Smoking Can Lead to Poisoning


HealthDay News came out with a study that highlights the detrimental effects of smoking on taste buds. Many smokers enjoy coffee along with their cigarettes, but the taste of the coffee might get weaker over time due to the dulling of taste receptors. For those who are fans of caffeine, see how smoking might lead to poisoning.

Researchers from France discovered that smokers, and even former smokers, were less able to notice the bitterness of a flavor than people who never smoked. The theory is based on the toxicity of tobacco chemicals found in cigarette additives, but the researchers were unable to link a direct cause-and-effect relationship.

Four hundred fifty people were tested to recognize four basic tastes, which included sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. The intensity of each taste was also tested. The three groups of participants included smokers, nonsmokers, and former smokers. Interestingly enough, smoking had no affect on the ability to taste salty, sweet, or sour flavors.

The results showed that one in five smokers could not identify the bitter taste of caffeine correctly, compared to 25 percent of former smokers, and 13 percent of nonsmokers. The lead researcher in the study, Nelly Jacob, said the buildup of certain compounds from cigarettes likely hinder the regeneration of taste buds. It is still unknown how long it would take, if even possible, for taste buds to fully regenerate after cessation. This still does not explain how smoking would lead to poisoning, but consider the 2009 study from Webmd.

An article was published on the dulling of taste buds from smoking, supporting background for the recent research. The study was conducted in Greece consisting of 62 men in the military; half were known smokers. These men were tested for taste sensitivity, and taste buds were measured for shape. The number of taste buds did not differ among the two groups, but smokers’ tongues were flatter than those of nonsmokers. Few smokers perceived taste equally to nonsmokers.

There is more than enough support that shows taste does fall victim to cigarette smoke. A large percentage of those who favor one stimulant, might also favor another; smokers love coffee and this holds true from one country to the next. So, the question that remains pertains to one of the most relied upon senses in the human body. If coffee drinkers think their coffee is too weak, what would happen to someone who drinks too much? Overtime, this behavior could complicate overall well-being, and even lead to death.

Symptoms of caffeine overdose include breathing trouble, confusion, convulsion, hallucinations, fever, irregular heartbeat, rapid heart rate, and vomiting. People can also incur complications from other health conditions as well. If an overdose were to occur, a doctor might counter the effects through activated charcoal, breathing support, laxatives, stabilizing abnormal heart rhythms, and/or gastric lavage –National Institutes of Health. Smoking leads to many bad side effects, and besides cancer and cardiovascular disease, poisoning oneself due to poor taste receptors might not only be embarrassing if the person lives through it, but would definitely be a horrible way to go.

Opinion By Lindsey Alexander


Medline Plus



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