Cigarettes Might Be Infectious

CigaretteJanet Raloff writes in Science News:

The tobacco in cigarettes hosts a bacterial bonanza — literally hundreds of different germs, including those responsible for many human illnesses, a new study finds.

“Nearly every paper that you pick up discussing the health effects of cigarettes starts out with something to the effect that smokers and people exposed to secondhand smoke experience high rates of respiratory infections,” notes Amy Sapkota of the University of Maryland, College Park. The presumption has been that smoking renders people vulnerable to disease by impairing lung function or immunity. And it may well do both.

“But nobody talks about cigarettes as a source of those infections,” she says. Her new data now suggest that’s distinctly possible.

If these germs are alive, something she has not yet confirmed, just handling cigarettes or putting an unlit one to the mouth could be enough to cause an infection.

Read More: Science News

6 Comments on "Cigarettes Might Be Infectious"

  1. “If these germs are alive, something she has not yet confirmed,”
    Perhaps the article is a little premature. People should consider the possible germs on ANYTHING they put in their mouths or breath through – but I don't see that people who smoke are that concerned about health risks.

  2. Additives, pesticides, and bleached paper. Not to mention gas from cigarette lighters. Native people didn't seem to have lung cancer back in the day. Granted, they didn't necessarily chain smoke or inhale deep. But there should be a study comparing smokers that smoke the regular tainted cigs (ie- Marlboro, Camel) vs. those that smoke organic cigs.

  3. man, i am fuckin' dying for a chesterfield right about now, and i have no idea why.

  4. Technobob | Feb 17, 2010 at 10:20 am |

    A prime reason to legalize electronic cigarettes and get people off that nasty tobacco

    Studies conducted in 1942 by Dr. Oswald Hope Robertson of University of Chicago's Billings Hospital showed vaporized propylene glycol inhalation in laboratory mice may prevent pneumonia, influenza, and other respiratory diseases. Additional studies in monkeys and other animals were undertaken to determine longterm effects, especially the potential for accumulation in the lungs. After a few months of treatment, no ill effects were discovered.

    • Word Eater | Feb 17, 2010 at 2:43 pm |

      And no second hand smoke means there is no reason to keep banning cigs from public venues.

  5. Word Eater | Feb 17, 2010 at 7:43 pm |

    And no second hand smoke means there is no reason to keep banning cigs from public venues.

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