Our bodies can be weird sometimes. What with the phantom pains, the sudden tingles, and the strange smells. Tastes, even. Pregnant women, for instance, note how their sense of smell and taste is altered over the course of their pregnancy. And sometimes, you can taste cigarettes but don’t smoke.
This bit of taste confusion is more common than you think. Before we get into the swing of why this happens, it’s important to note that our sense of smell and taste are heavily intertwined. But smell isn’t the only other sense that can influence what we taste. An article by The New Yorker notes that eating is a multi-sensory experience, with each sense contributing to how we taste things.
You might, then, be wondering: I taste cigarettes but I don’t smoke; what does this have to do with anything? A lot, it seems. If you start tasting something strange without even experiencing it firsthand, one of your senses might have a problem. Fortunately, most of the time, it’s not something serious. Unless, of course, your sense of smell is heavily involved.
Regardless, what can you do if you taste cigarettes but don’t smoke? Here are a few things that should get the taste out your mouth:
If you used to smoke but don’t anymore, the taste goes away in time
Tasting cigarettes long after you quit smoking is one of the struggles you’ll usually face when you quit. Sometimes, this can be a sign of nicotine withdrawal. This taste could be exacerbated if you tend to smoke at home, as the scent of cigarettes can cling to your household items over time. If this is the case, the taste should go away over time the longer you stay away from the tobacco.
There are ways you can lessen the taste, however. For one, keeping a regular oral hygiene routine can lessen the taste. Getting your teeth cleaned at a dental office could also give you an added layer of freshness to help battle those cravings. And if your sense of smell adds to the taste of tobacco, consider cleaning out your house. Avoiding places that smell like cigarettes can also do wonders as well.
Take note of when and where your mouth tastes cigarettes
Because your sense of smell and taste are interconnected, there’s a good chance that what you’re tasting might actually be something you’re smelling. If you live close to a smoking area, chances are you might have picked up the taste over time. Sometimes, the source could be a phantom scent from unusual places, like your mattress or beauty supplies. In that case, you might want to keep track of when and where those instances happen so it’s easier to find the source. And talk to your doctor about it, as well.
Get yourself checked up
When in doubt, however, it’s always best to consult your doctor when any weird tastes happen. With the sense of smell and taste intertwined, the strange tobacco taste in your mouth might be a sign of an underlying ailment. Phantosmia—the medical term for phantom smells—could be a sign of respiratory problems, a sinus infection, or a temporal lobe seizure. Regardless, it’s important that your doctor rule out other causes and treat what condition could be causing the change in taste.