Sunday, May 31, 2015

Friday, May 29, 2015

CNN: World No Tobacco Day is May 31

Meera Senthilingam reports 
for CNN about the World
Health Organization's World 
No Tobacco Day, May 31, 
and shares a list of ten great 
reasons to quit. WNTD also 
asks that you post your own
personal reason for quitting 
on Twitter using the hashtag 
CNN Health: Why you quit smoking...

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

NY Times Op-Ed: Smoking, Vaping & Nicotine by Joe Nocera

Joe Nocera reports on the 
efforts of Mitch Zeller, the 
Director of the Center for 
Tobacco Products, a division 
of the FDA. As Mitch quotes
Michael Russell, the South 
African tobacco scientist to 
first discovered that people 
became addicted to smoking 
because of the nicotine, Russell
said, "People smoke for the 
nicotine, but die from the tar..."
Zeller says that "there needs 
to be a rethink in society about
nicotine." Figuring out this 
reappraisal about nicotine is
Mitch Zeller's job. The dialogue
about nicotine expands....

NY Times Op-Ed: Smoking, Vaping & Nicotine by Joe Nocera
Photo courtesy the FDA

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Monday, May 25, 2015

May 25 is Buddha's birthday...

Today is the day many cultures
celebrate Buddha's birthday.
It may not be an occasion
folks celebrate where you live;
but in places like Hong Kong, 
it's a holiday.

It's a good day to meditate 
on the way your life opens up 
once you become smoke free.
The following paintings are 
meditations about fresh air, 
and doing the right thing 
for yourself and the world.

Monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery paint a Sand Mandala
at the Center for the Work, Ojai, CA , Vesak, 5/25/15   

Remembering Billy, who didn't make it out of Viet Nam...

A day to remember 
the sacrifices of loved 
ones and friends...

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Breathe easy this Memorial Day...

A safe smokefree 
Memorial Day 
weekend to you all...
you can breathe easy...
calm down and meditate...
May 25 is Vesak, Buddha's

Friday, May 22, 2015

Terminally hip....

I was so obsessed with being 
cool when I was young, this 
could have resulted in my 
succumbing to Terminal Hipness.
(and lung cancer and COPD)
I bailed out in the nick of time...
I'm not cool anymore...
just healthy.
Be cool this Memorial Day weekend. 
Don't smoke.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

CNN-Koval: Mad Men got the smoking issue right after all...

Robin Koval is CEO and 
President of Legacy, and was 
particularly observant of 
Mad Men's approach to 
smoking over the program's 
seven year run. Robin 
pointed out that Betty's 
diagnosis was revealed on 
Mother's Day, a particularly
poignant time to bring attention
to the hazards of cigarette smoking.
As Legacy is dedicated to ending
the tobacco epidemic in the US,
Ms. Koval said that Mad Men
brought the smoking issue full
circle, with Betty's cavalier 
resignation at her fate...
hard core smokers know when it's 
too late. The key is getting free 
before then. One of the lessons 
learned from one of television's
great period dramas.

CNN: Koval: Mad Men got the smoking issue right after all...

This is our coast...the infrastructure is washing ashore...

Photo courtesy KEYT News
The Santa Barbara coast is 
experiencing its second major 
oil spill. Think of having a quart 
of 10W-40 poured down your 
back while you surf...according 
to Ed Shultz, this pipeline was 
built in 1951. UPDATE: Just 
read that the pipeline was built 
in 1987. That didn't last long...
This is at Refugio State Beach, near 
Hwy 101. A favorite destination.
Especially for holiday weekends 
like Memorial Day, this weekend.

They say 105,000 gallons of oil 
are spreading down the coast.
Our shores are getting covered 
in tar for probably 50 miles to 
the south and east. The beaches of 
Goleta, Isla Vista, Santa Barbara, 
Montecito, Summerland, 
Carpinteria and maybe Ventura. 
We'll keep our readers posted.
I walk the beach almost every day. 
I saw a whale outside the 
breakwater two days ago. 
What is this going to do to 
them? The pictures coming in look 
worse and worse. Why is okay for 
the petroleum industry to destroy 
our shores and wetlands? This 
makes me ill; and it should you too.
Why did I bring this up in an
anti-smoking blog? Just last post,
we were speaking about TAR....
and now it stretches for ten
miles along our coastline...we
feel real sorry for the creatures
that live near or in the sea...

Huffington Post: Time to make the distinction between smoking and nicotine addiction...

Kate Kelland reports on this 
stunning take on differentiating 
between smoking and nicotine 
addiction perpetuated by 
nicotine replacement therapy.
Once smoking is removed from 
the equation, does nicotine have
a beneficial medicinal use in issues 
of Alzheimer's or dementia? 
This is the new topic for serious 
thought. It is some of what e-cigs 
claim makes them beneficial; and
that nicotine also works as a natural 
pesticide that's less dangerous that
the chemically formulated ones
requires a closer review as to the 
value of the substance. As the old 
saying goes, "The nicotine addicts 
you; but what kills you is the tar..." 
If not smoked, is nicotine so bad?
This article is a lot of food for thought...

Huffington Post: Smoking vs Nicotine Addiction- Time to make the distinction...
Courtesy of Jupiter Images

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Indy Star: Indiana Appeals Court to Hear Challenge to IndianapolisSmoking Ban...

This article by Jill Disis for
the Indy Star follows the 
challenge by two Indianapolis 
bars to strike down the 
citywide smoking ban because
it allows smoking in its only 
off track betting facility and 
prohibits it in bars that don't 
offer gambling.

It's okay to smoke in a gambling 
facility, but not in regular bars;
so two bar owners are going after 
the law to get smoking allowed 
once again since the 2012 
smoking ban went into effect.

Seeing that Indiana has one of,
if not the highest, smoking rate 
of any state in the US, it might be 
suggested that the state needs to 
get a grip about maintaining a 
stance that perpetuates and 
encourages this habit. Get with 
the program Indiana. You're 
sounding a little too Big Tobacco 
for us. Oh, that's right, you grow 
alot of the stuff, don't you...?
You give new meaning to the 
motto, "Smoke free or die..."

Indy Star: Indiana Appeals Court to hear Challenge to Indianapolis Smoking Ban...

Mad Men: It was not a happy ending for Betty...

Mad Men Finale-
Episode 92: 
Person to Person...
It was not a happy 
ending for Betty...
still smoking at the 
kitchen table even 
after the diagnosis...

Sunday, May 17, 2015

RTS 2015 Pain In The ASH Award goes to: JEFF THE DISEASED LUNG

Romancing The Smoke's
Award goes to the guy
who has done more to 
encourage and influence
the anti-smoking movement 
while making a mockery
of Marlboro's sleazy efforts
to hook Millennials and
the Third World...

#JeffWeCan on Twitter!
Big thanks to John Oliver 
for bringing this issue to 
the forefront and Jeff into 
our smokefree homes!

Jeff's likeness is on bus 
stops in Uruguay, (and 
PMI is suing the little 
country over this gesture);
he's on t-shirts in Togo;
he has led an ASH Flash
Mob in Times Square, and 
danced til he dropped 
(which wasn't long) on 
John Oliver's Last Week 
Tonight. Jeff the Diseased 
Lung is the perfect anti-
pitchman to call Marlboro
on their, as John Oliver 
says, "Pile of horseshit!"
Everyone should be 
wearing a JEFF t-shirt 
to remind Marlboro of 
their "new Mascot"... 

Thank you to Action on 
Smoking and Health and 
Campaign for Tobaccofree 
Kids for their unceasing 
efforts to make the world 
more smokefree; and to 
John Oliver for inventing
our honoree, JEFF.
Someone please tell JEFF he 
Award over at #JeffWeCan... 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Tobacco-Free Kids: Youth Advocates of the Year...

Our congratulations to 
Spencer Flanders of 
Carson City, Nevada for 
being named the the Campaign 
for Tobacco-Free Kids' National 
Youth Advocate of the Year; 
and to Denver's Evolvement 
for being the Group Winner
in the Campaign for Tobacco-
Free Kids. Also to Joshua 
Pritchett, Chesapeake, VA;
Madison Larimore, Bellevue, 
Nebraska; E. Tyler Boyle,
Paris, Kentucky; and Lily
Kraft of Bridger, Montana
for being Regional Winners.
What you are all doing now 
will make a huge difference 
in our smokefree future... 
keep up the great work!
Twitter: #tobaccofreekids
Tobacco-Free Kids: Youth Advocates of 2015

Friday, May 15, 2015

Romancing The Smoke- The Book... it's not just my story...

For those of you actually taking 
the time to wonder, who is this 
guy and why should we listen
to anything he has to say about
smoking and tobacco... you
have a point. Why should you?
Just because I quit after 40 years, 
burying six smoking family 
members along the way is no 
reason to think I know much 
about what smoking is about
or how to get free of it. But...
I have alot of experience quitting.
After all, it took me four decades.
I tried almost everything to quit.
And I have too much experience 
watching people who couldn't quit, 
die. This book chronicles the events 
& experiences where cigarettes led
me right up to the edge of the grave.
Written in tongue & cheek with
a bit of black lung humor, I lived
to tell the story and continue
to do my best to keep the world
informed about the global battle
for a smoke free world.

Every smoker that reads this
book will see themselves in 
the stories.  Can we rid the planet 
of cigarettes by 2050? 2100? What 
does it take? Can it be done? How 
does one, or collectively, the world
quit the world's most deadly

Romancing The Smoke: 
Reflections of a Nicotine 
Addict is the story...
and it's not just my story...

AMAZON Author Page: John Aaron- Romancing The Smoke: Reflections of a Nicotine Addict

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Coming soon: 2015's Anti-Smoking's Global Advocate of the Year: The Pain in the Ash

Romancing The Smoke 
will be posting its 1,000th 
blog post later this week; 
and we will celebrate by 
honoring the most effective 
global anti-smoking 
advocate of the year- 
a hero in the eyes of many; 
and a hot ash on many a 
Big Tobacco executive's 
backside...coming soon...
Romancing The Smoke's
Pain in the Ash Award:
that live wire that keeps 
the anti-smoking 
movement on fire...
(hint...this is post #996...) Marlboro's strategy: Throw a party....

This is how Marlboro 
is marketing to teens
in more than 60 
they're succeeding in 
hooking 100,000 new 
smokers a day...
Thank you to the 
Campaign for Tobacco 
Free Kids for this info
on the
Watch the video; then 
Help Stop Marlboro... Marlboro Marketing Strategy #2: Throw a Party...

ABC News: Cuban developed lung cancer vaccine could arrive in the US...

ABC's Gillian Mohney reports 
on Cimavax, a vaccine developed 
by Cuba's Center for Molecular 
Immunology that is treating 
lung cancer patients in Cuba, 
where lung cancer is one of the 
leading causes of death. The
immunotherapy treatment could 
be coming to the US thanks to 
the Roswell Park Cancer Institute 
in Buffalo, NY who has been 
working with the Center for 
Molecular Immunology to bring
the vaccine to America. A cure 
on the horizon...? Let's hope...
ABC News: Cuban developed lung cancer vaccine could arrive in the US
Photo courtesy Getty Images

Medical Daily: Smoking is the most prevalent addiction worldwide...

Susan Scutti reports for Medical 
Daily that smoking is the most 
prevalent addiction with 22.5% 
of adults lighting up regularly...
or mentholically or whatever the 
blazes you call it... after all the
efforts, more than a fifth still
light up cigarettes, pipes, hookahs...
changing the global consciousness 
about smoking is still a long day's 
journey into night...
Medical Daily: Smoking is the most prevalent addiction worldwide...

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Daily Beast: How Mad Men made smoking glamorous, then deadly...

This article by Lizzie Crocker 
tracks the use of cigarettes in 
the epic television show Mad 
Men and how smoking turned 
deadly as the show reaches its 
RTS mentioned Betty's problem
yesterday in what became the 
most popular post of Romancing 
The Smoke since we published
the book and the blog in 2012...
The Daily Beast: How Mad Men made smoking glamorous, then deadly

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mad Men: All that smoking is doing Betty in...

Spoiler Alert: For all of us 
Mad Men fans who have been 
holding our breaths these past 
weeks leading up to the finale, 
the first character bombshell 
was dropped last night when
Betty, Don's ex-wife, played 
by January Jones, found out
that even though she's barely 
forty, she has Stage 4 lung 
cancer brought on by smoking 
two packs of Salems a day. My 
dad died the same year this is 
set from lung cancer after 
smoking two packs a day. 
I can relate.

Take a's Springtime!
This is quite the parable for a 
show that began with her 
account executive husband Don 
securing the Lucky Strike 
advertising account for their up 
and coming ad firm. Here are a 
few of the ads that no doubt got 
Betty hooked on the up and 
coming menthol brand...
and one of Betty in action...

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Cornwall News Watch: Two tons of cut tobacco seized...what?

This article seems like a piece 
of news from another century...
about a different plant... 
Tobacco in the black market...
a costly crop. There's a joke 
about black lung in there somewhere...
Cornwall News Watch: Nearly two tons of cut tobacco seized...

NSW Govt. warned: Prison smoking ban could spark riots...

Kirsty Needham of the Sydney 
Morning Herald reports that
the cost cutting in overcrowded 
prisons are increasing tensions; 
and the impending smoking ban 
in NSW in August could well 
result in riots. This is a legitimate 
concern, as smoking is about 
the only thing an inmate feels  
in control of...ordering folks to 
quit under these circumstances 
is not the best disciplinary idea... 
things could heat up in the prison 
system of New South Wales late 
this summer.... NSW government warned prison smoking ban could spark riots

Friday, May 8, 2015

WSJ: Take a deep breath if you want to try competitive vaping...

Tripp Mickle fills us in on 
the Competitive Vaping 
phenomenon. From a 
$1.2 billion industry springs
a way for "ploomers" to 
monetize their vape habit.
The article is informative;
competitions for size and 
quality of the fog bank 
released by vapers has 
grown to be both an 
individual and team sport.
but one interviewee refers
to vaping tools as smoking 
cessation devices. RTS is 
clearly not in agreement 
about this; and grows both
weary and wary of such 
unsubstantiated claims.
Article from the 
Wall Street Journal.
Wall Street Journal: Take a deep breath if you want to try competitive vaping...

Thursday, May 7, 2015

But I Wish: A poem for my Sister Chambier

Wind swept south from Sonoma
Nighttime caught up with me 
In the forgotten marsh
Roll away...the dew...
Memories of Sis hover
Like familiar UFOs
Re-igniting a thousand points 
of Christmas lights
Tripping at the Fillmore
With Butterfield and the Dead
Blanketed by Chandler’s mist noir
The Bridge to Forever is gone.
I thought you and I 
Were going to cross it
To savor the view
And save the world...
But smoke and mirrors obscured
A reflection we didn't recognize
Until it was too late. Again.
Dragon Lady
I miss our hysterical duets of laughter
But I wish 
You’d never lit that first cigarette.

Businesswire: PMI holds 2015 Annual Shareholders' Meeting...

Based on RTS' previous post 
this morning, Jeff the Diseased 
Lung leads Tobacco Free Kids 
and ASH anti-tobacco flash 
mob protest, this link is the 
agenda and information that 
PMI discussed at their annual 
shareholders' meeting...if you're you think it was 
okay to smoke at the gathering? Philip Morris International Holds 2015 Annual Shareholders' Meeting

Medical Daily: Jeff the Diseased Lung Leads Tobacco Free Kids & ASH anti-Marlboro Protest in Times Square

Campaign for Tobacco Free 
Kids and Action on Smoking 
and Health, also known as, joined up with John 
Oliver's Jeff the Diseased 
Lung to mock Philip Morris 
International during their 
annual shareholders meeting 
where they also discuss how 
to replace their customer base 
that's either died or quit. PMI's
controversial "Be Marlboro" 
European campaign blatantly
flaunts danger, rebellion and 
sex as reasons for youth to 
smoke their brand. ASH 
Campaign Coodinator Shana 
Narula mobilized the first anti-
Tobacco Flash mob in front 
of the Hyatt Hotel, where the 
PMI shareholders meeting was 
taking place. Black lung humor 
at its finest...Keep up the great 
work; where do I get one of 
those Stop Marlboro t-shirts? 
Samantha Olson reports.
Medical Daily: John Oliver's Jeff the Diseased Lung hits Times Square in Tobacco Free Kids & ASH anti-Marlboro flash mob protest
Photo courtesy Medical Daily

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Atlantic: Can you quit smoking through hypnosis?

This article by Luke O'Neil 
is a compehensive take on 
hypnotherapy as a valuable
smoking cessation tool. If
you're trying to quit, this is 
definitely a must read. I tried 
quitting through hypnosis twice; 
private sessions- it worked for 
awhile the second time- I lasted 
two years; but I wasn't yet 
ready to make the lifelong 
commitment. But it helped.

That second series of sessions 
gave me additional tools that 
I have been able to employ to 
completely ward off cravings 
for the past five years. One of 
the mantras I learned is the 
graphic featured in my May 5 
post, Quitting smoking is a 
matter of willpower. I use it 
any time I feel an urge,  and 
encourage others to repeat it
as necessary. As a behavior 
modification practice, it has 
been fantastic reinforcement 
in my continuing quest to stay 
smokefree. Hypnotherapy 
works wonders for certain 
behavior modification, and 
smoking cessation can be 
one of them. Read on...
The Atlantic: Can you quit smoking through hypnosis?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Quitting smoking is a matter of willpower...

Quitting smoking isn't really 
about using some other nicotine 
based diversion to break the habit.
It isn't about some "quit date" 
that becomes more intimidating 
as the time grows closer;  and it 
isn't about instilling fear as the 
tool to force someone to quit. 
And it sure isn't about keeping 
the habit in place with a fake 
cigarette. It's about making a 
clear-headed positive choice to 
approach life from a healthy 
point of view and outlook for 
the future. I quit believing that, 
if I did, I stood a good chance
of recovering the health I was 
rapidly losing. One morning,
could no longer breathe. In 
addition, my skin had been 
turning grey, faster than my 
hair. My sense of smell had 
been gone for a couple of years.
My mind wasn't far behind.
But it was the not-being-able-to-
breathe thing that did it. Lucky
for me my lungs won. I made 
a pact with Whoever to give me 
more air. I replaced cigarettes 
with raisins, honey roasted 
peanuts, turkey sandwiches 
and chocolate. COLD TURKEY
sandwiches.  I threw tantrums, 
screamed, shook, and tried to 
chew on furniture. I refused to 
leave the house. I wrote and 
drew like it was the last thing I 
was ever going to do, because I 
wasn't exactly sure if it wasn't 
actually the last thing I was 
ever going to do... I created 
this graphic piece as a mantra; 
and recall those first three days 
as being the worst/best of my 
life. They are chronicled in 
Chapter 6 of my book, 
Romancing The Smoke. 

Willpower in quitting smoking
is when your mind has finally
had enough of your brain trying 
to tell you what you need... -J.A.

Consumerist: Philip Morris Intl. using copyright infringement to halt critics of Marlboro's dreadful European ads

Consumerist's Chris Morran 
brings us the ongoing saga of 
the battle between Philip Morris 
International and the Campaign 
for Tobaccofree Kids over the 
giant's "Don't Be A Maybe" 
European marketing ploy that 
HBO's John Oliver skewered 
last month with Jeff the Diseased 
Lung (#jeffwecan) and that 
TobaccoFreeKids had challenged 
and PMI had struck down with 
copyright infringement as its 
argument. The overt sliminess of 
the tobacco giant's campaign 
rubs in how hip the blatant lack
lack of morals and brains is...
MAYBE presses youth to smoke 
their brand if "you're cool"... 
here are a couple of those 
billboards... their stuff is worse 
in poorer Eastern bloc countries; 
and we've added a couple of 
appropriate images to mock 
their campaign.  Big Tobacco is 
using copyright infringement as 
their argument on all challenges 
against them, such as plain 
packaging and youth target 
marketing. Very important read.
This is big news...they'll use this 
defense again and again.... PMI uses copyright infringement argument to silence critics of dreadful European Marlboro ads...

Saturday, May 2, 2015

NY Daily News: Austrian Smoker has heart attack at Smoking Ban Protest...

Karma bites some people 
right on the lip sometimes....
the 73 year old man is said 
to be in serious condition 
after collapsing outside of 
Parliament in Vienna during
a rally to protest the upcoming 
smoking David Harding Austrian man suffers heart attack at smoking ban protest China Chokes as Tobacco Profits...

This article is just plain scary 
when one stops to consider that 
the mindset of this concept is 
similar to the disbelief about
Climate Change. Some places 
in the world will never see a 
change in the smoking habit.
The smoking heartland of 
China, Baoshan, sounds like 
one of them. This article is 
from the Express Tribune 
with the International 
New York Times. By AFP. China Chokes as Tobacco Profits

Friday, May 1, 2015

Before I quit smoking....

I was looking pretty bleak...

The Pros and Cons of looking at both sides...

While Romancing The Smoke 
is clearly an anti-smoking blog,
we occasionally publish pieces 
from around the world that are 
provocative pieces of news or 
well crafted literature that 
questions the validity of 
fanaticism of any kind, 
specifically in the realm of 
smoking. Both viewpoints 
tend to maintain that aura 
of extremism.

I know that before I quit,
I was pro-tobacco; I was
addicted; & no one was going 
to stop me. Five years later, I am 
totally against it. This blog gets 
hate mail for its anti-tobacco & 
e-cig stances; and is challenged 
when it posts others' eloquent 
viewpoints to the contrary. 
Publishing both sides of the view 
is important, even if it's on the 
other side of the argument. RTS 
gains & loses followers like the 
tides. What we are addicted to 
is finding the Nicotine news & 
stories that aren't necessarily 
headlines in everyone's media
neighborhood & bringing it to 
our readers' attention. RTS will 
continue to see through the 
smoke & mirrors to tell the 
truth, no matter the controversy
If you want fair and balanced 
reporting, turn on Fox News....