We see Spike smoke in Buffy the Vampire Slayer on many occasions

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We learn in the final Episode of Season 1 of Buffy that vampires can't breathe. Does that mean that Spike can't absorb the nicotine in the cigarette and get a nicotine buzz?

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    1) Nicotine might be absorbed through the mouth (that is how cigars work) 2) When Angel and Spike are in the corporate jet trying to save Fred (this is in the spin-off) Spike complains that due to them being vampires, they cannot get drunk (easily) and it is therefore not a satisfying experience for him. OTOH both Spike and Angel (when he was evil) smoked, indicating they do get something from the cigarette. Dec 16, 2015 at 5:40
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    It could also be just habit... the reason why some smokers have more success with e-cigarettes than with gum or patches. It's not just the nicotine.
    – Adeptus
    Dec 16, 2015 at 6:26
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    I could see Spike doing it purely for show at first (rebel William the Bloody) and just getting into the habit whether or not he gets anything from it, as @Adeptus says.
    – DavidS
    Dec 16, 2015 at 14:14
  • “Spike complains that due to them being vampires, they cannot get drunk (easily)” — huh. We definitely see Spike drunk in season 3. I guess we don’t see how hard it was for him to get that drunk though. Dec 24, 2015 at 17:44

2 Answers 2


Spike appears to enjoy smoking on more than just a psychological level, at least according to the show script for Fool for Love:

[He strikes a white-tip match off the pool table, lights the cigarette, savoring the first puff, and grins at Buffy through a cloud of exhaled smoke.] - Buffy: Fool for Love

Beyond that, there's not a lot of extra background (and nothing within the show) that specifically explain why he smokes and what he gets from it.


I would think that alveoli in his lungs could still absorb nicotine, even if his physiology didn't "require" them to absorb oxygen. Someone versed in the medical sciences could probably provide a more detailed answer.

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