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New safe smoking tube looks like a crack pipe

February 13, 2014

Used cigarette butts don’t taste any worse and they might even be healthier!

This evening my friend Florida Pete showed me the latest thing in “safe smoking” apparatus for street people: a short length of clear plastic tube.

Pete was wearing at least two too many jackets to be comfortable when he came to visit me this evening in McDonald’s. It wasn’t long before he was so dozy he had to go back outside — to look for a place to crash. But first he put on a bit of show and tell.

He started with a nifty little LED flashlight some one had dropped. It also doubled as a red laser pointer. Neat!

Then he showed me what he said a community health nurse had given him earlier in the day outside the Kingsgate Mall at East Broadway and Main Street. At first glance it looked like the sort of glass tube used for a crack pipe but no, it was about two-and-a-half inches of flexible plastic tubing. It was the simplest of devices for “safely” smoking used cigarette butts.

Look what a crack team of health professionals came up with!

Simple enough for a homeless person to understand.

Pete showed me how the tube was just the right diameter to firmly hold the filter end of a cigarette butt. And with the used stogy held in one end of the tube, Pete could smoke it through the other end of the tube and his lips would never have to touch the filter that other lips had touched.

The nurse had given him two of the tubes in a little zipper-lock bag with a printed note to the effect that the tubes were to be used to “avoid oral cancer and other diseases spread by saliva.”

Furthermore the note warned, “do not share with other people.”

Pete is keenly aware that at first glance it brings to mind crack smoking but he’s willing to try it, at least for a while. Click the images to enlarge them.

2 Comments
  1. Slowcrow permalink

    Hahaha……. That is so insane! Please correct me if i am wrong but, isn’t the procedure to collect the butts, remove the tobacco, and reroll into smokes? If you are really serious somewhat about health, those things that cram the free tobacco into those cig tubes that have BRAND NEW filters are used. Not all houseless people are totally stupid AND suicidal. I do hope you just got me with any early April Fool joke. Oh yeah, and happy Flag Day tommorrow……

    • Not unless Pete was pranking me.

      What Pete did (and I didn’t show) — what many homeless do — was, like you say, re-roll a few butts-worth of tobacco with a new rolling paper and a new old filter. Pete says he particularly prefers Belmont filters because you can easily tear the old tip off, exposing “fresh” filter — the charcoal-impregnated part. In this case he still used the plastic “safe smoking” tube.

      I’ve never seen a homeless person use the filter tubes and hand-operated “mangle” to re-manufacture new cigs out of old butts. Way to expensive. An awful lot of street folk I see just pick-and-light. I preferred to buy them. Then I preferred to just quit.

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