You people over the age of 50 should pay attention to this, because it seems you are forgetting the freedoms you enjoyed most of your life.
After 30 seconds of research on Google (smoking benefits and alzheimers), it seems smoking is not as evil as you people trying to take away my freedom to smoke make it out to be. Here are just a few facts about smoking...
Beneficial Effects of Nicotine" (Jarvik, British Journal of Addiction, 1991) -- summarizes the many positive aspects of this wonder drug. "When chronically taken," it says here, "nicotine may result in: (1) positive reinforcement [it makes you feel good], (2) negative reinforcement [it may keep you from feeling bad], (3) reduction of body weight [by reducing appetite and increasing metabolic rate], (4) enhancement of performance, and protection against: (5) Parkinson's disease, (6) Tourette's disease [tics], (7) Alzheimer's disease, (8) ulcerative colitis and (9) sleep apnea. The reliability of these effects varies greatly but justifies the search for more therapeutic applications for this interesting compound.
"Apparently, smoking reduces the risks of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease in aging adults. According to medical studies, it is the nicotine that improves mental processes in the body and can keep Alzheimer's and Parkinson's at bay or eliminates the risk entirely. In a study done on 19 smoking patients who were at risk genetically to contract Alzheimer's, 15 of them had reduced risks in contracting the disease themselves, and none of them were showed to have an increased risk at all.
"The risk of Alzheimer's disease decreased with increasing daily number of cigarettes smoked before onset of disease. In six families in which the disease was apparently inherited, the mean age of onset was 4-17 years later in smoking patients than in non-smoking from the same family." claims Conelia M. vanDuljn, MSC, and Albert Hoffman, MD, of Erasmus University Medical School, of their findings.
A publication in Neo-Pharmacology in March, 1990, suggests that cigarette smoke actually reduces the risk of Parkinson's. "Several epidemiological studies have indicated that there may be an inverse relationship between smoking and Parkinson's Disease." There's an "apparent protective effect of cigarette smoke" (against Parkinson's), the publication claims.
In studies done by the Parkinson's Disease Institute in California (led by Maryka Quik, PhD), it was found that nicotine helps protect the brain cells that produce dopamine from dying off as people age. People don't get Parkinson's disease until 80-90% of the dopamine producing brain cells die off, and according to the study, nicotine can reduce the loss of dopamine producing cells from 80% cell loss to 60%, therefore keeping Parkinson's at bay. The study suggests that nicotine works by stimulating production of brain chemicals and helping nerve cells recover from injury, but the reason nicotine appears to reduce Parkinson's disease risks is still unclear. This particular study was published in an online edition of the "Journal of Neurochemistry."
So next time you get a whiff of someone's cigarette, maybe it will help you remember a better time in America where people weren’t trying to tell you how to live your life.
(Editor’s note: While there are documented benefits to nicotine cited in several medical studies, those benefits are offset by the risks of smoking. The MLN does not advocate smoking tobacco as a health benefit, although we respect the rights of people who chose to smoke.)