TOBACCO SMOKE ENEMAS.

TOBACCO SMOKE ENEMAS. A friend sent me a photograph of an instrument for administering a tobacco smoke enema with a caption explaining it. I was skeptical. Snopes had nothing about tobacco smoke enemas so I turned to wikipedia, which had this article, which gives some of the history: “The stimulation of respiration through the introduction of tobacco smoke by a rectal tube was first practiced by the North American Indians.” In 1746 a seemingly drowned woman was revived by a tobacco smoke enema. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, tobacco smoke enemas were an established practice in Western medicine, “In the 1780s, the Royal Humane Society installed resuscitation kits, including smoke enemas, at various points along the Thames.” By the beginning of the nineteenth century, tobacco smoke enemas were an established practice in Western medicine. Then in 1811, animal studies showed that nicotine could be a cardiac poison, and doubts about tobacco smoke enemas increased. It is alleged that the phrase “to blow smoke up one’s ass” is supposed to have originated in these doubts.

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One Response to TOBACCO SMOKE ENEMAS.

  1. Sin Bigotes says:

    I don’t care if this is true or not, it makes such a great story that it deserves to live on. This for no other reason than to give poor schmucks like me something to laugh about now and again.

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