Why can’t smokers digest the smoke?


WHATEVER YOU eat comes out the other way. That goes for the stuff you drink too.

Of course, the solid and the liquid consumed get some time to be digested before ejection as feces and urine.

Ever wondered why this routine shouldn’t apply to smoke, though it has a destination different from food and drink?

Fourteen years ago, I had almost killed a smoker in trying to apply the eat-digest-crap rule. Ever since, I have wondered why science cannot help people enjoy a puff without letting a speck of smoke out.

Smokeless cigarette, did you say? I am not aware if such a thing exists, and if it does, whether it is governed by Euro II/III/IV emission standard as in the case of cars.

You need all kinds to make this world. But not a two-legged chimney that doesn’t care if a person beside finds cigarette smoke repulsive.

I had the misfortune of sharing a seat with a chain-smoker on a bus from Varanasi to Lucknow in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh in the autumn of 1997. As he lit cigarette number 1, I asked if he could please not smoke. He glared, puffed, billowed.

Cigarette 2 and I warned: “Smoke as many as you like, but ensure not an iota of that foul-smelling fume encroaches into my side of the seat.” He glared, puffed and billowed again.

Cigarette 3, puff 1. I tolerated. Puff 2 and I pounced on him, one hand on his mouth, the other pressing his nostrils tight. “Hajam karo (digest),” I hissed. “Baad mein paad ke nikaal dena (fart it out later).”

I was so mad I didn’t realize the man was suffocating. The conductor and a co-passenger pulled me away. A second too late, the man would have died. He didn’t smoke for the rest of the journey, maybe because he didn’t know how to ‘eat’ smoke.

Science makes everything possible. Some day, I believe, they will invent cold fire that gives you the option of cooking some dishes chilled. They might call it Firefreezer or Freezefire.

But I really hope they come up with a bio-suction condenser that, by law, would be implanted in the lungs of smokers. Such a device can suck the smoke and break it instantly into liquid/semi-liquid/solid particles that are guided into the stomach for digestion and eventual ejection.

If not, smoke produced orally should be made to stay inside the body of the smoker for at least the time ingested liquid takes to turn into urine. But they should be given the liberty to piss, crap or fart it out.

Smokers, by the way, are nice people. Until they smoke.

(This is my first write-up for machineslikeus.com, one of my favourite sites, uploaded Tuesday morning IST)

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About rahconteur

A mid-career journalist who's worked horizontally across India - from Arunachal Pradesh to Gujarat
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2 Responses to Why can’t smokers digest the smoke?

  1. quantum_flux says:

    This is a very weird article you have written and I’m not sure that I understand what you are saying. I always drink large 32 ounce cup of water while I smoke pipe tobacco (I don’t inhale it, just sort of coat my mouth with it) which I do because the nicotine ingested significantly aids in digestion by stimulating the digestive bacterias in my stomach. Not only have I found it aids in digestion, but the more obvious thing is that it wakes me up and helps me focus my concentration as well. I find I prefer nicotine over caffeine because the nicotine is a water soluble stimulant but it does not cause dehydration of the stools like caffeine (and alcohol) does.

    By the way, I always ask people if I can smoke around them before I do or not. I dislike cigarettes because they stunt the flagellum and cilia in the lungs that are necessary for getting rid of phlegm, the filter fibers themselves being inhaled are cancerous, and the odor from all the different chemical additives smells terrible too (versus the aromatic smell of a nice pipe tobacco).

    • rahconteur says:

      What I want to say is simple. The cigarette/cigar/bidi (Indian variant with tendu leaves) is yours, the lighter/match is yours, so should be the smoke you produce. Like everything else that goes into the mouth, keep it inside. And I don’t care how smokers find a way of doing that.

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