On Cigarettes and Pig's Blood

Thanks to Joel, I was interviewed for Hungarian national radio today on the issue of trace amounts of pig's blood in cigarette filters. As you can probably imagine, the main thrust of my comments was that pig's blood is the least of a smoker's halakhic concerns. I do not like smoke and have little patience for smokers, and I believe that smoking is forbidden halakhically (even though I recently heard a story about how smoking saved lives - apparently the body adapts to decreased pulmonary function, allowing smokers to remain conscious and living much longer in lox-oxygen environments).

The interviewer wondered how it can be forbidden if the Torah says nothing about smoking (gotta love it when people fundamentally misunderstand fundamentalism).

In a nutshell, having given a disclaimer that I do not know the science of the issue and have not researched all of the halakhic implications, I gave the following reasons that it would not be forbidden to inhale pig's blood - they're pretty obvious reasons:
  • You inhale it, you don't eat it (can you smell bacon?).
  • By the time it enters your mouth, it's smoke.
  • The taste is batel.
It's really a no-brainer, if you ask me, and the 'scientist' who suggested that his findings might have religious implications is barking up the wrong tree, at least as far as keeping kosher is concerned.

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