Does food taste a little off or different for you lately? If you’re a smoker, don’t be surprised. This may be another side effect of nicotine.
A new study conducted in Greece suggests that cigarette smoking may cause “decreased taste sensitivity,” making your food less palatable.
Researchers from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki tested 62 young soldiers with the average age of 25, almost half of whom were smokers. Their tongues were tested for taste sensitivity and the shape of their taste buds was also checked.
The scientists discovered that the smokers’ tongues were flatter than the buds on the tongues of the non-smokers, though there was no difference in the number of tastebuds between the two groups.
This suggests that nicotine may cause “functional and morphological alterations of taste buds without severely affecting their number.”
If you’re a chain smoker, losing your sense of taste may not be as worrisome as the other dangerous effects of smoking. For every stick you smoke, you inhale some 4,000 toxic chemicals, over 40 of which – including nicotine – have been directly linked to cancer.
Today, almost one-third of fatal cancer cases and one-fourth of all fatal heart attacks in the U.S. are associated with smoking. Aside from cancer, other diseases attributed to smoking include, angina, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and other respiratory ailments.
Smoking is tough to overcome because nicotine, when ingested, makes you feel relaxed, and as smoking becomes a habit, your body develops a physical and psychological addiction to nicotine. That is why when a smoker tries to quit smoking, withdrawal symptoms occur.
But it is not impossible to quit smoking. For Dr. Joseph Mercola, the best way to treat substance abuse is to not start using harmful substances in the first place.
Simply reducing the number of cigarettes does almost nothing to lower a smoker’s risk of cancer. That is why complete abstinence is required. Quit cold turkey – it’s the only way to go.