Everyone knows cigarettes are extremely dangerous and addictive.
An American researcher wanted to also draw attention to how infectious the tobacco in cigarettes is, as the substance is laden with bacteria.
In fact, there is so much bacteria present in tobacco, Amy Sapkoto believes the number of germs could certainly be compared to the number of toxic chemicals and carcinogens that have been isolated.
Environmental scientist from the University of Maryland, Amy Sapkota, conducted a study that looked at the bacteria found in tobacco and whether or not these bacteria could possibly be a source of infection for a person who comes in contact with it. Sapkota conjectured that simply touching a cigarette or putting one unlit in the mouth can encourage an impairment of bodily functions.
Types of Bacteria Found
The researchers examined the genetic makeup of the bacteria they were able to isolate from the tobacco under sterile conditions. The genetic material of almost 800 different bacteria was compared to the bacteria in the four most smoked brands of cigarettes in Western countries: Marlboro Red, Camel, Kool Filter Kings, and Lucky Strike Original Red.
A few of the bacteria found in the cigarettes researched in this study include:
- Campylobacter, a germ leading to food poisoning and Guillan-Barre Syndrome;
- Clostridium, another germ causing food poisoning as well as leading to pneumonia;
- Corynebacterium, another pneumonia-triggering bacteria;
- Klebsiella, associated with pneumonia and urinary tract infections;
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa, another bacteria also associated to cases of pneumonia and urinary tract infections;
- Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, a third bacteria playing a part in pneumonia and urinary tract infections; and
- several staphylococcus species.
Instead, she theorizes that the cigarette smoke picks up bacteria as it is inhaled, and deposits it into the smoker’s lungs. From here, the bacteria thrives and contributes to the formation of disease.
Reference: Cigarettes might be infectious . . . and, presumably, people wouldn’t need to light up to risk getting sick [http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/55678/title/Cigarettes_might_be_infectious]