The impact of burning tobacco on the lungs of smokers has been well researched throughout the years, and the link between smoking and lung cancer and other lung diseases, such as emphysema, is abundantly clear. Looking at it from a scientific point of view, tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 compounds, of which about 60 are known carcinogens, or agents directly involved in the promotion of cancer.

don't smokeOn top of this, smoking is associated with a high level of oxidative stress and free radical damage, which depletes the body of much-needed antioxidants to help support a healthy immune system. However, a new study seems to show that there is a substance that may help lower the level of oxidative stress and free radical damage to a smoker’s lungs.

Published in the November 2009 issue of Respiratory Medicine, researchers found that the consumption of tea may slow the damage that cigarette smoke causes to the lungs, thanks to tea’s chemical compound that seems to find its way into most health articles, EGCG. The study specifically studied Chinese green tea, but this Tea Sommelier strongly suspects that any “real” tea that they would’ve utilized would’ve produced the same results.

I write today’s blog entry not to support smoking by any means, merely to show yet another amazing benefit of tea, even in the face of such an unhealthy habit as smoking.

I strongly subscribe to the notion that if you want to protect your lungs and you smoke, you should quit smoking. There are myriad websites out there to support you in kicking the habit, such as this one, as well as many other solutions.

If you need a little inspiration to help you quit, consider the fact that smoking actually dulls your taste buds. By quitting you can really enjoy a cup of tea – the way it should taste!