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Plants Absorb Second-Hand Smoke, Too: Flora Can Take In Nicotine

Non-smokers aren’t the only ones to suffer from passive smoking. New research from the Technical University of Braunschweig, in Germany, has determined that plants can also absorb nicotine from cigarette smoke, soil and pesticide sprays.

The data showed that many plants yield higher quantities of nicotine residues from periods when pesticides used contained nicotine. Plants that were mulched with tobacco leaves also absorbed nicotine into their leaves. “Tremendously elevated nicotine levels were detected after fumigation with cigarette smoke,” says Dirk Selmar, lead author of the study.

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