Cigarette Smoke Effects On Plants?

Aaron Hicks ahicks at
Sun Jan 25 20:52:54 EST 1998

> What your neighbor may be confused about is that there's a virus that
> affects some tobacco plants. However, cigarette tobacco is (a)from a 
> different plant,

	How odd; this seems to disagree with the large body of reference
material that can be found easily on the web, not all of which
(presumably) is outdated.

	A quick mosey through Excite reveals the following nugget, from:

The most common sources of virus inoculum for tobacco mosaic virus are the
debris of infected plants that remains in the soil and certain infected
tobacco products that contaminate workers hands. Cigars, cigarettes, and
pipe tobaccos can be infected with tobacco mosaic virus. Handling these
smoking materials contaminates the hands, and subsequent handling of
plants results in a transmission of the virus. Therefore, do not smoke
while handling or transplanting plants. 

	This was from F. L. Pfleger and R. J. Zeyen, who are evidently
plant pathologists at UMN, and therefore not unaware of the facts.

	More interestingly, one company, at:
	Professes the following:

Possbily the most potentially significant economic threat that tobacco
mosaic virus poses is to the tobacco industry. This assay is for
detection of the type strain, or common strain, TMV-c, which is most
likely to affect field tobacco. Other field crops susceptible to
TMV-c include tomato and potato. Some ornamentals susceptible to TMV-c are
impatiens, chrysanthemums, geraniums, and African

	I think that this, too, has relevance to refute the concept that
TbMV is transmitted by a species "other" than that which is favored by RJR
and other such companies.

> and (b)dried and processed. Besides, by the time you're
> finished with it, it's ash. (Might even be useful as a fertilizer... :-)


"The tobamoviruses are very stable viruses. They can survive in plant
debris for many years."

	There are some that believe that TbMV survives the heat of
combustion, and is carried via particulates, and can infect plants as a
result. Many research greenhouses forbid smoking within a set distance of
their facilities, and don't even THINK about smoking near hydroponic
greenhouses with fat, happy tomato plants.

	Socorro, NM

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