NASA doctors recommend that Chilean miners should focus right now on building up their strength by eating the high- protein, high calorie foods from the narrow plastic tubes being sent down. On average each miner has lost 22 pounds during their captivity. To the continued request for cigarettes they have responded with nicotine patches and gum. “Life science experts” warn that in the tight quarters the men share that cigarette smoking would add to the other problems with the air in the mine.
But the request for cigarettes continued.
This weekend Chilean authorities relented and agreed to send down two packs of cigarettes a day for the miners who wish to smoke to share. The addition of a new compressor that will help the air circulation in the mine allowed authorities to reconsider the decision.
The addition of electricity this week will enable the men to have more light and restore their sleeping patterns, a key element in maintaining their mental health until the rescue.