Science Natural Science Meet Po the Snake: He's Addicted to Cigarettes By Stephen Messenger Writer San Francisco University, BA in Linguistics Stephen Messenger writes about animals and nature at the Dodo, and previously at TreeHugger our editorial process Stephen Messenger Updated October 11, 2018 Migrated Image Share Twitter Pinterest Email Science Space Natural Science Technology Agriculture Energy Photo via Metro With habitat loss and climate change threatening ecosystems across the world, animals have enough to worry about, but now it seems some are picking up on our unhealthier habits as well. Sure, we've seen alcoholic monkeys tipping back a few on St. Kitts, and that's bad enough--but they do have hands, after all. That can't be said for Po the snake, who's picked up a nasty habit of his own. Po can't start off his day without his morning cigarette--that is, according to his owner, who smokes a pack a day herself. Does this count as animal cruelty?Po's owner, Sho Lau of Taiwan, said the 3-year-old snake discovered the habit on his own with no coercion--perhaps thinking that it would make him seem 'cool'. He is very tame and one day when I threw a cigarette butt away he went for it and seemed to enjoy having it in his mouth. One thing led to another and before long he was having one cigarette in the morning and another at night. According to the report from Metro, Po is grumpy if he doesn't have the chance to light up at least a couple of times a day. Lau added that the snake "gets very agitated if I don't have [a cigarette] to spare." If not animal cruelty, it's at least a pretty clear case of enabling--and we should hope that Po's owner doesn't have any other nasty addictions to pass on to the reptile. Because if there's one thing the world could do without, it would be junkie snakes. Then again, there's the possibility that Sho Lau may be playing a bit of a prank on the media, and that Po may actually be a non-smoker. This should be our hope, since after all, everybody knows that yellow fangs are quite unflattering on a snake.