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Get a FREE copy of my book, Semicolon!

Review My Book Semicolon ThumbnailWatch this video to find out how to get a free copy of my book, Semicolon; Memoir of a Colon Cancer Survivorand help raise money for colon cancer research at the same time!

I’ll send you a free paperback edition or Kindle edition of the book. Heck, I’ll even pay the shipping cost to get the paperback to you if that’s the edition you choose! How can you beat that?

Watch this video to find out how to get yours now.

Is that a deal or what? If you’re willing to write a review of my book, Semicolon, and post it on Amazon.com I’ll send you a free copy of the book. Just email me at mark[at]marktarsenault[dot]com with your preference (paperback or Kindle edition), and be sure to include your physical mailing address if you choose the paperback version.

This offer is for a limited time, so don’t miss out. And thank you!


Semicolon Kindle edition book temporarily unavailable

I was notified by Amazon.com that some readers are having trouble viewing the images that I embedded into the original book. As a result of the technical issue, Amazon.com has made the Kindle version of the book unavailable for purchase until I can replace it with a new file with the images corrected.

I’m working on the problem and hope to have a new version of lickety split! Thanks so much for your amazing support and your patience as I try to iron out the kinks.

Powerful new “Tips From Former Smokers” ads focus on living with vision loss and colorectal cancer

CDC’s graphic anti-smoking campaign will air March 30

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is launching its 2015 “Tips From Former Smokers” campaign with a series of powerful new ads featuring former smokers who suffer from smoking-related illnesses, including vision loss and colorectal cancer.

Ads also highlight the benefits of quitting for smokers’ loved ones, and the importance of quitting cigarettes completely, not just cutting down. Beginning March 30, these ads will run for 20 weeks on television, radio, billboards, online, and in theaters, magazines, and newspapers.

CDC’s successful Tips national tobacco education campaign has helped prompt millions of smokers to try to quit since it began in 2012. It has also proven to be a “best buy” in public health by costing just $393 to save a year of life.

“These former smokers are helping save tens of thousands of lives by sharing their powerful stories of how smoking has affected them,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.  “These new real-life ads will help smokers quit, adding years to their lives and life to their years.”

In 2014, Tips ads had an immediate and strong impact. When the ads were on the air, about 80 percent more people called the national quitline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW, for free help. Since 2012, Tips ads have generated more than 500,000 additional calls to the toll-free quitline number.

One of this year’s new ad participants is Marlene, 68, who started smoking in high school and began losing her vision to macular degeneration at age 56. Besides quitting smoking, the best chance for slowing her vision loss is a drug that must be injected through a needle into her eyes. To date, she has had more than 100 shots in each eye. “This will probably go on for the rest of my life,” said Marlene. “If I’d had a crystal ball many years ago, I would never have put that first cigarette in my mouth.”

The ads also feature:

  • Mark, 47, an Air Force veteran who used cigarettes and smokeless tobacco through two tours of duty in the Persian Gulf.  He quit in 2009 when he developed rectal cancer at age 42.
  • Julia, 58, who smoked for more than 20 years before developing colon cancer at age 49, followed by surgery and months of chemotherapy. She needed an ostomy bag taped to a hole in her abdomen to collect waste.
  • Tiffany, 35, whose mother died from lung cancer when Tiffany was 16. She quit smoking when her own daughter turned 16 so she could be around for important milestones in her daughter’s life. Tiffany’s ad will run as a public service announcement.
  • Kristy, 35, who tried using e-cigarettes to quit smoking cigarettes but ended up using both products instead of quitting. Kristy then suffered a collapsed lung, and was diagnosed with early COPD (lung disease) before she quit smoking completely.

Nationally, about 3 in 4 adult e-cigarette users also smoke cigarettes. If you only cut down the number of cigarettes you smoke by adding another tobacco product, like e-cigarettes, you still face serious health risks. Smokers must quit smoking completely to fully protect their health — even a few cigarettes a day are dangerous. Kristy’s ads will be featured on the radio and in print.

“All the Tips ad participants are heroes,” said Tim McAfee, M.D., M.P.H., senior medical officer in CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “By courageously sharing their painful personal stories, they’re inspiring millions of Americans to make the life-saving decision to quit smoking.”

Cigarette smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans each year and remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States. For every American who dies from a smoking-related disease, about 30 more suffer at least one serious illness from smoking.

The Tips ads encourage smokers to call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or to visit www.cdc.gov/tips to view the personal stories from the campaign.  The website includes detailed assistance developed by the National Cancer Institute to support smokers trying to quit.

Besides the human cost, smoking takes a devastating toll on our nation’s economy. It costs more than $300 billion a year—nearly $170 billion in direct medical care for adults and more than $156 billion in lost productivity.  The Tips campaign serves as an important counter to the more than $8.3 billion spent annually by the tobacco industry to make cigarettes more attractive and more affordable, particularly to young people.

To find profiles of the former smokers, other campaign resources, and links to the ads, visit www.cdc.gov/tips.


Download Chapter One of Semicolon for Free!

I’ve got a lot to be grateful for and in that spirit I’m giving away a free chapter from my book, Semicolon; Memoir of a Colon Cancer Survivor. To download the first chapter just fill out the form below.

I’d be grateful if you would Share this with others to help spread the word and help me reach my goal of raising $1 Million for colon cancer research!

New York City is in the Bag

As some of you may know, I was selected as one of the participants in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2015 Anti Smoking Tips campaign. So last week we flew to New York where we met Julia (another participant) and many, many wonderful people who work for the several companies involved in the project, including the CDC, the casting agency, the creative agency, and the video production and photography agencies.

First off, let me say that we had an absolutely fantastic time in New York. We’d never been to New York before so we got a New York Pass and took the tour bus around Manhattan. We saw just about every landmark and famous building in the city. We took many great photos and met a number of wonderful people. I fully expected New York to be full of rude, angry people. What I found, however, is that most of the people were very courteous and friendly. Who knew? It was certainly a pleasant surprise and taught me not to pre-judge anyone.

After spending a few days with the family sight-seeing, I began working with the wonderful folks who are creating the video and print public service announcements (PSAs) for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last Tuesday I spent the day at a house in New Jersey shooting the video PSA. The Director, Chris, was charming, friendly and very good at his craft, as was everyone in the crew. The filming part wasn’t nerve-wracking, like I thought it’d be. I actually had fun and was sad when the shoot was over.

After a day rest I went to a new location for the “print shoot,” where they took a plethora of photographs for the print ads that I’ll be in. The house we were at was the same house that Donnie Brasco lived in in the movie of the same name. How cool is that? The owner is a retired firefighter and an all-around great guy. Once again the crew was absolutely amazing. There were so many friendly people in one place. It reminded me of being with extended family, to be honest. Once again the day ended too quickly and I had to say goodbye, at least until we meet again.

This experience has been an absolute blessing on many levels. Having the opportunity to possibly inspire literally millions of people to quit smoking and get screened for colon cancer is beyond my ability to grasp right now. I hope that God uses my participation in this campaign to affect millions of lives. Whatever happens, I’m happy and proud to be a part of it.

The campaign kicks off around March of next year but please don’t wait until then to get screened. Do it now. And if you smoke, find a way to quit. You might literally save your butt.

Before you go, you can see a few of the photos I took during my trip. Enjoy!

On the ferry returning from the Statue of Liberty at sunset.
Me and Julia, my talent partner for the public service announcement.
Me and Chris, the Director of the video PSA.
Me in the back yard of the “Donnie Brasco House” where we did the print shoot.
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