Smoking inside the Spaceships: Do the Space People Smoke?

George Adamski

There is a charming scene in George Adamski's Inside the Spaceships:

But I saw nothing the least like an ash tray. I suppose I knew instinctively that these people were not addicted to the nicotine habit and I left my cigarettes in my pocket. Once, however, through sheer force of habit, I reached for them. Observing this, the little lady from Venus smiled and said, “You may smoke if you like. I will get you a receptacle for your ashes. You see, only Earth people indulge in that odd habit!”

I thanked her and returned the package to my pocket without taking a cigarette.
That's Kalna. Unfortunately, GA does not seem to have taken that advice to heart, because he apparently remained a heavy smoker.

Some translations

Retour aux sources cosmiques II ("Return to the cosmic sources II") has some French translations of that scene. I back-translated them into English with the help of Google Translate. In the text:

Pris par sa vieille habitude, George tira machinalement un paquet de cigarettes de sa poche et chercha des yeux un cendrier. La Vénusienne sourit et dit: "Fumez si vous le désirez, je vais vous chercher de quoi mettre vos cendres". Il n'osa pas et remit le paquet dans sa poche. Les E. T. ne fument jamais. (Note du Webmaster: Il n'est pas besoin de dire ici qu'à l'époque, il était de bon ton de fumer en société et donc Adamski anticipe ici, des années avant, la sortie des rigoureuses lois anti-tabac)
Google Translate with some editing:
Caught by his old habit, George mechanically pulled a cigarette pack from his pocket and looked for an ashtray. The Venusian woman smiled and said: "Smoke if you want, I'll get you something to put your ashes into." He did not dare to do so and he put the pack back in his pocket. The ET's never smoke. (Webmaster Note: One does not need to say here that at the time, it was fashionable to smoke in society, and that Adamski anticipates here, years before, the passing of strict anti-smoking laws)
It's certainly interesting to see how attitudes can change so drastically, from smoking as something stylish to smoking as something very distasteful and unhealthy.

The illustration has this text:

Machinalement, Adamski sort de sa poche un paquet de cigarettes...
Vous pouvez fumer si vous le désirez, mais, voyez-vous, les terriens sont les seuls à s'adonner à cette curieuse habitude!
Google Translate with some editing:
Mechanically, Adamski takes from his pocket a pack of cigarettes...
You can smoke if you wish, but you see, Earthlings are the only ones who engage in this curious habit!
I checked out other translations, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Czech, and Bulgarian, and back-translating them using Google Translate, I found "strange" for the habit in all of them, though Google Translate often listed "weird" and "odd" as alternative translations.

For more on ITSS, George Adamski's Inside the Spaceships Artist's Conceptions


Howard Menger observed nobody smoking during a trip to the Moon, despite the lack of "No Smoking" signs. He also had no desire to smoke his pipe, something unusual for him (From Outer Space to You).

Elizabeth Klarer noted about the people of Meton, her lover Akon's homeworld in the Alpha Centauri system, that they do not use recreational drugs, drink CH3CH2OH, or smoke (Beyond the Light Barrier).

Truman Bethurum noted about the people of Clarion, a planet on the other side of the Sun from the Earth, that they do not have tobacco, meaning that they don't smoke (The Iron Skeptic - Truman Bethurum).

Star Trek

On a somewhat related subject, consider Star Trek: The Original Series. From Smoking - Memory Alpha, the Star Trek Wiki,

During the making of Star Trek: The Original Series, Gene Roddenberry and others associated with the production fought NBC and Desilu so that cigarettes were omitted from the series. "Even with the heaviest smokers, including myself, I fought for it," Roddenberry recalled. "In the end, it paid off for everyone; I think everyone now agrees that the original episodes would not be rerunning so successful if we had yielded to advertising pressure and put a 'twenty-third century cigarette' into the mouth of Kirk and others."
So ST:TOS was successfully ahead of the curve on smoking. It had nothing like ITSS on smoking, though some other Star Trek productions have come close.

But something closer to the spirit of that confrontation was in "The Neutral Zone", in Star Trek: The Next Generation. In it, three 20th-century people are revived from being frozen for some four centuries. L.Q. "Sonny" Clemonds, a musician, adapts the best after some initial fumbling, even returning to his old substance-abuse habits. Clare Raymond, a housewife, is very distraught at the absence of her family members. Ralph Offenhouse, a financier, wants to check on his assets. He is very sore at the unhelpfulness of the Enterprise's crew and he wants to call his lawyer about his situation. Captain Picard is very snotty and heavy-handed, sad to say: "A lot has changed in the past three hundred years. People are no longer obsessed with the accumulation of things. We've eliminated hunger, want, the need for possessions. We have grown out of our infancy." Much like some contactees' Space People.

It's difficult for me to think of something in the spirit of Kalna's response, but I propose "We can help you out with your assets. But all those centuries may make them hard to find. Even if you do find them, you may discover that you won't need them here."

There are several striking similarities between the home society of Star Trek and the societies described by some UFO contactees, notably George Adamski.

Smokin' in the Boys Room

Smokin' in the Boys Room is a song about having to smoke there because the school's management doesn't allow that activity. It seems very appropriate in this context ("Smoking in the Spaceships"?).

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