Tag Archives: smoking ban

Dadobaccy, placcy-baccy and jenkem

20110606 Outdoor ashtray smoking dude face 150x150 Dadobaccy, placcy baccy and jenkem

Smoking is one of those things that has, on the one hand, never really appealed to me, yet on the other, it has always fascinated me.  Contradiction?

Well, it is something I wouldn’t get into myself, as I don’t like the smell or taste of it and it’s bad for you, but I’ve always found it intriguing to watch others – whether that’s watching someone lovingly crafting a “rollie” and setting fire to it, or all the paraphernalia that comes with smoking: cigar cutters, pipes, cigarette holders, lighters and so on.

The young Blue Peter and Bitsa enthusiast

When I was a 9 year old boy it suddenly became really cool for the boys to walk around the playground with fake cigarettes – home-made of course.  These were typically made out of bits of white paper rolled into tubes, made to look like cigarettes, the burning and filter effects drawn on with pencil crayons.  As a 9-year-old I already had an engineering (or Blue Peter/Bitsa) streak in me and had to go one step further and found a way of simulating smoke: I got a wad of cotton wool, sprinkled on some (read: sh*tloads of) talcum powder and rolled the thing up with white paper around it.  I then scorched the end to give it that authentic burning effect.  To produce “smoke” you would simply blow through the tube and fill the entire house with dust and the smell of Grandma Suckerbag.  Needless to say, Mother Suckerbag wasn’t too happy about that…

Smoking ban

When the smoking ban was introduced in England it was met with mixed feelings.  In the run-up to it I seem to recall the BBC doing regular vox pops around The Berkeley, a JD Wetherspoon’s pub on Queen’s Road, Bristol, England.  Whether good or bad, the ban is here to stay and it has led to a new culture of smokers congregating outside pubs and other public buildings, hovering around one of these ashtrays that looks like a cool smoking dude.


Ever the half-baked inventor, I was inspired by this and something I saw on a hospital construction site in Cambridge a few years ago.  In hospital wards you sometimes have dado trunking with specialised gas outlets, for oxygen, laughing gas and a vacuum socket (imagine attaching yourself to the wrong one…).  The gas outlets are typically fed from cylinders in the service yard.

In the same way you could have a central tobacco burning room and feed tobacco smoke through the dado trunking on insertion of coins or a pre-paid chip card.  An office worker could put on a modified diver’s helmet and plug it into the socket.  An air extract system would be in place along with a clean air supply, creating a constant air circulation inside the helmet, preventing leakage.  The advantage of this would be that people could carry on working whilst smoking and wouldn’t have to take 5-minute fag breaks.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but my drawings skills are terrible so you’ll have to make do with my description.  I call my invention dadobaccy and it need not be restricted to offices: it could be implemented in on trains, planes and hospital wards… Doctors would recommend it!! (Not)

Disposable pipe 

An earlier invention I had was to use empty fountain pen cartridges to make disposable pipes.  Simply take one out of your pen, stuff it full of Golden Virginia, Drum or Cutters Choice (I only know these names because I used to work in a convenience store) and Bob’s your uncle!  Have I ever mentioned the fact that I have an uncle Bob?  I’m sure I have…  Search for it in the archive…

The only trouble is that you get the added toxic fumes from the burnt plastic, which would pack a punch equivalent to the fictitious Jenkem (look it up if you don’t know what that is).  I call this invention placcy-baccy.

Cool smoking dude

This image was sent in by Tom in Cambridge.  It is a nice addition to the two pictures I had in my collection already.  Have a look through the archive to see if you can find them!

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Smoking: a cool image?

20101101 Cool Smoking Face 300x225 Smoking: a cool image?Before the smoking ban came into force I don’t remember seeing these bins outside pubs much. I’m not a smoker myself, though I have enjoyed the odd cigar in the past – inside pubs, of course. On the one hand I think the ban has taken some of the atmosphere aware from bars, but on the other hand smoking is unhealthy and it is probably for the better. Rights and wrongs and politics aside, the design of this particular bin is striking, in that it looks vaguely like a “cool dude” wearing sunglasses with a fag in its mouth. Whether by design, or by accident, it’s a face nonetheless.

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