Smith Brothers Smokers Drops - Treat the symptom.

Even though dad smoked my whole life, as well as several relatives, I'd never heard of "smokers drops", which apparently are not cough drop and not a candy. Smith Brothers says that they restore taste buds "dulled and faded by fatigue". What if my taste buds are wilted, and in dire need of restoration? How would I know? I need some of these, right away!
It seems that smoking dulls the sense of taste. The P.A.G. Research & Googling team was able to find lots of articles that insist this is true, but you can also find articles on the web about the health benefits of an all-monkey diet. WebMD is usually pretty responsible about this stuff, and they have an article referencing a study from the journal BMC Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders. So far, the BMC journal has never lied to me. It's the basis of our relationship. Here's some medical mumbo jumbo on the subject from my old pal BMC Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders:

“Smoking is an important factor which can lead to decreased taste sensitivity.”

If you like eggs, pizza, ice cream or Indian food, this is not good. However, if you're into durian or lima beans, this is great news, and those foods should be served on a bed of cigarette garnishes. Blunting the eater's enjoyment of these foods can only enhance the eater's enjoyment of these foods.

As I recall, a few (but not all) of my formerly-smoking friends have told me that their sense of taste gradually improves after kicking the habit. So, how did Smith Bros Smokers Drops work? They don't say. Hmm. To the internet!!! Disappointment. All Google has to tell me is that I can buy this ad from a number of auction sites for anywhere from ten to sixteen dollars. Who would buy a magazine that has survived fifty years in a basement or library storage room, only to cut it to pieces and sell the pages? Hmm. That's pretty good money. Still, in ten years I'll still have the magazine to flip through, and the pages will be even more valuable by then... unless time travel were to someday devalue all antiques by making it cheap and easy to buy them. I'd look like a fool. But if time travel were ever to be invented, wouldn't we have been visited by people from the future already? Hah! Screw you, AdsPast.com and your magazine-mangling craft! I'll continue to hoard my investment, and when the time comes, I'll stop by your headquarters in my solid gold helicopter to flaunt the fruits of my financial wisdom - if you're still in business, losers!

FDA regulations were different in 1958. Smith Bros probably weren't even required to prove that their "Smokers Drops" actually worked, or how they worked. If you think it's tricky researching a current product's efficacy, try finding reliable tests on a fifty year old product, from a time when companies could claim whatever they wanted with no evidence at all. You think this is easy? Come over here and say that!

Smith Bros. only mentions a "special medication", and uses a lot of mint-related imagery on the packaging. I'd imagine it's some kind of effect similar to a breath mint. You know how water feels extra cold if you drink some after eating a mint? These "smokers Drops" probably worked  via some mechanism kind of like that -one that temporarily increases sensitivity of the taste buds with contrasting flavors, readying them to be pummeled once again by a wildly different flavor. Other analogy: drinking orange juice after brushing your teeth. Exposing the taste buds to two very different flavors in succession will make them more distinct, by contrast. It could be that Smokers Drops contain ingredients that are very distinct from that of cigarette smoke, making your next cigarette more "cigaretty". This is conjecture on my part. I've done no tests of Smokers Drops.

Any readers with smoking experience are invited to share their experience on this subject in the comments.

YouTube link to TV host Andrew Zimmern having a little durian. Shuttle to 5:41.

Click for enbiggenment.


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