For release: May 9
Are e-cigarettes safe? After five centuries of government laws against tobacco, the FDA is about to have its say on its newest incarnation.
Christopher Columbus didn't "discover" tobacco. The people living in North and South America where tobacco still grows knew all about it, thank you very much. What Columbus did was bring the "dried leaves, greatly esteemed by Indians" to the attention of the enforcers, in this case, the Spanish Inquisition, who arrested Columbus' sailing mate Rodrigo de Jerez for smoking on the streets of his hometown.
These and other fascinating facts of tobacco history can be found in THE SMOKING LIFE by Ilene Barth now available as an eBook.
It's said that Elizabeth I of England, who sent Walter Raleigh across the Atlantic to establish a colony in Virginia and bring back the best tobacco, enjoyed a good smoke. A bit later on, Pocahontas traveled with her husband John Smith to London to publicize their tobacco business. (That's the happily or maybe not-so happily-ever-
Elizabeth's successor, King James found smoke toxic and tried to ban tobacco. Failing, he taxed it instead.
Back on the American side of the pond, the Puritans outlawed smoking in the Bay colony. In neighboring Connecticut, where a bit of top cigar-wrap leaf yet grows, travelers on journeys of at least ten miles were allowed to smoke but only once.
But who was counting? Some say that the logical successors to the Puritans are the Feds. But there have been plenty of punches and counter punches, profits and taxes, health findings and industry fixes, not to mention tobacco elation, humor and woe, poetry and art since Columbus first noted tobacco in his 1492 log.
Ilene Barth author of THE SMOKING LIFE, reports "that the tobacco industry has long delayed the sale of e-cigarettes fearing, yet realizing, the inevitability of new FDA rules." Their issuance, she believes, signals a new battle but not the end of the tobacco wars.
Ms. Barth spent a year in the world-famous Arendt Archive of the New York Public Library researching 500 years of material in several languages before producing this work, which nonetheless is written with a light touch and also includes over 240 cartoons, illustrations and photographs. It adapts wonderfully to e-formats on Amazon and Itunes.
Please contact me for additional info or for a jpeg of the book cover.