Cigarette Smoke Effects On Plants?

Ross Drewe rdrewe at
Tue Jan 27 12:39:44 EST 1998

ellen at wrote in article
<6agdn9$sr$1 at>...
> In article <34CB4357.267E at>,
> Eric  <nsraot at> wrote:
> >ellen at wrote:
> >> 
> >> I can tell you anecdotally that I've had healthy houseplants all
my life
> >> and have been smoking for over 40 years. (And I'm also healthy,
btw. :-) )
> >>
> >
> >Fortunate you.  I spend my life working on tobacco issues and the
> >facts are these: (i) cigarette company products kill one out of
> >two long term users; (ii) those from developed countries who die
> >their smoking lose, on average, 16 years of life; and (iii)  half of
> >those killed by cigarette company products will die in middle age,
> >an average loss of life of 23 years.


> Btw, your 'factoids' above are totally meaningless. But you knew

I think that Eric is basically right about cigarettes and humans -
there is a huge amount of research in the medical literature which
makes it very clear that cigs are bad for you. I'm not interested in
trying to persuade smokers to stop, but it's dishonest to pretend the
evidence doesn't exist.

What is more interesting is the original question - does cig smoke hurt
Eric implies that plants are probably injured by cigs simply because
humans are. This does not follow at all. Many gardeners used to soak
old cig butts in water to obtain a tar & nicotine solution which could
be sprayed on plants to kill insects - even tough ones like
grasshoppers. Gardening books and columns used to say that this would
not hurt the plant. None of my gardening acquaintances have found any
problem, so I'll be interested to hear if anyone can come up with more
definite info.

Ross Drewe

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