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Another Reason to Switch to Electronic Cigarettes?

Posted by on June 27, 2013 . 0 Comments.

If you stay up with all the news regarding tobacco cigarettes then you already know that traditional cigarettes have a wide variety of harmful chemicals and carcinogens added to the tobacco, however, did you also know that a recent study shows that cigarettes are also full of harmful bacteria that can cause humans to become ill.

A recent study that will be published by the University of Maryland shortly states that traditional cigarettes are contaminated with bacteria that are known to cause various diseases in humans. What this means is that smokers as well as those in the area that can inhale the second hand smoke are in danger of these infection-causing microbes.

The bacteria found in cigarettes include Burkholderia, Acinetobacter, Klebsiella, Clostridium, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Quite a few of the organisms that were discovered in tobacco cigarettes can lead to food borne illnesses, bacteremias, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and meningitis.

With this being found, researchers agree that more studies need to be conducted to determine how many of the various bacteria still survive after a smoker lights a cigarette and if these bacterium are able to colonize smokers lungs, respiratory tracts or other organs to cause disease.

Studies a few years ago showed that particles and tobacco flakes were found on the filters of cigarettes, thus the bacteria that are present in the cigarette could be transferred to the smoker prior to lighting the traditional cigarette. While the temperature is low after first lighting a traditional cigarette, some bacteria can survive long enough to be transmitted into the mouth of the smoker during the first few inhales. At this time, it is hard to determine if the bacteria that is found in tobacco cigarettes can infect the smoker due to not knowing if the bacteria can survive the high temperatures of a cigarette as it burns along with the different transmission route of the bacteria, as stated by Dr. Upendra Bhojani of the Institute of Public Health, Bangalore.

The four brands studied by researchers included Lucky Strike Original Red, Marlboro Red, Camel, and Kool Filter Kings, which were all bought at a retail store. All four brands were full of diverse bacterial from soil microorganisms to potential human pathogens. To estimate the bacterial metagenome, researchers used DNA microarray analysis.

It was found that hundreds of bacterial species were found in every cigarette. Amy R. Sapkota, the lead researcher, stated that they were very surprised to discover such a large array of human bacterial pathogens in the cigarettes. The research team was not expecting to find so many bacteria that are infectious in humans. The researchers believe that the organisms could actually contribute to infectious and serious illnesses in smokers and those that are exposed to tobacco smoke. Results of the study will be published in a future edition of the Environmental Health Perspectives.

With the new research on the harmful properties found in traditional cigarettes those that truly enjoy smoking but want to find an alternative are switching to electronic cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes are not stop smoking aids but provide smokers with an alternative so they can enjoy smoking without all the harmful chemicals and bacteria that has been discovered in tobacco products. Nicotine by itself does not cause cancer and has a few health benefits as well. The general public rarely hears of the good properties of nicotine as it considered an addictive product. Research conducted on electronic cigarettes at this time has not shown any adverse affects on smokers or those in the area.

Last update: January 30, 2014

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