Apparently This Matters: Anti-smoking head cage

A man tried to offer me a cigarette. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.

Story highlights

  • A man in Turkey built a copper-wire head cage to keep himself from smoking
  • Ibrahim Yucel had a 2-pack-a-day cigarette habit
  • His wife and daughter are the only ones with a key to unlock the cage
  • A video detailing his master plan recently surfaced on YouTube

We all have bad habits. Nobody's perfect. Especially the booger eaters.

Most everyone will agree that one of the very worst habits -- if not THE worst habit -- is cigarette smoking. Because, really, as far as poor life choices go, it's right up there with setting your DVR for "Two and a Half Men."

Nothing good can come from it.

But one horribly addicted man in Turkey is determined to quit, and he's taking his efforts to a hilarious new level. Because, after 26 years of cigarettes, Ibrahim Yucel has decided to encase his entire head in a metal cage.

And, hell, it might just work.

"Apparently This Matters" Is Jarrett Bellini's weekly (and somewhat random) look at social-media trends.

Though, generally speaking, that kind of self-imposed personal torture is usually best reserved for adventurous bedroom shenanigans with shady (yet willing) people you meet on Craigslist.

So I've heard.

But Yucel is serious about kicking his two-pack-a-day habit, and, as a last-ditch effort, it's all come down to the metal head cage. Which has now gone somewhat viral.

A video detailing his master plan recently surfaced on YouTube, and amazed viewers got to watch Yucel's wife literally lock him in for the day before he headed off to work. Which, despite his positive, health-conscious intentions, is a terribly misguided decision.

As someone who had to wear orthodontic headgear as a kid, I can assure you there's no glory being seen in public looking like Hannibal Lecter.

But our hero doesn't seem to care, and perhaps this low-tech solution IS the solution.

Amazingly, Yucel created the device all by himself using 130 feet of copper wire. Which, on the down side, means if he ever wears it into the wrong neighborhood, it'll be gone in less than 10 minutes.

"Come on!"

But, until then the cage, which has only two keys that are kept by his wife and daughter, should prevent him from getting cigarettes up to his mouth, while providing just enough room for sliding in crackers and a flattened drinking straw.

Yucel is motivated by the memory of his father, who died of lung cancer, and I applaud the man for trying to quit. I wish more of you would do the same.

Not so much because I care about your health, but because my biggest pet peeve in life is when people throw their butts on the ground. It drives me crazy.

Unfortunately, even the kindest, most law-abiding citizens do it.

Apparently, at some point in history a bunch of old dudes got together to make the rules of life and officially agreed that, for whatever reason, this would not be considered litter.

"Beer bottles?"


"Fast-food wrappers?"


"Hey, what about cigarette butts?"

"Shut up, Dan."

To me, tossing butts on the ground is a habit almost as bad as actually smoking. It's rude. It's unsightly. And it's definitely worse than booger eating.

Fortunately, though, the majority of personal bad habits are rather innocent and don't have any real negative impact on society as a whole. For instance, I drink waaay too much Diet Coke, and none of you are any worse off because of it.

Save for my distracted co-workers who sit near the men's room.

"Hi. Me again."

Sadly, there are some habits that are so bad to the point where they don't even technically qualify as habits. For example, setting things on fire really shouldn't be "your thing."

"Good grief, Wayne. You gotta stop doing that."

"I know, right?"

But smoking is still pretty bad.

So, if you're not interested in donning Yucel's giant metal cage, and if the patch and the gum aren't working, I know of only one other sure-fire way to quit: Move to Sydney, Australia.

Never in my life have I seen cigarettes so expensive, where bumming one on the streets is basically like asking a stranger to pay your next mortgage bill.

Mind you, I'm not a smoker. But when I visit a foreign city I find you can often get a pulse for the general cost of living by how much they charge for beer and cigarettes.

And, at least from my travels, that's about as bad as I've seen it.

So, go to Australia, and I promise you'll be well on your way to better health. Unless, of course, you simply get killed just by virtue of being in that country.

Fun fact: Nine out of ten things in Australia are venomous. Including most office supplies.

But if all your foreign travel money is being spent on cigarettes in the first place, maybe you should settle for Yucel's giant metal cage. Even if it doesn't work, at least you'll still have it for the next time you browse Craigslist. And that can be fun.

So I've heard.

Follow Jarrett Bellini on Twitter.