I see them all the time, in every city I visit. Chefs and kitchen-help smoking in the alley or outside of a restaurant’s back door. Even the culinary school downtown is overrun with smokers. I’ve never understood how this could be because it seemed to me that cigarettes had to have some sort of effect on taste buds.
Now, a study shows some very interesting data on the subject.
Smokers who want to really enjoy their favorite meal will have to kick the habit
A new study led by researchers at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki finds a difference in the shape and number of taste buds on the tongues of smokers and non-smokers.
Researchers electronically stimulated the tongues of 62 Greek soldiers to determine their taste sensitivity. They found the 28 smokers scored worse than the 34 non-smokers.
The scientists then examined their tongues and discovered the smokers’ tongues had flatter taste buds and a lower blood supply.
From the scientific journal:
Bitter taste recognition was wrong among 13.4, 19.8 and 26.5 % of non-smokers, current smokers and former smokers, respectively (p = 0.043). The adjusted odds ratio (95 % confidence interval) of correct bitter taste recognition was 0.31 (0.14–0.69) among former and 0.74 (0.35–1.55) among current smokers (p = 0.016), compared to non-smokers while adjusting for gender, age, year of assessment and bitter taste intensity. The distribution of caffeine’s bitter taste intensity was bimodal regardless of the smoking status.