In today’s scary smoking-related news: Apparently, smoking doesn’t just give you wrinkles and an inhaler dependency, it also messes with your ability to taste. According to the Huffington Post, a new study shows that both current and former smokers have more difficulty identifying the bitter taste of caffeine, compared with non-smokers.
Researchers studied the taste buds of 451 Parisian hospital staff members, asking them to identify sweet, sour, salty and bitter tastes. And while smoking didn't seem to affect the participants' identification of sweet, sour or salty, when it came to bitter, the difference in identification was significant. Nearly 27 percent of former smokers and 20 percent of current smokers could not correctly identify the bitter taste of caffeine, while only 13 percent of non-smokers had the same problem.
As researchers explained in the study, the difference in taste by current and former smokers is likely the cause of a toxic process and, "As taste impairment persists in former smokers, the bioaccumulation of some tobacco/combustion products might be responsible for the disequilibrium in taste buds regeneration." Ick.
And there you have it, friends: Reason number 98,273,792,817 smoking sucks.
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