Nicotine Dependence

Nicotine and Health Benefits



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Nicotine use does have health benefits!  It may be hard to believe, but nicotine performs some miraculous feats in the human body.  This doesn't mean that everyone should take up smoking, however.  Nicotine is just one of thousands of substances in tobacco smoke, but one that actually has positive benefits.  The problem with nicotine is the delivery system, or how to get it into the human body without smoking.

What are some of those benefits of nicotine?  Nicotine has shown a remarkable ability to mimic the naturally occurring compound in the body called acetylcholine.  Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter, which allows for faster firing nerve cells.  The result is that people who suffer from Alzheimer's retained their cognitive abilities longer, and some even had their conditions reversed!  This is wonderful news for this devastating and heartbreaking condition, and it's been proven that people who smoke have a far less susceptibility to Alzheimer's!  Again, this doesn't mean to rush out and buy cigarettes, but the facts are the facts.

Nicotine also has the ability to grow new blood vessels. So people with poor circulation, or have a disease which causes it such as diabetes, might benefit with the addition of nicotine in their system.  This benefit was found by scientists that studied people who were on the nicotine patch, and they were very surprised to notice this result.

Another surprising benefit with nicotine use is less incidence of depression.  Nicotine gives a "buzz" to the user, and that buzz is caused by the release of serotonin and dopamine by the brain into the human body.  Depression is caused by the lack of these substances, so the release of these vital neurotransmitters has been shown to ward off this debilitating condition!

Is it any wonder why smoking is so difficult to give up?  When people are depressed, they just don't care about anything, even their health.  Quitting smoking might cause a higher incidence of depression, and the only thing that can relieve it is to go back to smoking for some people.  They would rather feel good now then worry about what "might" happen in some far-off time in the future.  Even though smoking has been shown to be harmful to health in the long run, people who are depressed don't care about the long run, they care about how they feel right now.  This is one of the major reasons along with the addictive nature of nicotine for the difficulty in quitting.

So nicotine does have some very positive benefits!  Now the challenge for the medical community is to find a better drug delivery system in order to supply nicotine to the people that can benefit by it.


 

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