It is widely accepted that smoking cigarettes causes such diseases as cancer and emphysema. But a clinic in Indonesia claims cigarettes actually cure such diseases.
According to a report from the news agency AFP, the Griya Balur clinic in Jakarta uses "divine cigarettes" to cure disease.
The report said:
The "treatment" for the emphysema sufferer includes the blowing of smoke from "divine cigarettes" infused with "nanotechnology" to remove their cancer-causing "free radicals", through a tube into her diseased lungs. Smoke is also blown into her ears and nose, while she holds a cup of aspirin over her right eye.
Clinic founder Dr. Gretha Zahar said she has treated 60,000 people with tobacco smoke over the past decade.
Zahar, who holds a PhD in nanochemistry, believes that manipulating the mercury in tobacco smoke can cure all diseases including cancer.
"Mercury is the cause of all illnesses. In my cigarettes -- we call them Divine Cigarettes -- there are scavengers that extract the mercury from the body," she said.
There are no studies to confirm Zahar's theories because she said on her web site that she does not need to conduct clinical testing. She also said she does she have the money to "fight" with "Western medical scientists" who disagree with her.
Zahar has her supporters. Aris Widodo, a pharmacology professor at Brawijaya University in Malang, East Java, said that no one has ever died from smoking; in fact, he said it is good for you.
"Smoking can eliminate anxiety, sharpen concentration and calm the nerves. It's a good cheap alternative to other expensive drugs, like Valium," he said.
Smoking is as commonplace in Indonesia as it was in the United States more than 50 years ago. Smoking rates have risen six-fold in Indonesia over the last 40 years.
Tobacco companies market aggressively there, as they search for new revenue streams as smoking declines in Western nations.