How Exactly Do Cigarettes Affect Taste and Smell?
Vapor cigarette specialists at VaporFi explore how traditional smoking affects these important senses, and how e-smoking can help reduce these effects
It is well known that smoking causes of numerous types of cancers, cardiovascular diseases and numerous other health risks. However, the effects it has on the basic senses of smell and taste do not receive as much attention.
Losing these senses can make life a lot less pleasurable. By losing your sense of smell, it means you can't appreciate the scent of any flowers or a salty ocean breeze. Surprisingly, eating food relies heavily on our sense of smell since aroma contributes to flavor, which means eating is not as pleasurable. Smell and taste contribute to our enjoyment of life by stimulating a desire to eat – which not only nourishes our bodies, but also enhances social activities.
In fact, smokers are twice more likely to suffer from a reduced sense of smell than their non-smoking counterparts, according to the American Council on Science and Health. This impairment occurs in both young and older smokers.
Chemicals found in traditional cigarettes dull taste buds and scent nerves
Chemical compounds found in traditional cigarettes blunt the ability for your taste buds to register the four basic tastes: salty, sweet, sour and bitter. Luckily, the chemicals do not destroy the taste buds' ability to recognize tastes; they just decrease the receptor's degree.
Since the sense of taste is a combination of taste and smell, smoking can impair taste by interfering with both forms of sensory recognition and damaging mucous membranes.
Along with decreasing taste receptor's ability to recognize the four basic tastes, smoking also effects the ability to smell properly. Smokers also inhale and exhale cigarette smoke through both nose and mouth.
When you breathe, olfactory nerves—located in the back of the nose—transmit signals to the brain, signaling what you are smelling. Therefore, the chemicals in cigarette smoke dull the ability of the body's olfactory nerves to register the aromas of foods and other items. The longer you smoke the more of a chance of permanent damage to these receptors.
How to find out how much smoking is affecting your sense of taste and smell
If you are a smoker and have experienced any loss of smell or taste, an examination by a physician can determine how much of the loss is due to smoking. In order to do this, a physician may insert an endoscope in the nasal passage to view your nose. This will allow them to pinpoint any areas that have damage. If your degree of sense loss is severe, a CAT or CT scan may be used to identify if there are damaged areas in your sinus cavity.
How to regain your senses of smell and taste through e-smoking
Not using cigarettes is the first step to preventing most smoking-related health problems—including smell and taste. After about 48 hours of stopping, nerve endings begin to regrow. As you your sensory modalities recover, you will begin to experience a change in how most things tastes. These changes can mean that flavor preferences you had while you were a smoker may drastically change.
Moreover, these changes can evolve for several weeks to months. Since a smoker's senses are dulled, they tend to favor intensely flavored foods and stronger scents. But as senses recover, more subtle foods and scents may become preferable.
It may take years to reverse most of the effects of smoking - however, it will only take a few days to recover your sense of taste and smell.
By switching to e-smoking you can still get the nicotine you crave while keeping chemicals that affect your vital senses out of your body. VaporFi offers several kinds of starter kits that can provide you with all the tools you need – our custom e-juice options expose you to an array of flavors ranging from traditional tobacco to fruit, candy, coffee and more.
In addition to offering starter kits, custom e-juice and other accessories, you can browse our blog and knowledge center to learn more about the world of vapor cigarettes.