Tags: cigarettes | widely contaminated | bacteria | germs | respiratory disease

Smokers Inhale Germs from Cigarettes

Thursday, 03 December 2009 08:36 AM

Cigarettes pose a danger not only to your future health, as a potential cause of heart attacks and lung cancer, but also your immediate health, as germ sources, according to an international study.
Cigarettes literally crawl with bacteria, and smokers inhale germs with each cigarette, including germs known to cause respiratory disease, according to the study by a University of Maryland environmental health researcher and microbial ecologists at the Ecole Centrale de Lyon in France.
The germs could even infect others via secondhand smoke.
"Cigarettes themselves could be the direct source of exposure to a wide array of potentially pathogenic microbes among smokers and other people exposed to secondhand smoke," the researchers said.
Still, the researchers cautioned that the public health implications are unclear, and they urged further research.
"We were quite surprised to identify such a wide variety of human bacterial pathogens in these products," said Amy Sapkota, an assistant professor in the University of Maryland's School of Public Health.
"The commercially available cigarettes that we tested were chock full of bacteria, as we had hypothesized, but we didn't think we'd find so many that are infectious in humans," Sapkota said.
"If these organisms can survive the smoking process — and we believe they can — then they could possibly go on to contribute to both infectious and chronic illnesses in both smokers and individuals who are exposed to environmental tobacco smoke." Sapkota said. "So, it's critical that we learn more about the bacterial content of cigarettes, which are used by more than a billion people worldwide."

© HealthDay

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Cigarettes may not just be a danger to your future health, causing heart attacks and lung cancer. Cigarettes are "widely contaminated"
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Thursday, 03 December 2009 08:36 AM
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