Does smoking impair my senses?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
If you can't imagine finishing a wonderful dinner without lighting up a cigarette, think about this: Quit now and you'll enjoy your next meal even more. Smoking tobacco impairs your sense of taste and smell. Both of these senses need to be fully functioning in order for you to experience the flavor of fine foods.

Of course, an impaired sense of smell robs you of the ability to appreciate aromas and scents in the world around you too. If you want to stop and smell the roses, kick the habit first.
Ximena Jimenez
Nutrition & Dietetics
Most smokers regain their sense of taste and smell after 48 hours of smoking cessation. This is one reason exsmokers may start eating more because food will taste better. If you are committed to stop smoking but afraid of gaining weight, you can visit a registered dietitian. He/she will give you the right guidance to prevent those unwanted pounds. You can find one at
Robert S. Kaufmann, MD
Internal Medicine
It impairs the sense of smell and taste because you burn taste bud from the heat and also the smoke through your nose affects the smell portion. The heat from the cigarette can affect your taste and smell.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

The only senses we know smoking impairs are your sense of taste and smell.  Your sense of hearing is not affected in the short-term, nor is your sense of vision or pain or touch in the short-term.  In the long-term, however, all of your senses are impeded because tobacco of any kind affects your blood vessels and it is the blood vessels to the nerves in your eye, in your brain, and in your skin, that are major-league providers for your sense of seeing, hearing, touch, and other pleasures.  Macular degeneration, where it affects your eyes, is increased 2 to 5-fold by smoking.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.