Thursday, April 30, 2015

Boston Globe: Story-The Plight of the Smoking Man by Michael Keough

This story by Peter Keough,
the Globe correspondent, 
shows how a person finds 
him or herself on the other
side of the smoking argument, 
once he or she quits tobacco.
Things a smoker diminishes 
and ignores; the same things
a non-smoker abhors.
Boston Globe: The Plight of The Smoking Man by Peter Keough
For the Globe by Christoph Hitz

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

From our friends the Fins: Tobacco Body...

From the Finnish government's 
research on the effects of tobacco 
on the human body...
a RTS favorite scientific favorite...
how smoking alters your body...
Tobacco Body: A study from Finland

What we didn't see about Mona...

Ruth Rguez may be the artist 
responsible for this hilarious 
send up of Mona on break...
(and we thought she was a model subject...)

The Guardian: Where in the world's major cities can a smoker still smoke?

A little black lung humor from  
the Guardian's Leo Benedictus. 
There are certain bars where
a smoker can still puff away.
An important guide for the 
global smoker who has no 
intention of quitting...yet...
the options grow fewer...
The Guardian: Where in the world's major cities can a smoker still smoke?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

George VI should be on British cigarette packs to remind smokers he died from smoking?

The Guardian reports that
King George VI, who died
from complications from
smoking at age 56 in 1952, 
should serve as the graphic 
on plain packaging to remind 
people that even their King fell
victim to the addiction. George VI 
was portrayed in  the film "The 
King's Speech" and was a heavy 
smoker. He died of coronary 
thrombosis. Which image works 
best on a pack?
Matthew Weaver reports.
The Guardian: King George VI's image on cigarette packs would be a smoking deterrent...

Sunday, April 26, 2015

MSN Health: 10 things never to say to someone with cancer....

It's always so hard to know 
what to say to a loved one 
when they discover that they 
have cancer. We often think
we know how to sympathize 
and empathize with what 
someone is going through; 
yet everyone's experience in 
battling cancer is different.
Conversation can be awkward.
This guide by MSN Health
helps rethink what is most 
appropriate to say under 
the various circumstances 
and suggests ways to approach
your loved one/dear friend to
best support them during these
difficult times.
MSN Health: 10 things to never say to someone with cancer
Blend Images/Getty Images

Mad Men: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (Season One, first episode...)

As the celebrated series Mad Men 
winds up its seven year run on 
AMC as one of television's most 
popular and award winning shows, 
RTS shares the first episode of this 
epic program, that, not surprisingly, 
was about the firm's efforts to win 
the advertising account of a major
brand of cigarettes at a time when
smoking was first recognized as a 
serious health issue by the medical 
profession. This show presented the
cavalier nature of the habit like 
none other on tv.
Mad Men: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (Season 1; First episode)

Smokeless tobacco now banned at ATT Park, San Francisco

ATT Park just got a little 
cleaner thanks to the new 
smokeless tobacco ban...
it's up to Mayor Ed Lee
to sign it into law to be the 
first ballpark in the country 
to ban all forms of tobacco...
Article by Diane Depra...
Tech Times: Chewing tobacco now banned in San Francisco Giants baseball stadium

Friday, April 24, 2015

Thursday, April 23, 2015

NY Times Op-Ed: It's time to regulate E-cigarettes...

This Op-Ed for the Times,
co-authored by David A. 
Kessler, who was the 
Commissioner of the FDA 
from 1990-97 and Matthew 
L. Myers, President of the 
Campaign for Tobacco-Free 
Kids, says exactly what needs 
to be said and done about the 
regulation of e-cigarettes and vaping...
NY Times Op-Ed: It's time to regulate e-cigarettes...

The Guardian: Cloud chasing- vaping is now a competitive sport...

The Guardian's Gavin 
Haynes reports on the 
new sport, Cloud Chasing.
It's the sport of vapers 
who try to outdo others 
with the size of cloud 
they exhale from their
devices. Also called 
plooming. It's now actual
competition complete 
with cash prizes...the fact 
that folks "train" for this 
will always be beyond us...
The Guardian: Daft Vapers: E-cigarette smoking now a competitive sport...
photo: Justin Sullivan

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day...Deepwater Horizon...Five years....

Watchdog Deepwater Horizon (2010)
John Aaron, artist
maybe because Big Oil and Big Tobacco are alot alike...
(and I smoked at the time I painted this...)

Remembering Earth Day: Watch the Great Invisible at

To honor Earth Day, RTS
recommends the award 
winning documentary film,
The Great Invisible, produced 
& directed by Margaret Brown 
& presented by Independent Lens
about the Deepwater Horizon 
oil platform disaster of 2010 
that killed 11 people in the Gulf 
of Mexico, ruining a regional 
economy while devastating a 
thousand miles of wetlands and 
coastline in the largest oil spill 
ever. It also shows the reckless 
lack of corporate responsibilty 
or preparedness when confronted 
with their own catastrophic disasters.
PBS and Independent Lens aired 
this film April 20, 2015.

On a day when we are reminded 
about the importance of taking 
care & responsibility of this planet,
I spent some time learning about
the magnitude of danger inherent 
in Mankind's quest for fossil fuel.
A sobering look at Earth Day; 
I live near the beaches that met 
similar fates in 1969 in Santa Barbara.
This video is available here (I think) 
through May 2015. It's a must see. The Great Invisible; produced and directed by Margaret Brown
Painted the day after; Watchdog: Deepwater Horizon-detail  (2010) 

NYTimes: New Orleans' Bars Issue Last Call For Smoking

At midnight last night in 
New Orleans, bar owners 
collected up all the ashtrays
and told their customers that 
the citywide No Smoking ban 
in bars in now in effect. 
Pictured is the Kingpin Bar 
just before midnight.
This is a big change for the 
Big Easy. 
Campbell Robertson reports.
NYTimes: New Orleans' Bars Issue Last Call For Smoking

Aspen Daily News: Smoking to be banned on all Aspen Hospital grounds...

Colorado's Pitkin County 
Supervisors are set to ban 
all smoking on the campus 
of the Aspen Hospital. Set 
to take effect Sept. 1, it also 
covers all employee housing, 
the Basalt and Snowmass 
Village clinics as well as the 
hospital director's home.
Collin Szewczyk reports.
Aspen Daily News: Tobacco and smoking ban on Hospital campus wide-ranging

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

CNN: The discreet way to get high: The rise of the e-joint...

The newest trend in legal 
marketplaces of marijuana 
is the E-Joint, the offshoot 
of the e-cigarette, and the 
descendant of the portable
cannabis concert carburetor
of the 60's and 70's.. 

It's looking like Millennials
prefer the tech versions of 
both nicotine and THC
consumption through some 
sort of ISmoke device. This 
video by CNN explains the 
new trend in pot smoking.
This video focuses on the 
popular Juju Joints brand
made in Washington state.

This also signals the demise
of the traditional rituals of 
marijuana preparation and 
use, and the new attitude of
all things efficient, discreet
and tech oriented.

Marijuana has always been 
an herb important for its taste, 
feel and smell.  These things
are becoming unimportant 
to today's young hipsters.  

Back in the day, a badge of 
honor was rolling a good joint. 
If someone couldn't role a joint, 
that person was suspected of 
not being cool. 

That will always be true. E-cigarettes give rise to the E-Joint; Millennials can't get enough...

Reuters: Type, frequency of e cig device is linked to quitting smoking

Kate Kelland reports for 
Reuters that the type of 
electronic vaping device 
one uses to quit smoking 
matters. A pair of studies
conducted in the U.K. by 
the Institute of Psychiatry,
Psychology & Neuroscience
at King's College London 
found that the "tank" models 
may be more effective than
the "cigalikes" for tobacco
smokers trying to quit. More 
than 1,500 smokers were 
included in the studies 
conducted over a two year period.
The studies were published in 
the journal Addiction and 
Nicotine & Tobacco.
Reuters: Type, frequency of e cigarette use linked to quitting smoking
Photo: Phil Noble/Reuters

In this blog, a picture is worth a thousand words...

New painting...

Monday, April 20, 2015

What would Jesus say to the Tobacco companies?

To follow up on this morning's
post, about the Tobacco industry
claiming muslim countries' 
smoking bans are due to radical 
just think if Big Tobacco had 
the audacity to suggest that
America's changing attitude
about smoking was due to
fundamentalist Christian anti- 
smoking mentality and morality.
Suggesting that anyone who 
doesn't like smoking holds some
set of beliefs or values that is
akin to radical fundmentalism?
Nobody spins bullshit like Tobacco...

Big Tobacco tried to undermine muslim countries' smoking bans

Sarah Boseley reports for 
the Guardian that Big 
Tobacco made a lot of effort 
to undermine and challenge
moral standards held by 
muslim countries when it 
came to smoking. From the 
70s through the 90s, they  
framed opposition to smoking 
in numerous countries as 
radical muslim fundamentalism.
Once again, the Tobacco 
Industry turned a smoke-
blinded eye to common sense... Tobacco firms tried to undermine muslim countries smoking bans

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Try Not To Smoke, Okay?

Try not to smoke, okay?
This is a portrait of my 
old buddy Arnie, who 
smoked too much and 
collapsed with a cigarette 
in his hand. He left too soon.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Know the math: Crucial mindset to stay smoke free once one quits...

For years, I would justify 
going back to smoking 
by saying to myself, 
"I'll just have one more..."
then return to the habit
that had wiped out much 
of my family. It was only 
when I admitted that it
wasn't "just one more..."
own the fact that it was 
ten thousand more...and
once I visualized what 
10,000 cigarettes actually  
looked like, I quit for good.

10,000 cigarettes is...
50 cartons, which is about
3,850 cubic inches, which
is more than 2 cubic feet 
of cigarettes. That's a box
more than 12"x 12"x 24".

Smokable tobacco-
assuming 2.0"/cigarette
20,000 inches or 1,667 ft.
Almost a quarter mile
of tobacco. At a pack a 
day, it will take only 16 
months to smoke that 
much. When viewed in 
this manner, that only 
one more cigarette 
looks too vast to 
see beyond. 

Do the math. It will 
make quitting for good 
a lot easier...

Friday, April 17, 2015

National Cancer Comprehension Network: New Guidelines for Smoking Cessation

These guidelines were presented 
March 20, 2015 at the NCCN 20th 
Annual Conference: Advancing
the Standard of Cancer Care 
in Hollywood, FL. This is about
the treatment of smokers who 
have been diagnosed with cancer.
Very important medical guidelines.
National Cancer Comprehension Network-New Guidelines for Smoking Cessation

WebMD: Study finds that E-cigarettes may not help smokers quit tobacco...

From a study by the UCSD
School of Medicine, led by 
Dr. Wael Al-Delaimy, chief 
of the division of global 
public health, and published
this week in the American
Journal of Public Health,
this article by Robert Preidt
points out that "much of the
knowledge gap about electronic
cigarettes is being filled in large 
part by e-cig industry advertising
rather than scientific information."
It is heartening to see this article.
The e-cig industry keeps trying 
to claim miracle-working and 
safety as features of their products.
Still waiting for the proof...
Note to vapers: this is not a picture 
that gets your point across... e-cigarettes-may-not-help-smokers-quit-tobacco-study-finds

To stay Smoke-Free, repeat as needed...

A mantra to reinforce 
your Smokefree-ness...
click on it; read out loud...

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Adult flavors for vaping...

These flavors are so grown 
up, don't you think? How
could they possibly appeal 
to young folks?

Amazing Artist: Alex Gross-Portrait of Tslil Tsemet, "Chinese Wallpaper (Tslil)"

Alex Gross, Artist
"Chinese Wallpaper (Tslil)"
Oil on canvas; on view at 
Koplin Del Rio Gallery,
Culver City, CA through May 23, 2015
artwork copyright Alex Gross 
all rights reserved
Best looking painting of a smoker I've seen...

NBC News: E-cig use up, traditional smoking down amongst US youth..

Today's big health story 
on major American media.
Yup. Lollipop lollipop...
NBC News: E-cig use spikes as traditional cigarette use falls amongst US youth

Albawaba: Tobacco industries in the Middle East are spreading likecancer...

This article for Albawaba by
Kamilia Lahrichi explains the 
growing marketplace for 
tobacco in the Middle East
through vigorous Industry 
marketing to the youth
demographic.  Big Tobacco's 
term- "the replacements";
as smoking rates decline in 
developed countries and 
increase in the Middle East 
and Africa. The Tobacco 
Industry employs some of
the most intense predatory
marketing ever known to 
humanity, and less developed
countries are clearly being 
targeted. Especially youth.
Altering this is an extremely
difficult task... Tobacco industries in the Middle East are spreading cancer and here's why...

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

LA Times: New bills renew California's anti-smoking efforts

This LA Times article 
by Patrick McGreevy
talks about the state's 
efforts to hike the 
tobacco taxes and
raise the legal smoking
age in a sweeping
anti-smoking reboot 
for California. These 
efforts counter increased 
Big Tobacco political 
activity that increased
in the state from 2007-14.
With the second lowest
smoking rate in the US, 
fresh air is clearly a priority...
LA TIMES: New bills renew California's anti-smoking efforts
photo by John Aaron

Union Ledger: Op-ed about e-cigs by Dan Fortin of Breathe New Hampshire

Dan Fortin, Founder of 
Breathe New Hampshire,
wrote this op-ed in the 
Union Leader about his
concerns about electronic
cigarettes and their use by 
young folks in New Hampshire... Opinion: E-cigarettes are a genuine health concern for NH youth

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

WSJ-China Real Time: China to encourage social media to tattle onsmokers

Evidently China is planning 
on enlisting the populace to 
tell on smokers who break 
the upcoming smoking ban. 
Through the social messaging
app WeChat, the government
is encouraging people to post
information or imagery of 
violators of the law that 
takes effect June 1. This is 
not the first time the Chinese
government has asked the
people to self-police. Such
reporting was also prevalent
for much different reasons 
during the Cultural Revolution.
There is also a contest to see
which "No Smoking" hand 
gesture will be voted most 
popular to establish sign
language to encourage
nationwide smoking cessation.
WSJ: China Real Time-China turns to social media to help tattle on smokers

Monday, April 13, 2015

Curt Schilling's letter to his teenage self about chaw....

As a big baseball fan,
this letter to himself
by Hall of Fame pitcher
Curt Schilling about his
chewing tobacco use and
subsequent problems 
with mouth cancer should
be an eye opener for every 
young person who thinks
dipping is cool. No decent 
woman is ever going to 
want to kiss you...
Dudes. It's. Gross.
Jaime Uribarri of the 
New York Daily News 
reports on what Curt 
wrote to his 16 year old self.

Philip Morris is suing Uruguay over its anti-smoking campaign-an update

Hey, this is what the 
world has come to...
the bullies justify their 
right to beat up the 
little guys. Philip
Morris International is
suing Uruguay over its
successful anti-smoking 
campaign which includes
graphic & health warnings 
on cigarette packs that
cover 80% of the pack.
John Oliver's Last Week
Tonight has been following 
this David/Goliath battle 
and interjecting their new 
spokesperson, Jeff the 
Diseased Lung. Please see
our posts from 3/11 & 2/16
where John follows this
story. For Triple Pundit 
by Leon Kaye. Click on the
chart for the complete view. Philip Morris vs Uruguay lawsuit a threat to smoking restrictions worldwide

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Mad Men "New Business" episode-where'd all the smoking go?

Don Draper actually smoked
only one cigarette in Sunday's
episode of Mad Men. The celeb
photographer Pima, (played 
by Mimi Rogers) also had a 
cigarette; but the nicotine cloud
fest they had in the early days 
of the show has toned down 
quite a bit. Perhaps it had to do 
with the Surgeon General's 
1965 findings or todays FCC 
rulings that curtail and vilify
smoking on screen. It was a 
strange sort of refreshing and 
a long ways from when it began
with "Lucky's toasted!"

Just saying...if you're looking for the book....

Just in case you want 
to know the story behind
the story behind the blog 
and are wondering where 
you can find the book 
Romancing The Smoke, 
as a Kindle e-book
or in paperback...
Order Romancing The Smoke: Reflections of a Nicotine Addict by John Aaron from Amazon TODAY!

Clarion Ledger: New Orleans stands by smoking bans in casinos

As the public smoking ban 
approaches for the city of
New Orleans on April 22,
the city has decided that 
casinos are not getting a break.
Even though Harrah's has
complained that they will lose 
25% of their revenues from 
the ban, the City Council
refused the casino's request
to more time to prepare for 
the change. Looks like smoky
jazz clubs and gambling halls
are becoming extinct in 
N' Orleans... New Orleans stands by smoking bans in casinos

Saturday, April 11, 2015

RIP Bryan Florer, Light being and great photographer...

We learned today that a 
wonderful young man,
Bryan Florer, died last night
in a tragic car crash on 
Hwy 33.  A very talented
photographer, I met Bryan 
around the time my book
was coming out; and he was 
kind enough to photograph 
my Romancing The Smoke
art exhibition at Bohemia
Coffeehouse in Ojai.

Bryan was a kind soul, a 
bringer of light and a true 
creative. He had a special
ability to capture folks and 
their passion at their best.
RIP, man, and thanks.
So sad that it was way too soon...
Photo by Bryan Florer

They smoke alot northeast of Toronto, eh?

In the Durham region northeast 
of Toronto, smoking rates far 
exceed the Canadian national
average with neighbourhoods 
registering 24-34% of adults 
over eighteen smoke regularly.
Nationwide, roughly 16% of 
Canadians over sixteen smoke
(18% men, 14% women).
According to these findings,
they smoke an awful lot in
Oshawa. These places also
rank dreadfully high in rates  
of heart disease and stroke.
Time to send some cessation 
assistance their way. Hurry! The 10 durham region neighbourhoods with the highest smoking rates

Friday, April 10, 2015

Washington Blade: CDC brings back LGBT anti-smoking campaign.

The CDC has brought back its 
LGBT anti-smoking campaign
for the fourth time, putting 
more money and effort into it 
than ever before. As the LGBT
community pours almost $8 billion
into the tobacco industry, it's clear
it's a demographic whose business 
the industry cultivates. Surveys
indicate that the gay population
smokes almost 50% more than 
the straight population.
Washington Blade: CDC brings back gay anti-smoking campaign returns Russian activists want graphic warnings on cigarette packs to be changed to positive messages

Russian social activists are 
lobbying heavily to replace
gruesome graphic warnings
on cigarette packs with
positive reinforcement 
messages of encouragement.
The Russian Social Initiative
insists that positive messaging
will aid the motivation to quit.
Meanwhile, the Russian Health 
Ministry is preparing an even
more unsettling collection of 
visual warnings for packaging,
including corpses killed by fires
in their own apartments. While
at least 77 other countries 
including Australia and 
Uruguay have or will soon have 
graphic health warnings, Russia
seems to be escalating the
visual morbidity, "all the 
better to impact and convince
smokers to quit."
While it is not the usual practice 
of RTS to post visual scare
tactics, Russia has really gone
to great lengths to stub out the 
habit of nicotine addiction. Russian activists want graphic warnings on packs to be changed to positive reinforcement

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Grantland Feature: Flying From Cancer

When Daniel Rodriguez was 
diagnosed with colorectal cancer,
he decided to take to the skies 
and pursue his lifelong dream 
of BASE Jumping, skydiving 
and wingsuit flying.
A truly breathtaking story of 
courage against cancer, and
one that RTS wishes to share.
Thank you to 
for this...
Grantland Feature: Flying From Cancer