Why do we lose our senses of taste and smell when we smoke tobacco cigarettes?

For any smoker who has ever quit for even a few days, they often experience a vastly improved senses of smell and taste.  What many smokers do not know is that these senses often return just as quickly after switching to vaping.

It’s true.  In fact, one of the secret benefits of making the switch that is rarely mentioned in online blogs and chat rooms is that newbie vapers often experience a strong burst of physical and mental energy shortly after giving up combustible cigarettes. They feel more dynamic, they get more things accomplished throughout their daily lives, and they have more clarity in their thoughts and actions.

Related Article:  Study: Vaping lacks the hundreds of addictive chemicals found in tobacco cigarettes

 So, why does the sense of smell and taste dimmish when we smoke?  And why doesn’t vaping produce the same negative effects?

The answer is simple.  Combustible tobacco products are laced with over 7,000 different chemical additives, hundreds of which have no other purpose than to keep the smoker addicted.  It’s been this way since the 1950s, and Big Tobacco manufacturers have only been steadily increasing the amounts and levels of these toxic ingredients over time.  In fact, scientists can confirm that about 1,000 of these chemical compounds are not only carcinogenic, they severely hamper one’s senses of taste and smell.

Vaping versus smoking

When we breathe, the olfactory nerves located in the rear of the nasal cavity transmit any odors that we smell to the brain which then identifies them as either salty, sweet, sour, or bitter.  This mysterious biological function is why we sometimes find it rather difficult to taste food when we are sick with a stuffy nose.  The taste buds still work, but the reduced functionality of the olfactory nerves dampen the brain’s ability to identify and register the tastes of anything we eat.

When we use tobacco cigarettes, the noxious, tar-filled smoke immediately damages these olfactory nerves along with the mucous membranes in the nose and the taste buds in the mouth.   The damage is not permanent, but it does reduce the brain’s ability to recognize the four basic tastes even more substantially than when we have a cold. 

Related Article:  Study: Unlike e-cig vapor, cigarette smoke contains deadly carbon monoxide

Quit smoking, and the senses of smell and taste return quickly.  Food tastes richer, more flavorful.  And we can clock the smell of a burning cigarette from a mile away. 

Unfortunately, it is also these boosted senses of smell and taste that often make smokers trying to quit want to overeat.  Food seemingly never smelled and tasted so good!

Vaping is different.  The e-liquids used in vapor products are tobacco-free, and it’s the burning of tobacco leaves that produces the tar-filled smoke that coats the olfactory nerves, the mucus membranes, the taste buds, the airways, the lungs, and the arteries of our cardiovascular system. 

Without the tar and the thousands of senses-dampening chemical additives of Big Tobacco cigarettes, vapers experience a robustly tastier and more aromatically appealing lifestyle.  And because e-liquids lack the 7,000 chemical additives of conventional cigarettes, vapers are far less prone to contract heart disease, emphysema, bronchitis, and most especially, cancer.

Related Article:   Rutgers survey: 77% of doctors mistakenly believe nicotine (not smoking) causes cancer

 (Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

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