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If you think our sponsors are going to leave quietly and just ride off into the sunset, well...think again.

"A cigarette is the perfect type of a perfect pleasure.
It is exquisite and leaves one dissatisfied.
What more can one want?"

Lord Henry, in "Dorian Grey", by Oscar Wilde.

How did this book get written?... The not too surprising answer is: because it had to be, it was written as part of the 'cure'. Having tried many times to get rid of cigarettes the author decided that the only thing that would work was if he threw everything he could think of at the problem, and one idea was to write a book about it. The book would serve several purposes...

  1. Establish a declared mental and emotional position concerning the truth of cigarette smoking.
  2. Be a tender of help to other 'smokerpersons' wishing to escape from the trap.
  3. Exist as a warning to not smoke cigarettes, a vital resource for those who would come later.
  4. Become part of a research into discovering quicker and better ways to get rid of cigarettes.
  5. Be a useful record of a successful attempt in getting rid of cigarettes.
  6. To find out whether or not creativity is dependant upon smoking.

The thought to name it "The Smokers' Home Companion" came after the first draft had been written when it became apparent as to what kind of a book it had to be.

A Time to Write

Timing is crucial when it comes to writing a book like this. Who a person is, what they are feeling, what they know, everything about them gets transferred to the page. Had this book been written too soon, the author would not have had sufficent understanding of the problem to be of any real assistance: It might have had the reverse effect and driven the reader back to smoking! Much later and the author would have been too far removed from the problem and too remote for the book to hold a real and immediate enough currency, diluting its usefulness to the smokerperson needing help.

A Time for the Cigarette

  Because of a unique weather pattern a monster of a storm is spawned, everything has to be in the right place at the right time.
Marlboro Globe Ad   History is full of such events, where what went before set the stage for the phenomena that came next. But in all of history there is nothing quite like the astonishing rise of the cigarette. In the 1850's when cigarettes first appeared the time was ripe; they made a perfect fit with the industrial revolution and the growth of nascent consummerism. (This is not a sociological thesis, if it were it would need a book to do the subject justice - try Ashes to Ashes by Richard Kluger). A time when world manufacture, marketing and consumption was able to grow unchecked, like the cancers cigarette smoking foreshadowed. Everything, every aspect of human so called 'progress' from the mechanization of the military, advances in agriculture to the suffragette movement...etc got sucked into this 'perfect storm' of a perfect pleasure. It has temporarily(?) redefined humanity into 'Smoking' and 'Non-Smoking', 100 years after cigarettes were invented perhaps 50% of the industrialised world's population was smoking. What a staggering success for a single product! - PLEASE DON'T MISS THIS POINT.

A Time to Advertise Cigarettes

Penguin Child Cigarette Ad

  It has been discovered that cigarette advertising has the greatest impact upon smokerpersons who have just stopped smoking. Upon viewing the advertisement, the still addicted inner worlds of the ex-smokerperson's body try and get through, like a child screaming to its mother in a Toyz-R-Us shop, with the message "Cigarettes! I want some Cigarettes!". The tobacco industry has honed its techniques through decades of research, backed up with very deep pockets; if cigarette advertising didn't work then the tobacco companies would not squander their profits on it. It works by being there at all times, like a spiders web, an alluring danger evoking wonder and at the same time appearing as part of the natural order. Sooner or later it must compel the response "try me". The tobacco companies say that the advertising is only there to persuade smokers to switch brands - and that is utter rubbish.
  What the world awaits is 'A Time to No Longer Advertise Cigarettes'. Cigarette advertising reached its nadir with this Kool ad (from 1936) shown here on the left . Clearly the penguin taking the snapshot is meant to represent an adult and comparing the sizes makes the small penguin either a dwarf (unlikely!) or an eight year old child smoking a cigarette, presumably a Kool. The implication is that they are so mild even children can happily smoke them! The actual ad is a little longer and for completeness the copy is included and begins, "Watch a fellow light his first KOOL. See the mild surprise turn to the good old grin that shows he's found something. The smoke feels refreshingly cool. The throat relaxes. And best of all, the coolness of KOOLS doesn't interfere with the fine tobacco flavor - it's fully preserved. So try KOOLS for your throat and for pleasure's sake. And save the B&W coupon in each pack for handsome nationally advertised merchandise...and so on."

A Time to Advertise Not Smoking

  How to successfully Advertise 'Not Smoking' remains elusive. Most anti-smoking ads have little 'Impact' (Impact is also a term used by the cigarette companies to describe the effect of their cigarettes upon the unfortunate smokerperson!) suffering from little real research and even less financial backing. They will probably only work when they become a permanent part of the landscape and are as consistent, varied and appealing as those they have superceded. Its a tough proposition, there is no apparent 'immediate pleasure' in stopping. 'Don't Die Too Soon', is hard to get across to young adults who think they are immortal. 'Impotence', however, seems to strike a sympathetic chord. The shennanigans of the tobaccco companies are impossible to expose to people lacking in wisdom. Addiction is meaningless until a person discovers the fact.
  Even more difficult to transfer is the knowledge that getting rid of cigarettes in a thorough manner requires the smokerperson to first address the issue of being their own person and not to rely upon 'others' or 'medical science' to solve the problem.

First Cigarette Ad An Opportune Timing

The cigarette companies have an easy time of it, since the idea of smoking is already deeply ingrained in our culture - cigarettes made their first modern appearance in the 1840's and slipped into the 20th century under the cover of modern militarism and fashion.
  Imagine the problems Philip Morris would have had if Marlboro was the first cigarette ever to be made. How would they have gone about selling the idea of Cigarettes to a 1950's public? (If the FDA would have let them). Probably by an all out publicity blitz using every conceivable medium. Print ads may have used the fake news bulletin method - similar to the 1970's Merit roll out.


  How about...

  1. To get your attention... "Help to survive the 'Cold War' has finally arrived, Cigarettes!",
  2. To explain a bit more about the product... "Recently perfected by a team of Philip Morris scientists, working secretly for seven years in our Virginia laboratories, a paper tube filled with the dried leaves of the tobacco plant has been designed as the modern way to relax. We call it 'Cigarette Smoking' and you're going to love it.
  3. To give your ego a reason to smoke..."Think of being the first on the block to walk around all day blowing smoke..."
  4. To explain what the smoke does... "You'll cough a bit and go dizzy and green at first, but later you'll find they taste great!"
  5. The magic ingredient that will do wonders..."Contain miracle insecticide Nicotine!",
  6. Statement of truth in advertising... "We don't know what it does to humans or even whether or not it is dangerous, but at 30 cents a pack who's worrying."
  7. Essential catch phrase..."The little white tube that will change the world...".
  8. Folksy appeal section... "We chose the name "Cigarette" on the recommendation of the wife of our C.E.O in honor of her pet cat who is called "Cigarette" meaning little cigar. We have no idea what a 'Cigar' is but we are currently working on inventing one..."
  9. To explain away the perplexing brand name... "We have named them 'Marlboro' in honor of the little town in upper New York where a local gardener accidentally invented cigarette smoking when trying to fumigate his Dahlias. Instead of making a spray, he put some dried tobacco leaves in a paper tube and lit them, the idea was to blow the insecticidal smoke over the infested plants. However he accidentally sucked some into his lungs, and ever since he has felt strangely compelled to repeat the process. A process which he finds to be relaxing and very enjoyable...".

Which of course never happened... The tobacco companies grew rich by nurturing an already established human weakness. Tending to their customers as farmers to sheep. Creating new markets within this world of nicotine addiction, which through greed they felt compelled to keep on expanding to their furthest limits. Even to the extent of attracting and coercing children into a future role as smokers, neccessary replacements - as it turned out - for the customers who rather inconveniently were dying off at an alarming rate...

It Takes Time to Stop Smoking

A car does not stop all at once. One moment it is travelling at 65 mph, if in the next instance it has stopped then it hit a brick wall and has become a piece of crumpled metal. One moment a person is up and running at 50 cigarettes per day and if in the next instance they have stopped, then they will have become a piece of crumpled humanity... you may have experienced this...Or maybe others, who having experienced you in this state, urged you immediately to go back to smoking!


Time to Get Rid of Cigarettes

  Does a person chose a date to start dating? No, it mostly just happens. Does a person choose a date to start smoking? No, mostly one day it just happens. Then what is all this fuss about supposed 'Quit Dates'? Nervous anticipation does not make for a successful outcome to any venture. Getting rid of cigarettes is like a divorce, so its important to write a good settlement beforehand. A lawyer friend could make one up - Philip Morris gets the ash trays, the lighters and the stink, the smoker gets to keep his or her health and the house! Like all divorces there will naturally be some bitter wrangling over visitation rights. Then, when its all sorted and agreed to, go to the cigarette divorce court and get the judge to confirm it all and make it final. By getting the preparations right, the crucial timings will on-goingly present themselves.
  Dramtically throwing away those cigarettes should be avoided. It may have been a thirty year affair that now has to end and deserves to be properly finished. Taking the time to harvest those years will be rewarding and help effect a cleaner separation.

Let It Pass


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