Outsmart Tobacco

Every Cigarette Not Smoked Helps the World. Help The Numbers Grow.

664,324 Cigarettes NOT Smoked. 33,216 Packs NOT purchased. 664,324 Cigarette butts NOT in the environment. $332,162 Saved. A lot of tar NOT in human lungs (I'm working to find a formula to calculate this accurately), 2214 trees not logged.

Since January 2008 my 'Tobacco Fighters and Survivors Club' group has been keeping a self reported, weekly tally of the numbers above, which allow clients to tally and celebrate every small success - even BEFORE quitting smoking completely.

If one nurse can help to impact that much change, think about what all nurses, all over the world, could do if we put our minds, hearts and souls to it. It helps to understand why the tobacco industry has said that nurses would be a "formidable foe" if we ever organized against them. Their only role is to make money, and our only way to impact them is on THEIR battlefield - which is the world of money.

Quitting smoking is a process, not necessarily an event, so celebrating every small success along the way and treating relapses as learning experiences rather than as failures is very helpful - essential in fact.

Our foe, the tobacco industry, is itself formidable, and practice, preparation, and new ways of thinking are necessary to effectively fight it.

I encourage every health care professional and every health care setting in the world to join me in keeping these success stats. Posting them in your facility will encourage others to join the battle to end the tobacco industry's unhealthy impact on human beings.


I AM A MEMBER OF THE NIGHTINGALES NURSES, a U.S. based international organization whose goal is to help nurses everywhere live up to the "FORMIDABLE FOE" image and role. One practice of Nightingales Nurses is to attend tobacco industry annual shareholder's meetings, where we speak up for public health by reporting the impacts of tobacco on our patients and clients and their families. As nurses we witness daily the impact (via early death preceeded by long term suffering -physical, psychological, financial, sociological) of an industry that seems quite happy to rake in obscene amounts of money by being the indisputable and deliberate vector of a deadly and increasing worldwide pandemic. LETS GO FOR IT AND SHOW Big Tobacco WHAT FORMIDABLE REALLY LOOKS LIKE!!! I plan to report my (and your) 'Cigarettes Not Smoked Stats' in tobacco industry shareholder's meetings because the industry concerns at these meetings are confined to money. Cigarettes not smoked represent money lost to them, and I take satisfaction in every dollar not given to such anti-social human beings. I will also share all nursing generated numbers with our RN2Q1 Campaign, whose goal is to encourage every nurse to help at least one person per year quit smoking.

We need to educate first ourselves and then our clients so that big tobacco can no longer outsmart anyone - anywhere. We are all citizens of the world, and none of us deserve to die slow early deaths from tobacco related illnesses, while making the tobacco industry richer.

PLEASE, no matter who you are or where you are, HELP yourself and others by emailing me YOUR numbers of cigarettes not smoked. Besides the numbers, which I want to keep track of no matter what, I want to know whether or not health care professionals are helping people in the quit smoking process, so let me know whether or not you have received any help or encouragement from your health care providers, and I will add that information to the tally as well, and honor the professionals who are not afraid to intervene and help smoking clients quit.

IF YOU ARE A HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL please let me know whenever you intervene to help people break their tobacco addictions. Just asking people whether they smoke, and letting them know that quitting smoking is the best possible health decision any smoker could make, is a powerful intervention. I want to provide useful resources on this blog, so visit it often and refer your clients here as well.



The Coughing Poster

What Is The Single Most Important Thing You Can Do to Quit Smoking?

From DocMikeEvans Channel on youtube. He has a lot of great videos there, on many health related topics. Check it out.

My Mom - No Longer Suffering

If you have visited this blog before you may have read about my Mom, a lifetime non smoker who was suffering from lung cancer. Sadly but mercifully she died on November 13th, after many many months of suffering.

Some of my most poignant childhood memories are of my Mom playing the piano and singing late at night after we kids were in bed - something she would particularly do if she was sad. She  and I have always sung together - admittedly not very professionally - but always from our hearts. Shortly after she was diagnosed, my son set up his computer in a hotel room and made a recording of the three of us singing a few songs. Mom asked to have two of them played at her memorial service. When They Ring Those Golden Bells was one of them. Click the arrow at the bottom of this post to listen.

Mom, Dad, and I spoke several times about the likelihood that Mom's lung cancer was caused by the heavy exposure to second hand smoke she experienced for most of her adult life.

Smoking and the tobacco industry were completely normalized during my youth and early adulthood. People smoked everywhere - in stores, banks, doctor's offices, hospitals, university classrooms and lecture halls. Non smokers were the uncool weird ones in those days - particularly if they were men. The idea that second hand smoke could have any negative impact was considered ridiculous. The very rare people who requested non smoking in their homes or workplaces were considered rude fanatics.  Anti-tobacco activists, so rare as to be basically unheard of, were completely and totally off the wall. Although we were not aware of it at the time, I have come to learn that these attitudes were the direct result of tobacco industry actions.

I therefore do not blame family members or friends, including myself, who smoked around my Mom, and neither did she. I do blame the tobacco industry, however, for deliberate, complex, historical, ongoing, mercenary obfuscation - to a level that boggles the mind given that the tobacco industry is and has been made up of actual human beings... who are themselves mortal and who presumably cherish loved ones themselves.To study the history of the tobacco industry ultimately leads one to seriously contemplate evil and how it comes to exist. To me it seems to creep up, one lie, one manipulation at a time - ultimately becoming systematized and interwoven into every aspect of life (as is the case with the tobacco industry, which has used and negatively impacted every possible human system for its own gains. Impacted systems include physical, psychological, sociological, political, legal, financial, medical, environmental, and academic ones).

Being on the "right" of the political spectrum, my parents were initially resistant to talk of tobacco industry responsibility for tobacco related illnesses. (Personally I hate the political terms 'right' and 'left', seeing them as unnecessarily divisive. I much prefer the terms 'right' and 'wrong' in that context). 

Mom and Dad certainly never went so far as to read such texts as 'The Cigarette Century' by Allan Brandt or 'The Golden Holocaust' by Robert Proctor (both of whom are amazingly learned medical and tobacco historians and heroes of mine) but they did slowly recognize that my need to talk about the role of the tobacco industry was not an indictment of smoking family members but rather of tobacco industry behaviour that is deeply deserving of negative judgement and censure. 

It is a crazy truth that people suffering from the effects of the tobacco industry are often offended by hearing anti-tobacco-industry talk. The affected people I refer to span the gamut from those experiencing tobacco related illnesses, to the people who love them, and to all of society in general, who ultimately pay the medical costs incurred by the many preventable, non communicable, tobacco related illnesses suffered by millions every year. I have come to expect this knee jerk response, which is basically something like "Yeah yeah yeah. We know smoking is bad for you. Now let's move on to another topic." This response is an illustration of the power the tobacco industry has held to almost invisibly shape and manipulate public opinion on matters related to them.

Most people like to think that we as individuals are free to make our own decisions, but who is really responsible for the almost 6 million annual deaths wordwide from tobacco related illnesses? Does the responsibility lie with the tobacco industry or with the people who use and become addicted to their products.....particularly given that almost all have inadvertently become addicted to tobacco products before reaching adulthood? It is demonstrable that most kids using tobacco products during their school years think they are indulging temporarily and don't expect that they will continue to do so as adults. I still remember the day, at age 14, having "fooled around" with smoking for a few years, that I decided on the way to school one morning that I wasn't going to smoke anymore. It was a surprising and very chilling feeling to realize that I HAD to have a cigarette.

Such has been the power of the tobacco industry to continually addict new customers (almost always children when viewed from a legal perspective, making nicotine dependence almost always a chronic, relapsing, pediatric condition.... for which treatment tends to not be adequately forthcoming because the tobacco industry has ensured that the blame tends to be placed on the victim). 

Ultimately Mom expressed pride in the work that I do as a nurse to help others quit smoking and in my efforts to enlighten people about the role of the tobacco industry in so much needless human suffering. She gave me her blessing to use her story - which was  and is very important to me given that I can't stop learning and thinking about the tobacco industry in our world and that she so personally and closely manifested its harms.

Mom, a very energetic woman and non smoker, loved living and expressed many times that she wished to live to age 93, like her Mother did. She was lucky enough to live to 82 - many more years than some who have suffered from tobacco related illnesses - but, had she not lived in such a heavy second hand smoke environment, she would likely have had her wish. I have been repeatedly told by family members that her death at 82 "is not a tragedy," and, while I agree that she led a good life, and that the death of a younger person would be more tragic, I know that to her personally it was often perceived as tragic that she had to suffer so much and to die early from a preventible illness.

On behalf of my much loved mother and all others who have suffered and who will suffer much agony and early death from tobacco related illnesses, I feel a need to say that it is wrong that the tobacco industry profits so massively from all this human pain. It is also deeply wrong that tobacco users suffering from lung cancer or other tobacco related illnesses be blamed, ever, for what they are going through. Sadly people ARE blamed, by themselves and others, and are told they "brought it on themselves" far too often, even in health care settings. This plays directly into the hands of the tobacco industry, who love to couch the issue in terms of freedom to choose to smoke (which of course ignores the power of addiction to a product that is carefully engineered for maximum speed and longevity of addiction). As a Registered Nurse myself I beg other health care personnel to reconsider such harsh judgements and treat all your patients with the fainess and compassion you would wish for yourself or loved ones during difficult times.

We humans have so much potential for beauty and creativity, qualities sorely needed right now during this particular time in the life of the earth, and yet we have allowed this most destructive industry to thrive obscenely all over the globe. The tobacco industry (5 main companies worldwide) takes advantage of the young, the poor, the ignorant, the unconfident, the mentally ill, and the disadvantaged wherever they touch. I fervently wish, in my mother's memory, that we will one day change to a world that above all values and invests in human beauty and creativity, abhorring and starving any business whose product is human death and destruction.

Rest in Peace Mom, and thank-you for allowing me to tell your story.

Download | Duration: 00:04:18

Dumb Ways To Die Should Really Include Being a Customer of the Tobacco Industry

This cute, catchy, and creative (now viral) video was made to get people's attention about train safety in Australia. It would be nice to see similar creative approaches used to educate people about the behaviour of the tobacco industry in our world. Such creativity could help people decide not to support the destructive tobacco industry. Less people would then be willing to purchase tobacco products or tobacco stocks.Australia seems to be an innovative country, judging by the fact that they are the first to mandate plain packaging for tobacco products, that they have this kind of effective public education, and they have begun disinvesting in the tobacco industry.http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/health-groups-breathe-easy-after-tobacco-ban-20121126-2a3n9.html

Remember When, Sung for my Parents

Having been very busy with life I haven't posted to this blog for a long time (except for the recent Stoptober Infographic, which I posted as a favour). It amazes and pleases me that people continue to visit in spite of the lack of new posts.

Here is a post from my heart.

A week before my 85 year old Dad's birthday my Mom asked me to sing a song for him at his party. She is very unwell, dying of lung cancer, but she wanted to make his birthday as perfect as possible. My Mom has always lived her life looking after other people, and the party, which took place this past weekend, was important to her.  It may be the last family occasion we will share with her, so I decided to sing a song to both of them. With so little time I was happy to find this Alan Jackson song, which seemed appropriate with a just few little word changes.


I mostly only sing to myself, and I knew that, tending towards the crybaby, I could probably not pull off such a song in front of my heartbreaking Mom and Dad, brothers and sisters, children, and other aging relatives. I feel amazingly fortunate that April Butler-Parry of Pan Productions offered to help me out by videotaping this so I could relax at the party and just play the dvd for them. I can't thank her enough.


For me, whose life has become devoted to changing a world that simply accepts the tobacco industry as legitimate, it is a sad irony that my mother, a lifetime nonsmoker, is the one with lung cancer, when it was other family members, myself included, who smoked around her. There is no scientific doubt that second hand smoke kills (although many of us, myself included in the past, have allowed ourselves to be manipulated by the tobacco industry to believe otherwise).  Sadly, most tobacco related illnesses involve long  slow deaths, with plenty of preliminary suffering. As an RN and now as a daughter  I have seen far too much of it.


I have nothing but empathy for smokers, who are addicted to the most successfully engineered and addictive drug delivery system on earth, so I do not blame those among us who smoked around my mother. I place the blame squarely on the tobacco industry, because they knew and know exactly what they were and still are foisting upon the world. Almost 6 million tobacco related early deaths worldwide every single year!!! We have been manipulated to think that we know everything there is to know about the tobacco industry and its products, but  I have been immersing myself in the history of the tobacco industry for over 6 years and I still learn new horrifying facts about them almost daily.


To all smokers I say .... the tobacco industry does not deserve you. You will be helping not only yourself but the world if you stop helping them out by buying their products. Please learn all you can about the industry and do everything in your power to avoid exposing your loved ones, including your pets, to tobacco smoke.


Two great books if anyone is interested. If you read them please let me know.

  1. The Golden Holocaust by Robert Proctor (Stanford University)
  2. The Cigarette Century, by Alan Brandt (Harvard University)

Infographic made by DrEd.com for Stoptober

In the UK at the moment the government is running the first ever mass quit smoking attempt, interestingly named 'Stoptober'.

The first principle of the campaign is to encourage groups of people (friends, families and companies) to quit together. Research has shown that quitting with support around you is a significantly more effective way of quitting than going solo.

The second principle is around the length of time that you quit for. Research carried out by the NHS (National Health Service) and NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) has shown that if people can quit for 30 days, they are 5 times more likely to quit long term. An amazing statistic!

If you have any questions or queries about the blog, please contact DrEd https://www.dred.com

Tobacco Industry Manipulation - They are so good at it you don't even notice them

Inpes - 'Anti Smoking' from Trim Editing on Vimeo.

From Vimeo (and posted by 'Smoking Blows' smokingblows.blogspot.ca/ )

Inpes - 'Anti Smoking'

by Trim Editing PRO1 week 5 days ago

Director - Ben Dawkins

Production Company - Stink

Edited by Julia Knight

I Can Quit - Willpower

People ignorant of cancers caused by smoking

  • PRESS RELEASE FROM CANCER RESEARCH UK. FOR FULL STORY GO TO http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/news/archive/pressrelease/2012-06-30-people-ignorant-of-cancers-caused-by-smoking

  • CR UK

    People ignorant of cancers caused by smoking

    Saturday 30 June 2012

    Cancer Research UK Press Release

    Cancer Research UK today reveals the shocking level of ignorance about smoking and cancer among the UK public in a comprehensive new survey* of more than 4000 people.

    When asked to select cancers linked to smoking, more than 80 per cent of people did not know there was a link between smoking and eight different cancers.

    At least two thirds of the 4,099** people surveyed knew smoking caused cancers of the lung, mouth (oral) and throat (larynx and oesophagus). But less than 20 per cent knew tobacco was linked to leukaemia and cancers of the liver, pancreas, bowel (colorectum), kidney, bladder, cervix, and ovary.

    Tobacco related cancers


    Kids ask for light in 'best ever' anti-smoking ad

    I have been pleased over the past several days to have had this video sent to me by several people, indicating to me that a tobacco industry denormalization video was going viral. I hadn't gotten around to posting it here, but when I just went to do so, I found that the video had been removed at all the links I had received. I hope this link remains.


    April 2014

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