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This snake needs to practice safe smoking techniques. Smoking near dried leaves is never a good idea and could lead to a forest fire.
Today I wanted to call your attention to a growing problem within the herping community: snakes smoking cigarettes. That’s right, there’s no need to reread that first sentence over again, that is indeed what I intended to say. Aside from what the media and various “shady characters” will try to convince you of, this grievous habit is not cool! Click here to see the "motivation" behind this blog>>
Now, my snakes have never asked me for a cigarette, nor have I encouraged them to take up the habit, and that is how it shall remain. I myself do not smoke, and I hope that I have taught them both well enough that they will not fall victim to the threat of peer pressure, and make the right decisions in regards to important issues.
Apparently, not everyone has this same opinion, and several snakes have been allowed to take up this bad habit. I say “allowed,” because as you know, snakes have no opposable thumbs, so they cannot strike a match or use a lighter. They also do not have pockets to carry their money in, so you know somebody has to be enabling their habit. Seems unbelievable? Read the news story on the snake hooked on cigarettes in Taiwan and decide for yourself.
I’ve noticed that any time herps are reported on in the media, they always seem to misidentify the species, or get other key details or facts on the animals wrong or twisted. This is again the case with this story, as the snake is listed as a pit viper, and then jokingly referred to as a puff adder for comedic effect. The snake appears to be a Taiwan beauty snake, as a person points out in the comments.
I question how this irresponsible pet owner would let this bad behavior continue, or even let it start. The health and well being of the animal was obviously not their primary concern. How does one “accidentally” give a cancer-causing non-food item to an animal, anyway? And secondly, how does one help an addicted snake “kick the habit” without severe consequences to both owner and pet?
What’s next? Enough pets start smoking, and before you know it, tobacco companies will find a way to cash in on the trend, marketing their products to the new cold-blooded crowd. They’ll start making snake-sized cigarettes or flavors of tobacco that appeal to lizards. As more and more herps give in to temptation or just try to be cool like their friends, this situation could get out of hand very quickly. This needs to end now!
-The Toad Talker