The Top 20 Health Benefits of Smoking
Many studies claim that smoking is harmful to health, but many also claim smoking can be good for you. Like many things in life, if you abuse something it will harm you back, but if you respect something and take it easy, there is little reason to fear it. Cigs are made from natural plants, with toppings added, wrapped in a paper tube, and compared to Alcohol; the world most deadly drug, smoking is actually quite beneficial.
"Nicotine may result in: (1) positive reinforcement, (2) negative reinforcement, (3) reduction of body weight, (4) enhancement of performance, and protection against: (5) Parkinson's disease (6) Tourette's disease (7) Alzheimers disease, (8) Ulcerative colitis and (9) some Cancers. The reliability of these effects varies greatly but justifies the search for more therapeutic applications for this interesting compound."
Here are a number of health benefits you may not be aware of:
1. Smoking Aids Concentration - "In one experiment carried out by Wesnes and Warburton, smokers and non-smokers were required to watch a clock for 80 minutes. Every time the hand of the clock paused, they had to press a button. Not only did smokers outperform non-smokers, they were still performing just as well 60 minutes into the task AND they had 10-15% faster reaction time than the non-smokers. A meta-analysis of research into the effects of nicotine and smoking on human performance found positive effects of nicotine or smoking on six domains: (i) fine motor, (ii) alerting attention-accuracy, (iii) response time (RT), (iv) orienting attention-RT, (v) short-term episodic memory-accuracy, and (vi) working memory-RT (effect size range=0.16 to 0.44). There is evidence that nicotine may stimulate immediate and sustained improvements in working memory, that nicotine replacement in smokers avoids cognitive impairment through direct pharmacological effects on brain neuronal activity, and that nicotine may improve prospective memory (the retrieval and implementation of a previously encoded intention)."
2. Smoking Lowers Aggression - "Researcher Norman Heimstra hired smokers and nonsmokers to carry out tasks for 6 hours WITHOUT PAUSE. The non-smokers became angry, frustrated and aggressive – but the smokers remained calm. No wonder 80% of prisoners smoke!"
3. Smoking helps prevent Osteoporosis, Cartilage and Joint Deterioration - "While smokers might go broke buying a pack of cigarettes, they can at least save money by avoiding knee-replacement surgery. Surprising results from a new study have revealed that men who smoke had less risk of undergoing total joint replacement surgery than those who never smoked. The study, from the University of Adelaide in Australia, appears in the July issue of the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism. What could be the connection? Knee-replacement surgery was more common among joggers and the obese; smokers rarely jog, but they are less likely to be morbidly obese. After controlling for age, weight and exercise, the researchers were at a loss to explain the apparent, albeit slight protective effects of smoking for osteoporosis. It could be that the nicotine in tobacco helps prevent cartilage and joint deterioration."
4. Smoking lowers the risk of Parkinsons Disease - "Numerous studies have identified the uncanny inverse relationship between smoking and Parkinson's disease. Long-term smokers are somehow protected against Parkinson's, and it's not because smokers die of other things earlier. The most well-conducted study was published in a March 2010 issue of the journal Neurology. Far from determining a cause for the protective effect, these researchers found that the number of years spent smoking, more so than the number of cigarettes smoked daily, mattered more for a stronger protective effect. Harvard researchers were among the first to provide convincing evidence that smokers were less likely to develop Parkinson's. In a study published in Neurology in March 2007, these researchers found the protective effect wanes after smokers quit. And they concluded, in their special scientific way, that they didn't have a clue as to why."
"An association between smoking and a lower incidence of Parkinson's disease has been observed in a number of studies. An analysis of longitudinal studies found a protective effect against Parkinson's disease for current and former smokers compared with those who had never smoked; the risk of Parkinson's disease was reduced by about half among former smokers and this protective effect was more pronounced among current smokers, where the risk was about one-third that of never smokers. Similar findings of a protective effect for Parkinson's disease were also reported from a case–control study conducted in Japan. Nicotine is thought to be the chemical in tobacco smoke mostly likely to be implicated in this finding, but there may be other chemicals or compounds involved. Based on data from 2004–05 we can derive theoretical estimates that about 97 deaths from Parkinson's disease are prevented by smoking in Australia annually. Finally, recent research also suggests that nicotine can improve compromised semantic processing in Parkinson's disease, and also influence semantic processing in healthy older individuals."
5. Smoking Aids Memory - "Smoking has long thought to have helped with Alzheimer’s, with Dr. James Le Fanue arguing smoking makes you 50% less likely to get the dreaded disease. And when Dr. Paul Newhouse gave people with memory problems nicotine patches, they regained 46% of their long term memory. Meanwhile, those given a patch with no nicotine continued to worsen, losing 26% of performance!"
6. Smoking lowers risk of Obesity - "Smoking, and in particular, the nicotine in tobacco smoke — is an appetite suppressant. This has been known for centuries, dating back to indigenous cultures in America in the pre-Columbus era. Tobacco companies caught on by the 1920s and began targeting women with the lure that smoking would make them thinner. A study published in the July 2011 issue of the journal Physiology & Behavior, in fact, is one of many stating that the inevitable weight gain upon quitting smoking is a major barrier in getting people to stop, second only to addiction. The relationship between smoking and weight control is complex: Nicotine itself acts as both a stimulant and appetite suppressant; and the act of smoking triggers behavior modification that prompts smokers to snack less. Smoking also might make food less tasty for some smokers, further curbing appetite. As an appetite suppressant, nicotine appears to act on a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, at least in mice, as revealed in a study by Yale researchers published in the June 10, 2011, issue of the journal Science."
7. Smoking Boosts the Immune System - "The immune systems of smokers has to work harder every day than non-smokers. As a result, a smokers’ blood will contain less antioxidants, although a smokers immune system may be quicker to respond to virus attacks due to its more active nature. As such, smokers rarely become ill with coughs and colds and flu and the "Bugs" going around, and take 80% less days off work through illness than non-smokers."
8. Smoking helps to protect against Ulcerative Colitis - "Ulcerative colitis is a serious bowel disease in which the inner lining of the colon and rectum becomes inflamed and permanently damaged. Current smokers have a lower risk of developing ulcerative colitis, compared to non-smokers and ex-smokers, and according to the US Surgeon General, the evidence suggests that this protective relationship may be causal. A dose-response relationship has also been found, such that greater pack-years or numbers of cigarettes smoked per day were associated with a decreased risk of ulcerative colitis. Nicotine in tobacco smoke is thought to be the component that is most likely to affect the course of the disease. Smoking is not recommended as treatment for ulcerative colitis, even though one research study has canvassed this as an extreme possibility for ex-smokers with steroid-dependent and resistant ulcerative colitis. Various forms of nicotine therapy are undergoing research to evaluate any possible benefits for individuals with this bowel disease."
9. Smoking helps with Mental Health issues and Schizophrenia. - "When scientist Alexander Glassman surveyed people with Schizophrenia, he found that an astonishing 86% of sufferers smoked. Some anti-smoking groups explain this by arguing smoking causes and/or trigger mental illness. However, in addition to helping the brain work better (temporarily!), nicotine is also an antipsychotic and anxiolytic. Meanwhile, psychiatric wards often become disruptive when included in smoking bans. Ultimately, smoking could both trigger some mental illnesses BUT at the same time be a help to people who already have mental illnesses."
"It has been suggested that nicotine transiently enhances sustained attention in schizophrenia patients, and that these research findings might provide insights for the development of new treatment strategies for attention deficit and sensory disruption which occur in schizophrenia. Limited research also suggests that nicotine might help alleviate some of the symptoms of ADHD, such as impulsiveness and memory deficits, which may explain the higher prevalence of smoking in this group."
10. Smoking Could Protect Against Skin Cancer - "Early epidemiological studies suggested a protective effect of smoking for melanoma. More recent analyses from two large prospective cohort studies provides limited evidence to suggest that smoking may reduce melanoma risk; analyses by smoking status provided inconsistent data and no clear dose–response pattern was found. This weakens the argument for a cause–effect relationship between smoking and a protective effect for melanoma."
11. Smoking lowers risk of death after some Heart Attacks - "Compared with non-smokers, smokers who have had heart attacks seem to have lower mortality rates and more favorable responses to two kinds of therapy to remove plaque from their arteries: fibrinolytic therapy, which is basically medication; and angioplasty, which removes the plaque by inserting balloons or stents into the arteries. There's a catch, though. The reason why smokers have heart attacks is that smoke scars the arteries, allowing fat and plaque to build up in the first place. So, one theory as to why smokers do better than non-smokers after such therapies is that they are younger, but a study published in an August 2005 issue of the American Heart Journal, however, states that age alone is not enough to fully explain the survival differences and that "the smoker's paradox is alive and well." No alternative theories have been put forth since."
12. Smoking reduces the risk of developing Cancer of the Endometrium and Uterine Fibroids. - "Epidemiological studies have consistently reported that active cigarette smoking is inversely associated with developing cancer of the endometrium (the membrane lining of the uterus) in women who have reached menopause. A recent meta-analysis found that cigarette smoking was significantly associated with a reduced risk, especially so among postmenopausal women, where a 29% reduction in risk was found. Very similar results have been reported from recent studies conducted in Poland, although the researchers are at pains to point out their important finding that in postmenopausal women, obesity is an important modifier of the association between cigarette smoking and the risk of endometrial cancer. Women who smoke may also have a decreased risk for uterine fibroids and endometriosis, but the evidence for this is not conclusive. Development of endometrial cancer is predominantly influenced by exposure to the hormone oestrogen, and the protection conferred by smoking is likely to be due to the 'anti-oestrogenic' effect of chemicals in tobacco smoke. This same interaction works to increase the risk among smokers of developing osteoporosis, and reaching menopause earlier than non-smokers. Based on data from 2004–05 we can derive theoretical estimates that smoking may prevent the loss of about 52 lives from endometrial cancer in Australia."
13. Smoking Stimulates the Release of Catecholamines and Serotonin - "Nicotine fairly specifically binds to the cholinergic nicotinic gating site on cationic ion channels in receptors throughout the body. This action stimulates the release of a variety of neurotransmitters including especially catecholamines and serotonin. Catecholamines cause general physiological changes that prepare the body for physical activity (fight-or-flight response). Some typical effects are increases in heart rate, blood pressure, blood glucose levels, and a general reaction of the sympathetic nervous system. Serotonin is thought to be especially active in constructing smooth muscles, transmitting impulses between nerve cells, regulating cyclic body processes, and contributing to well being and happiness. Serotonin is regarded by some researchers as a chemical that is responsible for maintaining mood balance, and that a deficit of serotonin leads to depression. The word serotonin comes from its discovery when it was isolated in 1948 by Maurice M. Rapport and initially classified as a serum agent that affected vascular tone."
14. Smoking Helps Prevent Pre-eclampsia (hypertension in pregnancy) - "Pre-eclampsia is a potentially serious condition in pregnancy in which the mother develops high blood pressure, fluid retention and abnormal kidney function. Smokers are less likely to develop pre-eclampsia than non-smokers. A study using Swedish birth registry data on more than 600 000 births examined the effects of snuff and cigarette smoking on pre-eclampsia risk and whether changes in tobacco habits during pregnancy affected the risk of developing term pre-eclampsia. Compared with non-tobacco users, light smokers experienced a one-third reduction in risk, and heavy smokers a halving of risk, with results lower for term than preterm pre-eclampsia. The study found that tobacco combustion products rather than nicotine are the probable protective ingredients against pre-eclampsia in cigarette smoke and further concluded that it is smoking behaviour in the middle or late rather than in the beginning of pregnancy that seems to have the greatest effect on the risk of pre-eclampsia. The US Surgeon General has concluded that 'the decreased risk of pre-eclampsia among smokers compared with non-smokers does not outweigh the adverse outcomes that can result from prenatal smoking. A recent case–control study conducted in Canada [reported] notwithstanding a (non-significant) reduction in the risk of pre-eclampsia, persistent smoking was also associated with a 10-fold increase in the risk of low birthweight. On the positive side, a lower birth-weight can result in an easier birth / delivery."
15. Smoking Calms Nervous Tics and May Help Tourette's - "Many of the some 100,000 U.S. children with [Tourette's] syndrome take small doses of powerful antipsychotic drugs such as haloperidol. Over the past decade, Sanberg and others had gathered anecdotal evidence that low doses of nicotine from patches or gum improve the tic-calming potential of other drugs. These observations suggested that children could cut their total drug intake by adding just a little nicotine to their regimen. To test that hypothesis, Sanberg and his colleagues enrolled 70 children aged 8 to 17 in a double-blind trial; half of them wore skin patches releasing 7 milligrams of nicotine a day for 8 weeks, while the other half wore placebo patches. All continued to take their medication. The first group behaved much more normally, having fewer tics and verbal outbursts, Sanberg reported. Even when the participants' haloperidol dose was lowered midway through study, "the level of improvement was maintained. The study did not suggest that the children become addicted to nicotine, nor has any previous trial."
16. Smoking helps the heart drug Clopidogrel work better - "A study by Korean researchers in the October 2010 issue of the journal Thrombosis Research builds upon work by Harvard researchers published in 2009 that demonstrates the benefit of smoking at least 10 cigarettes a day. It seems that something in cigarette smoke activates certain proteins called cytochromes, which convert clopidogrel into a more active state. Perhaps not unlike other potentially toxic plants — tobacco might contain certain chemicals of real therapeutic value."
17. Smoking Could Reduce the Risk of Thyroid Cancer - "Some studies have suggested that smoking may be associated with a reduced risk of developing thyroid cancer, particularly for women; however this protective effect has not been found in all studies, and more research is required before a definitive statement can be made. "
18. Smoking Helps Reduce Mouth Ulcers - "There is some evidence that smokers and users of smokeless tobacco are less likely to develop aphthous stomatitis (common mouth ulcers). One recent study found that the possible protective effect of smoking was only present when there was heavy cigarette smoking or smoking for long periods of time (>5 years) and no significant associations were found between intensity or duration of smoking and clinical severity of aphthous stomatitis. An increased incidence of mouth ulcers is commonly reported by individuals on quitting smoking."
19. Smoking Increases the Sense of Pleasure. - "There’s a reason people smoke after sex! That’s because nicotine moves your brain to a higher state of arousal. Meaning it can make you feel good! Smoking can also heighten the sense of pleasure / laughter / fun, as the Nicotine is a mood lifter and can be of help to those suffering from Depression and Low Mood, and can help you recover from a shock."
20. Smoking Gives You What You Want - "Smokers generally report a variety of after-effects; such as calmness, relaxation, alertness, stimulation, concentration and many others. In fact, smoking will produce a different effect in each individual depending on ‘what they expect to get’; turning the cigarette into the worlds most popular placebo (satisfying the brains hunger for nicotine being the only ‘relaxing’ factor). The smoker will then use these expectations as a means to continue smoking."
Sources and References:
www.tobaccoinaustralia.org.au/3-28-heal ... f-smoking-
www.livescience.com/15115-5-health-bene ... sease.html
www.thecheaponlinestore.com/smoking-cig ... -benefits/
www.listverse.com/2009/01/11/30-fascina ... ing-facts/
www.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111 ... 810.x/full
www.sciencemag.org/news/2000/02/nicotin ... s-patients