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Are Cigarettes Spreading Disease?

by Red Doge

Cured tobacco is a rich culture of many common bacteria, including those that cause food poisoning, pneumonia and staph infections. Are cigarettes spreading these diseases, especially to smokers?

Tobacco Is Nasty

Hundreds of bacteria species live in and on tobacco in cigarettes. Several scientific studies have grown dozens of disease-causing bacteria from tiny flakes of tobacco.

Scientists and doctors have known for decades that smokers and people who breathe second-hand smoke get lots of respiratory infections. Until recently, this was blamed on irritation or impairment of immunity in smokers. Now, it is known that tobacco itself carries the diseases.

Bacteria

Bacteria

The list of bacteria makes for a long rap sheet. It includes Campylobacter (food poisoning), Clostridium (pneumonia), E. coli, and Staphylococcus. Most are types that form spores when they go dormant. Bacterial spores are tough little cases that can survive many harsh conditions.

Tobacco, like all agricultural products, grows outside, in dirt. Unlike fruit, for example, which is harvested and refrigerated to keep it fresh, tobacco is hung in curing barns. A curing barn is dirty, hot and humid. This is a perfect place to grow bacteria, and it grows a lot.

When the tobacco is dried, the bacteria go dormant, making the spores that will come to life again in a warm, moist place, like your lungs. New smokers often get severe respiratory disease. Is it spread by the cigarettes? Seems likely.

Smoking is so 90's - 1890's

Smoking is so 90's - 1890's

So why haven't tobacco companies cleaned up their products? Nobody knows. They have dozens of patents for killing microbes. Some are very simple and cost-effective. But are they in use? It would appear not.

If you need one more reason to quit smoking, try this one. Smoking could give you pneumonia, food poisoning, staph, and antibiotic-resistant E. coli infections. If the lung cancer doesn't kill you, one of the bugs will.

Hey, I almost forgot the humor.

Once, I caught an elephant smoking in my pajamas.

How he got in my pajamas, I'll never know.

Apologies to Karl Marx and Brothers.

Red Doge - Would I lie to you?


Are Cigarettes Spreading Disease? - Links

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