Navigation Links
Smokers Inhaling Germs With Each Cigarette
Date:12/2/2009

Study finds myriad microbes in tobacco, but risk is unclear

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- New research provides evidence that the average cigarette is crawling with germs, including bacteria that cause respiratory disease.

But as one spokesman for a tobacco company pointed out, the authors of the new study aren't sure what, if any, hazard the germs pose. And exposure to bacteria is nothing new: Microbes surround us every day of our lives.

Still, the findings raise plenty of questions, said study lead author Amy R. Sapkota. "Right now, we've just taken the first step to identify what's there. Now we need to figure out if they are impacting human health."

Sapkota and colleagues looked for germs in four brands of cigarette: Camel, Kool Filter Kings, Lucky Strike Original Red and Marlboro Red. Previous research looked at specific types of germs, while the new study is all-encompassing, said Sapkota, assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Health.

The researchers found hundreds of types of bacteria in the cigarettes, including some that cause respiratory disease, lung and blood infections, foodborne illness, as well as infections that people get when they're in the hospital.

It's unclear how many of the germs can survive the heating process of smoking, said Sapkota. But it's possible that many germs might make it into the lungs because only the tip of a cigarette is extremely hot, potentially allowing germs elsewhere to stay cooler.

Sapkota said it's too early to tell if the germs make smokers sick or are even harmful to people who breathe in smoke. But it is clear that smokers have higher levels of bacteria in their respiratory tracts and higher rates of bacterial infection, she said. "But no one has ever looked to see if the cigarettes themselves could be a source of those bacterial infections."

John L. Pauly, a Roswell Park Cancer Institute research scientist who has studied germs and cigarettes, said the new study and others raise questions about whether the bacteria in cigarettes could be responsible for disease in the lungs, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. They may also cause disease in the mouth, he said.

It's also possible germs could cause chronic inflammation that could boost the likelihood of cancer, he said.

The source of the germs is unclear, but Pauly said they could appear during the preparation of tobacco. Sapkota agreed, adding that the cigarettes "could have been contaminated anywhere from seed to pack."

David Sutton, a spokesman for Altria Group, Inc., formerly known as Philip Morris USA, said it hasn't reviewed the new study. But "after an initial look at it, I would point out the authors' conclusion section: 'The overall public health implications of these findings are unclear at this time.'"

The study findings appear in an upcoming issue of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

More information

Learn more about the dangers of smoking at the American Cancer Society.



SOURCES: Amy R. Sapkota, Ph.D., assistant professor, University of Maryland School of Public Health, College Park; John L. Pauly, Ph.D., cancer research scientist, department of immunology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, N.Y.; David Sutton, spokesman, Altria Group, Inc., Richmond, Va.; upcoming, Environmental Health Perspectives


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Teens who see more smoking in movies may have increased risk of becoming established smokers
2. Smokers More Likely to Develop Dementia
3. Help is Available for Smokers Who Want to Quit as Minnesotas Smoke-Free Law Takes Effect Oct. 1
4. First Puff Can Turn Kids Into Smokers: Study
5. Statins reduce loss of function, keeping old lungs young - even in smokers
6. Blood Test Catches Secret Smokers
7. Smokers Remain Unaware of the Health Effects of Smoking, New Survey Finds
8. Smokers Cost Medicaid System Nearly $10 Billion
9. Studies of 20,000 smokers show quit rates double with counseling and free nicotine patches
10. Smoking Cessation Rates Double With Intensive Counseling and Free Nicotine Replacement Therapy, Studies of 20,000 Smokers Show
11. FSU researcher lands $3.3 million grant to help smokers kick habit
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 ... brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live ... not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as ... City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events ... turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. ... tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... MIAMI, Fla. (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Florida Trend magazine’s 2016 Legal Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this ... of Florida. , Seven Greenberg Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... People across the U.S. are sharpening ... Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients and their families pay tribute to ... at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Belgium , June 24, 2016 ... the appointment of Dr. Edward Futcher ... Non-Executive Director, effective June 23, 2016.Dr. Futcher was ... Nominations and Governance Committees.  As a non-executive member ... independent expertise and strategic counsel to VolitionRx in ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  MedSource announced ... as its e-clinical software solution of choice.  This ... best possible value to their clients by offering ... The preferred relationship establishes nowEDC as the EDC ... for MedSource,s full-service clients.  "nowEDC has long been ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Any dentist who ... challenges of the current process. Many of them do not ... the technical difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. And those ... offer it at such a high cost that the majority ... Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: