By Chioma Obinna
As the world yesterday marked this year’s World No Tobacco Day, researchers have found that cigarette smoke and its components infiltrate bacteria in the body and reduce the immunity.
This is coming as the World Health Organisation, WHO, said moves to introduce plain packaging of tobacco products can save lives by reducing demand for tobacco products.
The researchers from the University of Louisville School of Dentistry researchers led by David A. Scott, found that Cigarette smoke and its components promote biofilm formation by several pathogens including Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus mutans, Klebsiella pneumonia and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, report scientists.
In the findings released on this year’s World No Tobacco Day, the researchers who explored how cigarettes lead to infiltration of bacteria in the body said the mouth is the dirtiest parts of the body and smoking makes it worse.
According to them, puffing cigarettes can increase the likelihood that certain bacteria like Porphyromonas gingivalis will not only set up camp but will build a fortified city in the mouth and fight against the immune system.
Scott and his team identified how tobacco smoke, composed of thousands of chemical components, stating that tobacco smoke is an environmental stressor and promotes bacteria colonization and immune invasion.
Scott explained that Biofilms are composed of numerous microbial communities often made up of complex, interacting and co-existing multispecies structures. Bacteria can form biofilms on most surfaces including teeth, heart valves and the respiratory tract.
“Once a pathogen establishes itself within a biofilm, it can be difficult to eradicate as biofilms provide a physical barrier against the host immune response, can be impermeable to antibiotics and act as a reservoir for persistent infection,” Scott added.
“Furthermore, biofilms allow for the transfer of genetic material among the bacterial community and this can lead to antibiotic resistance and the propagation of other virulence factors that promote infection.”
In a related development, the World Health Organisation, WHO, has said that the moves to introduce plain (standardized) packaging of tobacco products can save lives by reducing demand for tobacco products.
In a statement to mark this year’s World no Tobacco Day, WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan explained that “Plain packaging reduces the attractiveness of tobacco products. It kills the glamour, which is appropriate for a product that kills people.
“It restricts tobacco advertising and promotion. It limits misleading packaging and labelling. And it increases the effectiveness of health warnings.”
The theme of this year’s World No Tobacco Day – Get ready for plain packaging – highlights the new trend in global efforts to control tobacco products, which kill almost six million people annually.
To mark World No Tobacco Day, WHO is launching a new guide to plain packaging of tobacco products, which gives governments the latest evidence and guidance on implementing the measure.