- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Are Chinese citizens desperate enough to stick cigarette butts up their nostrils on the chance that the filters will lessen the effects of perpetual smog?

The answer is as unclear as the air, reports the New York Times. While the Times did find some evidence that rumors of such measures may be a mocking response to the country’s pollution problems, the number of seemingly serious replies makes discerning the truth difficult.

Sina Weibo, a Chinese social network website akin to Twitter, has also turned up proof that cigarette butts are being considered as anti-pollution devices.

“A magical fix for coping with the haze,” read one message, which was repeated thousand of times, according to the Times. “Take two cigarette filters, strip away the wrapping paper, and insert them in the nostrils.”

The matter was taken seriously enough that the Changsha Evening News, a newspaper from Hunan Province in southern China, addressed the issue on Tuesday.

“Doctors have stated that this technique will definitely obstruct air entering the nasal cavity, and will affect normal breathing,” the paper reported Tuesday.

The Beijing Youth Daily also weighed in, saying that individuals should not try the method.

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