Saturday, February 28, 2015

From Memory: Dad in 1969...

I did this painting from 
memory of my dad when 
he smoked. He lost some 
of his nose and cheek to 
skin cancer. The big C
overwhelmed him and 
he died in 1972. This 
piece took me all month 
to get up the courage to 
finish it today.

WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control turns 10...

The WHO Framework 
Convention on Tobacco 
Control (FCTC) celebrates 
ten years of fighting
for a healthier world 
without tobacco.
The Bloomberg Initiative
to Reduce Tobacco Use
is a big supporter of WHO.
WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Cold Turkey Is NOT What's For Lunch...

Cold turkey is not a luncheon
alternative on a hot day. It is
a definitive approach to quitting
an addiction. It is cold, callous,
uncomfortable & usually makes
a person doing it a real joy to be
around. Depending upon the
intensity of the craving, and the
damage it may have done, anyone
trying to quit smoking, drinking,
drugs, food, gambling or any
other severe habit will find them-
selves with a number of options
for treatment. With smoking,
there are pills, nicotine patches
& gum, hypnotherapy &
recovery programs available.
What most of these treatments
fail to take into account is that
the availability of tobacco is
ubiquitous- somewhat different
than, say heroin, that's illegal,
which must be methodically
located, though once one is
hooked, the dealer is never far
away. Once, during one of
my myriad attempts to quit
smoking, my journey to work
required that I pass no less
than 40 convenience stores
& tobacco shops.
To quit tobacco, smokers face
three tremendous challenges-
1) cigarettes are everywhere;
2) even when one is quitting,
one is still expected to go out
in public, something heroin
addicts in withdrawal are not
encouraged to do; and
3) even though nicotine addiction
is considered to be more difficult
to kick than heroin, being a smoker
in public is somewhat still acceptable
(though that is rapidly changing).
It still operates as a social function;
whereas shooting up is not a party
one holds at the outdoor cafe.

I have tried all of these methods
to quit. Only one worked.
Cold Turkey.
I bucked up, shut up and hid in my
studio for a week, throwing tantrum
after tantrum, sleepless, angry,
scared, rationalizing, bargaining,
praying that the physical pain and
mental anguish would subside and
my need to smoke would die its own
slow death.......that week it did.
It's been four and a half years now.

My book, Romancing The Smoke:
Reflections of a Nicotine Addict
chronicles this story & the conditions
of Withdrawal that a smoker faces
when the decision is made to quit.

Don't be chicken. Go Cold Turkey.
Your life will thank you.


Wash Post: The Terrifying Rate That Smokers Die From Smoking

This came out today in 
the Washington Post. 
This article by Danielle 
Paquette reiterates what 
researchers from other 
countries have been 
saying for a while. This 
article is a synopsis of 
the last couple of weeks 
of news about smoking. 
Decent summation.
Count on RTS to bring 
the story and source the 
day it breaks...
WashPost: The Terrifying Rate That Smokers Die From Smoking...

By any other name...

Drove by this the 
other day. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

NBC News: Tobacco Companies Settle Lawsuits for $100 M

Lawyers for the plaintiffs 
announced today that RJ 
Reynolds, Lorillard, and 
Altria' Group's Philip 
Morris USA have agreed 
to pay $100M to settle 
hundreds of federal 
lawsuits over smoking.
Seems like they may have 
gotten off fairly easily,
all things considered....
NBC News: Tobacco Companies Settle Lawsuits for $100 Million

Happy Birthday, George...

Happy Birthday George.  
You were my fave. 
Sure wish you'd stopped
smoking and stuck 
around longer.
You are missed.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

YAHOO: Tobacco Giants Resist Harsh Public Admissions

As the article opens with 
"Never underestimate 
the staying power of Big 
Tobacco..." In 2007, the 
Tobacco giants were 
ordered to create and 
publish ads that admitted
that they lied about the 
dangers of tobacco. These 
so called "Corrective 
Statements" are to appear 
in print, on TV, on websites
and in cigarette packs.
Big Tobacco is back in court
to fight this admission of guilt.
The preamble to the ads are to 
say a "federal court has ruled 
that Altria, R.J. Reynolds 
Tobacco, Lorillard & Philip 
Morris USA deliberately 
deceived the American public."
Remember, those guys have 
never been in it for our health...
This article is by Pete Yost.
YAHOO: Tobacco Giants Resist Harsh Public Admissions

Huff Post: The Real Cause of Addiction by Johann Hari

Johann Hari points out 
that the real cause of 
Addiction is maybe not 
what we think it is.
Perhaps addiction has 
a lot to do with the ability
to socially interact. Made
RTS rethink the idea.
Thanks to Buddy Wilds
for bringing this article 
to our attention. Hari, The Real Cause of Addiction

Tuesday, February 17, 2015 Five more diseases attributed to smoking...

 A dangerous collection 
of five new diseases 
reportedly stem from 
smoking and the annual 
figures from those diseases
are said to increase the 
annual death toll in the US
to almost 585,000, up from
the 480,000 figure of the 
past couple of years. When 
I wrote the book, the figure
was 440,000 in 2012. We are 
experiencing an increase in 
tobacco-related deaths globally
maybe because we're finally 
getting it...too late?
The Daily Mail's Lizzie Parry
reports... Several new diseases are now attributed to smoking, bringing the total to 26...

NY Times: The Smoking Toll Gets Much Worse...

This piece by the NY 
Times Editorial Board
shows that we are not 
really doing what it takes 
to bring the epidemic of 
smoking under control. 
RTS reported on the new 
article in the New England 
Journal of Medicine
in our 2/12/15 post from
the link to the article from
MSN/LA Times. This review
suggests we still have a long 
ways to go...
NY Times Sunday Review: The Smoking Toll Gets Much Worse...

Monday, February 16, 2015

John Oliver's take on Big Tobacco on Last Week Tonight

John Oliver takes 
on Big Tobacco on 
Last Week Tonight 
with one of the most
thoroughly humorous 
and truthful blasts 
on smoking we've ever
seen...this is your 
chance to meet John's 
new Tobacco Mascot 
for Phillip Morris 
Jeff The Diseased Lung.
#jeffwecan #johnoliver
Thank you to Campaign
For Tobacco Free Kids for
sharing this with us...
John Oliver: Tobacco

Friday, February 13, 2015

Raw Story: ISIS is beheading people for smoking now....

Morgan Winsor reports 
(with permission from the 
International Business 
Times) that ISIS has 
proclaimed cigarette
smoking a vice that is 
now punishable by death.
They're destroying all 
cigarettes they find...
The terror group's severe
interpretation of Sharia Law
declares the tobacco habit 
"a slow suicide" and has 
begun to enforce the harsh
restriction in parts of Syria
and Iraq. The full story here...
Raw Story: ISIS is beheading people just for smoking now...

Thursday, February 12, 2015

MSN/LA Times: Smoking Is Even Deadlier Than You Think...

Karen Kaplan reports 
for the LA Times on 
the updated smoking
statistics that are even 
more cringeworthy than 
we thought...the findings, 
published in the New 
England Journal of Medicine
suggest that a more accurate 
figure for the annual death 
toll in America from smoking 
is closer to 585,000...
Reaper Comes to Visit by John Aaron

MSN/LA TImes: Cigarette Smoking is Deadlier Than You Think...

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Start me up, and once I start I'll never stop....

The Elders have been 
around long enough to 
know better. Certain 
habits, though, are 
almost impossible to 
give up if one does them 
all their lives. Listen to 
his music, but don't 
emulate his habits... 
And don't ask us who 
he is...Because if you 
don't know, then please 
don't say you know music.
And you know, there's 
nothing more uncool than 
an old guy smoking...

Friday, February 6, 2015

Adweek: Truth's Tinder Themed Anti-Smoking Ad/Rap by 72 and Sunny...

Gabriel Beltrone reports 
on the new TRUTH ad 
by 72 and Sunny.
"Left Swipe Dat" shows
YouTube stars Becky G,
Fifth Harmony and young 
eligibles deciding not to 
date someone based on 
their profile pix on Tinder
that show them smoking...
This is very clever piece...
Adweek: New TRUTH'S Tinder based ad/rap gives Youth great reasons not to smoke..

Left Swipe Dat for TRUTH by 72 and Sunny

Incredible News About Romancing The Smoke...

Incredible news about 
Romancing The Smoke...
The book and the blog 
are transforming...
We'll let the cat out of 
the bag on the first day 
of Spring! Stay tuned....

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Boulder Daily Camera: City Council Expands Public Smoking Ban...

Boulder, Colorado, a place 
quite near and dear to me,
has expanded the public 
smoking ban to include 
e-cigarettes. You used to be 
able to smoke on Pearl St.
and in all the bars...hey,
it's the 21st century...
Boulder Daily Camera: City Council Increases Public Smoking Ban...

World Cancer Day: 6 ways to minimize your risk...

NDTV Food honors 
World Cancer Day, 
February 4th, 2015
with Dr. Shikha Sharma's 
article on how to reduce
our risk for cancer...
6 ways reduce the risk of cancer
Courtesy Getty Images

Monday, February 2, 2015

Bill Would Raise the Smoking Age to 21 in California

Senate Bill 151 would 
raise the smoking age 
in the State of California 
to 21. State Senator Ed 
Hernandez introduced 
the bill.
Knowing what I know,
we would be better served 
if the age were raised to 56.
Jessica Chasmar reports...
Washington Times: Bill Would Raise Smoking Age to 21 in California