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College Course on Tobacco Allows Students to Smoke in Class to Better Understand the Subject

A series of photos showing students casually lighting up cigarettes in what looks like a college classroom have been doing the rounds online for several months, leaving everyone puzzled as to what is going on. As it turns out, it’s just a display of hands-on learning in a course on tobacco.

The controversial photos originally went viral on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, back in November of last year, but they’ve been resurfacing on various other social networks and news sites ever since. Young students can be seen lighting cigarettes and casually smoking them, while others take their photos with smartphones and the teacher casually observes the spectacle. Teen smoking is frowned upon in China, as it is pretty much everywhere else, so the photos caused quite a stir online even after the dean of the university where the smoking took place offered an explanation.

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Cuban Sculptor Proves Tobacco Can Be Used for Better Things than Smoking and Chewing

Janio Nunez is a talented Cuban artist who has the gift of making incredible sculptures exclusively from tobacco leaves. He creates works of art both tiny and life-size that prove there are better things to do with tobacco than smoking it.

Janio’s fascination with tobacco began as a little boy, watching his grandparents roll cigars at the factory. He started copying them and ended up becoming a tobacco leaf roller himself. He worked at the factory, but after passing evaluations, he was sent to Varadero, Cuba’s largest resort in Cuba, to roll cigars for tourists. Everything was normal until one day when something really strange happened. He began seeing his co-workers like they were made entirely of tobacco leaves. He would get scared and close his eyes, and when he opened them they were normal again, dressed in their regular clothes. Then would turn around and see another colleague sitting down, all made of tobacco (clothes, face, skin, etc.). This happened sporadically for about four months, and his friends even took him to see a doctor about his “problem”. That didn’t help very much, and realizing something was wrong with him, he decided to do somehow fix things himself.

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German Village Hosts Weird Tobacco Sniffing Championship

Around 220 man and women gathered in the small Bavarian village of Kucha to fill their nostrils with tobacco, last weekend, during the German Tobacco Sniffing Championship.

The origins of this offbeat competition are unclear, but one thing is for sure: Bavarians take it very seriously. For competitors outside the region it’s mostly just a fun way to spend a summer weekend, but locals actually train for it, and come with all kinds of techniques to help them sniff as much tobacco as possible. During the German Tobacco Sniffing Championship, competitors are given a small box with five grams of tobacco called Smalzer, and they have to get as much of it in their nose.

Sounds easy enough, especially if you have a big nose, but seasoned veterans claim it’s all about skill and technique. Competitors are allowed to blow their noses, sniff and push the tobacco up their nose, but whoever sneezes is disqualified.  Tobacco sniffing is a big deal in Bavaria, and 90 % of tobacco-sniffing clubs are established in this region, so it’s no surprise Bavarians always win the competition.

This year, the contest was won by 43-year-old Christian Knauer, who managed to stick 4.993 grams of tobacco in his nose, and score a maximum score of 20, for cleanliness. Knauer, who also won last year’s competition, says his secret lies in the special plastic nails he uses to pick up the tobacco from the small wooden box. Picking as much Smalzer in only one minute can be tough, because the box has corners and angles, so he uses these custom nails.

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Clinic Claims It Can Cure Cancer and Autism with Tobacco Smoke

Most doctors claim tobacco smoke causes serious diseases, but at the Griya Balur clinic, in Indonesia, it’s used as a cure for cancer, autism or emphysema.

In most western countries, a clinic that uses tobacco as a remedy would have been closed down immediately, but in the city of Jakarta, it’s one of the busiest treatment centers. People suffering from serious illnesses, some ironically caused by years of smoking, come to Gryia Balur searching for miraculous cures associated with tobacco smoke. Its founder, Dr Gretha Zahar told AFP that she has treated over 60,000 people from all over the world, in the last ten years.

The treatment for cancer or emphysema sufferers includes blowing smoke from “divine cigarettes” infused with “nanotechnology”, through a tube, to remove cancer-causing “free radicals”. Smoke is blown into the mouth, nose and ears of the patients.  Zahar claims that smoking actually manipulates the mercury found in tobacco cigarettes, curing deadly diseases and even slowing down the aging process. On her website, she says her theories don’t need to be published in medical journals or subjected to clinical tests, and that she doesn’t have the financial resources to “fight Western medical scientists”.

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