Germs in tobacco are potential source of respiratory infections blamed on smoking | Science News

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Germs in tobacco are potential source of respiratory infections blamed on smoking

Tests find hundreds of bacterial species in major cigarette brands

By
3:17pm, February 26, 2010

Cigarettes host a bacterial bonanza of hundreds of different germs, including those responsible for many human illnesses, a new genetics study reports.

The data support findings described last September by scientists at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. They extracted tobacco particles sitting atop filters or inside cigarette packaging and placed the particles in a sterile culture medium that simulated human lungs. In most cases, the team was able to grow bacteria that had been present on the near-microscopic flakes.

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