How to Blow Smoke Rings in a Safer Way

No need to inhale if you learn how to blow smoke rings with a bottle
How to Blow Smoke Rings
Smoke Rings From A Bottle Photograph by Jonathon Kambouris

You don’t have to take up bad habits to blow smoke rings. On the YouTube channel DaveHax, life hacker David Haxworth teaches viewers how to blow smoke rings using a balloon, an incense stick, and a plastic bottle. “I first saw the homemade smoke rings idea on a TV show when I was a child, and I remember thinking it looked like great fun,” Haxworth says. The balloon propels puffs of smoke through the bottle’s mouth, creating picture-perfect smoke rings—no inhalation required.


  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Cost: $4
  • Difficulty: Easy


  • 16.9 oz. plastic bottle
  • Balloon
  • Incense stick


  1. Use scissors to cut off the bottom of a dry, empty plastic bottle, while taking care not to slice your skin on the sharp plastic.
  2. Cut off and discard the narrow mouth of a balloon. Carefully stretch the balloon over the bottom of the bottle until it’s taut.
  3. Light an incense stick with a match or lighter, and then blow it out. Hold the smoky end inside the bottle, covering the opening.
  4. Once the bottle has filled with smoke, remove the stick. Lightly tap on the balloon end of the bottle to produce a smoke ring.

This article originally appeared in the July 2015 issue of Popular Science.