Nix on Nicotine

Keywords: quit smoking, freedom from tobacco, anti-tobacco, smoking cessation, smoking deterrence, nicotine addiction

Monday, March 28, 2011

Preview of Coming Attractions!

We're down to the last 2 weeks of the ART CONTEST to win a $250 CASH PRIZE for design of the NIX ON NICOTINE campaign logo, and the judging panel is eagerly looking forward to some terrific entries!

With that deadline approaching, we're already looking ahead to the next big thing:  Each month, we will sponsor a new art contest to use the NIX ON NICOTINE logo in a poster that delivers a freedom-from-tobacco message.  New prizes will be  announced each month, and will include gift certificates from some of your favorite local businesses.  The winning poster will be pinned up in schools, government offices, and lots of other public places around town, and will be published on-line.  But that's not all!!!  Each month, the selected poster artist wins a seat on the judging panel for the next month's contest, to sit side-by-side with a celebrity from the music industry, sports world, or government.  We are very excited to be working with some really well-known personalities who have agreed to help us promote this program.  Imagine getting the chance to meet someone you've always admired!

The time has never been better to choose a tobacco-free lifestyle!  Just think of all the advantages:  you'll save money, you'll be more attractive, your body will feel and stay strong and healthy, and you will be a positive role-model for all of the young people in your life!  And if you submit an entry to our poster contest, you may win the chance to meet a real-life celebrity!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sad Numbers

As of this morning, the death toll from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan stands at just under 6,000 people, and continues to rise; some sources estimate it will reach as many as 100,000 people.   People everywhere have been galvanized to offer help to try to alleviate the misery and suffering. And rightly so – we are all passengers on this planet together, and the borders that divide us are immaterial in the face of such a crisis.

Nevertheless, I offer the following comparisons.

Number of dead in Japan in 7 days:     6,000 people
Number of dead in US due to tobacco-related illness every 7 days:  8,400 people
Estimated number of dead in Japan by the end of the crisis:  100,000 people
Estimated number of dead world-wide this year alone due to tobacco-related illness:
over 5,000,000 people

The suffering in Japan as a result of this calamitous event is great, but it will pass.
The suffering of millions of people and their families due to tobacco-related illness and early death is incalculable, and extends into the foreseeable future.

Tobacco-caused disease is the single-largest preventable cause of death.  It kills more people than alcohol, drugs, AIDS, car accidents, murders, and suicides combined, nearly 1,200 people in the United States every single day! 

Isn’t it time that YOU quit smoking?!?  Get information and help at:
Next week, Wednesday March 23 is “Kick Butts” day, the perfect day to

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Vote With Your Feet

It occurred to me recently that, even though I don't buy tobacco products, I make regular contributions to the financial welfare of the tobacco companies when I buy non-tobacco products from companies owned or controlled by Big Tobacco.  So I did a little research, and found this excellent website:  On the list of tobacco-company owned products:  Wilson sporting goods, Oxygen snowboards, Montblanc pens, Chloe clothing and accessories, Bulova watches, most of the karat-gold jewelry sold at Wal-Mart, Miller beer, and a long list of others.  And of course, there are the food products (and so-called "food" products) sold under the brand names Kraft, Nabisco, Post, Oscar Meyer, and Louis Rich. 

Just in the catgory of food alone, the list of household names is staggering!  Miracle Whip.  Good Seasons.  Jello. Kool-Aid. Seven Seas. Country Time. Maxwell House. Sanka. Cool Whip. Cheez Whiz. Velveeta. Claussen pickles. Philadelphia cream cheese. DiGiorno sauces and pizza. Minute Rice. Altoids. Toblerone chocolate. Stove Top Stuffing. Capri Juice Drinks. Crystal Light. Tang. Knudsen jams and jellies. Sealtest dairy products. Breyer's ice cream. Alpha Bits. Grape Nuts.  Oreo cookies. All of these (and many more) are brought to you by the good folks at Big Tobacco!

Then another thing occurred to me.  I noticed how heavily-weighted the list is toward highly-processed and junk foods.  Foods that contain long lists of hard-to-pronounce ingredients.  Foods that contain high-fructose corn sweetener, trans fats, artificial flavors and colors, preservatives.  Foods with over-the-top amounts of salt, sugar, and fat.  Foods linked to diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and a multitude of other health concerns.

Big Tobacco is using similar strategies to promote junk foods and tobacco:  market to children and youth, load the products with high levels of unhealthy but addictive substances to keep the customers coming back, and create the (false) impression that the products are part of an all-American lifestyle.

Every time we spend a dollar, we cast a vote in favor of the product or service we're buying.  If we don't buy what Big Tobacco is selling, we vote against them and their ruthless strategies to sell us death and disease.  I'm voting with my feet now.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


REMINDER:  The art contest deadline (grand prize $250) is one month from today, April 8.  Anyone can enter, and entries will be judged on the basis of creativity, originality, and applicability to the Nix On Nicotine campaign.  Send me an email at for more information or to get an entry form.

The contest is being sponsored by Bishop-Brogden Associates, Inc ( and entries will be judged by a panel including artist, musician, and community activist DJCavem (  

After we have selected the winning entry for the campaign’s logo, we will be sponsoring monthly poster contests that use the logo and deliver a freedom-from-tobacco message.  More about that after April 15, when the winner of the logo art contest will be announced.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Follow the Money

It occurred to me that, since tobacco users are giving so much money to line the pockets of the tobacco company executives, they might want a glimpse of who these guys are. 

Check out this very short (just over 1 minute) video showing the CEOs of the 7 major American tobacco companies testifying before Congress in 1994.

Now compare that with this quote, taken from a 1963 internal memo from Addison Yeaman, executive vice president of Brown & Williamson and the president of the Council for Tobacco Research:
We are, then, in the business of selling nicotine, an addictive drug...”
Or this quote from a Philip Morris researcher in 1972:
Without nicotine...there would be no smoking...”
I also found this quote, although I haven't done the research to confirm its veracity.  Allegedly told to the "Winston Man", a former tobacco advertising model who turned people's witness against his former employers.  When one tobacco exec was asked if he smoked, his reply was,
"I'm not that dumb!  Smoking is for the young, the poor, the blacks, and the stupid."
Now, how do you feel about making regular contributions to the lavish lifestyle of these folks?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Silver Screen

Have you noticed the increase lately of gratuitous tobacco use in movies?  I did a little surfing, and found a website called whose mission is to show the impact of smoking & tobacco references in entertainment. Some interesting statistics from their website:
  • Every day, more than 2,000 adolescents in the US start smoking
  • More than half of them start as a direct result of exposure to smoking in movies
  • 80% of movies rated PG-13 - movies specifically targeted at teens - contain images of tobacco use
  • Of the more than 1,000 teens each day who start smoking because of what they saw on screen, 340 will die early from smoking-related disease.
Reviewing previously secret tobacco advertising documents, the British Medical Journal concluded:
"The tobacco industry recruits new smokers by associating its products with fun, excitement, sex, wealth, and power and as a means of expressing rebellion and independence. One of the ways it has found to promote these associations has been to encourage smoking in entertainment productions. Exposure to smoking in entertainment media is associated with increased smoking and favourable attitudes towards tobacco use among adolescents."

The tobacco companies have a name for children:  replacement smokers.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Third time's the (c)harm

Third-hand smoke is a relatively new term for an old phenomenon.  It is tobacco smoke contamination that remains after the cigarette has been extinguished. It’s that nasty smell that hangs on a smoker’s hair and clothing and breath, that lingers on drapery and carpets, that fouls car interiors.  It’s the yellowish coating that clings to walls, windows, and furnishings where smokers live.

A recent New York Times article notes,

Among the substances in third-hand smoke are hydrogen cyanide, used in chemical weapons; butane, which is used in lighter fluid; toluene, found in paint thinners; arsenic; lead; carbon monoxide; and even polonium-210, the highly radioactive carcinogen that was used to murder former Russian spy Alexander V. Litvinenko in 2006. Eleven of the compounds are highly carcinogenic.”

Think about it for a minute.  Layers are deposited and built up, cigarette after cigarette, day after day, month after month.  Each layer contains all of the toxins in cigarette smoke, and as the layers build up, the toxins are concentrated and collected together into a sticky residue that contains much higher doses of poisons than even cigarettes themselves!

Now think about it for another minute.  As a smoker, the toxic residue that you see and smell on clothes, furniture, carpets, walls and windows – that is the visible manifestation of what you are asking your body to process and filter and try to dispose of every single day.  Your lungs.  Your kidneys.  Your liver.  Your heart.  All working overtime to clean up the gunk.  Isn’t it time to quit?  Get help and read more at  

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Girls, Girls, Girls!

Remember "Average Amos" from yesterday's blog?   We saw that he's impoverished by his nicotine addiction.  He's probably feeling a little blue, and wishes he had more disposable income to spend going out with his friends for a good time, getting one of the latest electronic gadgets, or just getting some work done on his car.  If only he had a girlfriend to comfort him!  Now that would make him feel better.  Sorry to say, we have bad news for Amos in the girlfriend department, too.

You see, four out of five people are non-smokers these days, and most non-smoking females won't date a guy who smokes.  They really hate breathing the second-hand smoke, seeing the dirty ashtrays and butts on the ground, and smelling that nasty smoky odor on his hair and clothes.  Just a big turn-off all around.  They can't feature Amos as a future father and role-model for their children, either.  Worst of all are his bad breath and yellowing teeth - ugh! who wants to kiss that!

For this reason, Amos' possibilities are pretty much limited to the 20% of girls who smoke.  And remember that Amos is average in every way - including his sex appeal!  On average, a guy can get a first date with one out of ten girls that he approaches.  So this means that our Amos would have a chance at a first date with only 2 out of 100 ladies!

And then there's that pesky impotence issue.  Recent research has supported the evidence that smoking is a major cause of erectile dysfunction.  If and when our hero finally gets a date, he may  be unable to get it up when the moment is right!

 Looks like ol' Amos might be losing the swim-meet at the gene pool!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Money to Burn

Who can afford to smoke?  Let's look at some numbers with the help of "Average Amos.” (The numbers here are taken from averages reported in the literature).

Amos started smoking at 16.  At first, he only smoked a little.  But by the time he turned 17, he was hooked, and was smoking about a pack each day.  Amos will smoke for 17 years.  Cigarettes cost about $4.50 per pack now, and that cost will increase over the time that Amos smokes.  So on average over the 17 years, a pack of cigarettes might cost about $6.50.  In that case, the habit will cost Amos more than $40,000 by the time he is 34 years old.  Had Amos saved or invested that money instead, he would have $200,000 or more!

But wait, that's not all it costs to smoke.  Over those 17 years, Amos will spend money to whiten his teeth and to dry clean his clothes - more than a non-smoker would spend.  His dental care will cost more, too, because smoking causes gum disease, bone loss, and other dental issues.  His health, auto, and life insurance will all be more expensive than for non-smokers.  When he tries to sell his car, the trade-in value is more than $1000 less than for a non-smoker's vehicle, because of burns in the upholstery and the smelly build-up of smoke residue.  When he thinks about selling his home, he'll need new carpets, draperies, and paint throughout before he can even put it on the market - costs that could be $10,000 or more! 

When Amos decides to quit after 17 years, he’ll spend some money on quit-smoking programs, too.  Maybe he’ll chew nicotine gum or use other substitute nicotine-delivery devices. He may see a doctor or a therapist to help him quit.  All of those things cost money, too.

All told, Amos will spend from $10,000 to $15,000 per year to maintain his habit.  Over 17 years, that comes to a whopping $170,000 to $255,000.  Now that’s a lot of money up in smoke!

Poor Amos!  I mean, really poor Amos!