Insurance Lobby Presses Ancient Medical Equipment Into Service

Tobacco Smoke Enema (1750’s – 1810). Graphic courtesy of Dr. Charles Rookenpumpher

This old bogus device has been reintroduced
in Washington D.C. by the Health Insurance Lobby
Are You Starting To Feel It Yet ?

By Larry Ray / The Rag Blog / August 20, 2009

The tobacco smoke enema was reportedly used to infuse tobacco smoke into a patient’s rectum for various medical purposes, primarily for resuscitation of drowning victims. A rectal tube was inserted into the anus and attached to a fumigator and bellows used to force the smoke up into the rectum. The warmth of the smoke was thought to promote respiration, but doubts about the effectiveness of tobacco enemas led to the popular expression, “to blow smoke up one’s ass.”

It has been suggested that that faint pumping sound heard in the background of the health insurance industry’s frantic misinformation TV commercials is one of these old machines being pressed back into service.

[Retired journalist Larry Ray is a Texas native and former Austin television news anchor. He also posts at The iHandbill.]

The Rag Blog

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6 Responses to Insurance Lobby Presses Ancient Medical Equipment Into Service

  1. Richard says:

    Hey, wow, where can I get one of these machines?

  2. Hey, now that’s an interesting story; never did know where that expression came from.

    Since they no longer let cigarette-makers advertise on television, I guess we won’t see what could be a very clever form of advertising – using this ‘machine’ as the focal point.

    Maybe you should send this to Jon Stewart; he just might use it on his comedy show.

    Someone should make a video of this contraption being put to use on the rear-end of Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh…….

    Then again (just teasing), is this the REAL cause of AIDS???? Maybe that’s a bad joke; forgive me, please!

  3. P.S. – Have you noticed how many people who comment on your blog, either are anonymous, or don’t allow their profile to be shown????

    Makes me a bit curious….

  4. masterspork says:

    I use my Livejournal when I post here and you can trace that back. Also not everyone has a log in for this blog.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I read am article about the device, and expression….Blowing Smoke….
    a couple of days ago…and just wish I’d had the “smarts” to use it the way you have…Way to go…

    Guess we might not have to give Texas back to Mexico after all..

    I’ll bookmark you Blog and check back to see how you’re doing…

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