I have forty 
years of cautionary tales watching 
six family deaths from 3.5 million 
I'm the only one who got free.
Hey, I'm not talking out my tube here....

Really, FDA and CDC? 
This isn't a story worth telling?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

LA Times: LA approves sweeping e-cigarette restrictions

This article by David Zahniser shows
the trend of large American cities to 
press for strict e-cigarette regulation.
This was approved by a vote of 14-0.
An earlier RTS post today from the 
New York Times Editorial Board also 
points out Europe's growing mistrust 
of this, until now, unregulated nicotine 
delivery system and its out-of-control
marketing below....
LA Times: LA approves sweeping e-cig regulations

NPR: Vaping ads are making e cigs cool 4 kids

Really, this sort of ad is okay...?
This article is by one of my 
favorite reporters,
Debbie Elliot for NPR...
NPR: New ads will make vaping cool for kids... (Note: they already have...)

From the Editorial Board of the NY Times: Regulating E-Cigarettes


Seems the Europeans are on 
the right track...
NY Times: Regulation of E-Cigarettes

Monday, March 3, 2014

Chicago Tribune: Smoking makes the brain thinner

As if teenagers don't have 
enough going on in their heads...
This article by Kathryn Doyle, Reuters
Chicago Tribune: Smoking tied to changes in teen brains

Romancing The Smoke is available on Amazon...

...the first authentic commiseration 
with smokers about the addiction...
Romancing The Smoke: Paperback and Kindle on Amazon

Candy cigarettes! Wake the kids! Let's get started young!

Back in the day, children
played with candy cigarettes 
to act more grown up. It was 
not only acceptable; it was
encouraged. I started with 
these and bubble gum cigars... 
Preparation for the addiction. 
I smoked for real by the time 
I was ten.