Blowing smoke up my ass
May 12, 2009 8:38 PM   Subscribe

If you smoked a cigar with your butt would you get colon cancer?

It was a weird question a friend of mine had and now I just have to know.

I assume that if you get into a cigar a day butt smoking habit you'll get cancer of some sort eventually. But would it be colon? And can you really smoke a cigar in your ass, and if you did would you have to inhale? Can you inhale with your butt? And if you could, would the smoke or other carcinogens get to your colon?

I assume we'll never know because I don't think anyone will get in the habit of butt smoking, but please help me settle this bet.
posted by The Devil Tesla to Health & Fitness (15 answers total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: not here please. because it is hypothetical and because it is about butt inhalation. -- jessamyn

 
Hell, if you inhaled hard enough, you could get throat cancer.
posted by spasm at 8:43 PM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


why am I answering this?
If you thought of the colon as an analogue for the lung, then sure. Smokers also get throat and mouth cancer, which would maybe equate to rectal cancer.
posted by rmless at 8:44 PM on May 12, 2009


This may be surprising, but there are very few peer-reviewed articles regarding the carcinogenic affects of cigar-butt-smoking. (CBS)

However, I would speculate that CBS would expose the tissues in your colon to the same carcinogens as the ones that cause lung cancer.

There was a famous performer in france who could smoke cigarettes with his butt. I believe his name was Le Petomane, but I may be confusing him with a different famous Fartiste.
posted by crazyray at 8:45 PM on May 12, 2009


Hell, if you inhaled hard enough, you could get throat cancer.

It works the other way around.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 8:46 PM on May 12, 2009


lining of mouth = mucous membranes
lining of butthole = mucous membranes

seems like cigar smoke would trigger the same irritation and ulceration in mouth or butthole.

Plenty of people take medicine as suppositories, the drugs absorb quickly. As a nicotine delivery system, you could catch a buzz.

Finally, I read as a child regarding a yogi practitioner. He could lie in a bathtub full of water and suck the water thru his anus into his intestines. With a few years of training, you could learn to inhale and exhale cigar smoke.
posted by ohshenandoah at 8:46 PM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


One cigar would probably not do it, but repeated exposure to the carcinogens in smoke certainly could cause cancer. The first reported link between occupational exposure to chemicals and cancer was made by Sir Percival Pott, who noted that chimney sweeps had high rates of scrotal cancer due to exposure to soot.

As to the mechanics of smoking via the anus, Joseph Pujols, AKA Le Petomane, did it as part of his act, so it is possible.
posted by TedW at 8:50 PM on May 12, 2009


You would be able to absorb the nicotine through your anus. More likely, if you had any cancerous growth, it would be rectal, rather than as far in as the colon. For the purposes of a bar bet, yes, you would get butt cancer.
posted by Saydur at 8:53 PM on May 12, 2009


Depends on if you're smoking a cigar with a plastic mouthpiece like a Swisher Sweet or if you're just shoving a big Cohiba straight up your ass.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:59 PM on May 12, 2009


Depends on if you're smoking a cigar with a plastic mouthpiece like a Swisher Sweet or if you're just shoving a big Cohiba straight up your ass.

I doubt it. Filter cigarettes still give people lung cancer. It's the tar that's carcinogenic, and present in the smoke. So you could be using nicotine suppositories and, just as with the gum or the patch, probably not get colon cancer from them.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:07 PM on May 12, 2009


Not all smokers (regardless of orifice of intake) get cancer, so the real answer to your question of "If you smoked a cigar with your butt would you get colon cancer?" [emphasis mine] is "Not necessarily."
posted by amyms at 9:08 PM on May 12, 2009


In spite of my name I don't speak with authority here, but yes, you would get cancer just the same; only the name is different. You're simply moving the carcinogens to a different mucous membrane in your body. The only question is how resistant that tissue is to the carcinogens.

You know, back in 1979 I never thought one day that I'd be on some global computer network answering a question about smoking a cigar through one's butt. I can only wonder what wonders 2039 holds, and that makes me a little bit excited about the future.
posted by crapmatic at 9:09 PM on May 12, 2009 [8 favorites]


(er, what am I saying -- you could get colon cancer, definitely, but there's no absolutes)
posted by crapmatic at 9:10 PM on May 12, 2009


Crazyray, it was Le Petomane. I thought of him as soon as I read the question. My dad had a book about him that I read as a kid.
posted by paulg at 9:13 PM on May 12, 2009


You would be able to absorb the nicotine through your anus. More likely, if you had any cancerous growth, it would be rectal, rather than as far in as the colon. For the purposes of a bar bet, yes, you would get butt cancer.

In all seriousness, though, I think it would likely be a possibility of anal cancer from the exposure, not colorectal cancer.
posted by desuetude at 9:15 PM on May 12, 2009


In all seriousness, though, I think it would likely be a possibility of anal cancer from the exposure, not colorectal cancer.

You're probably right. It's hard to imagine how deeply one could ... inhale ... colonic smoke.

Sigh.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:20 PM on May 12, 2009


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