Smoking is Good For You: Here’s Why
23 great comments - add yours!
by: James Dunworth

Smoking cigarettes is good for you.

Smoking cigarettes and eating apples.

Sod the apples – I’m having a fag.

Of course, smoking is also very bad for you. It causes:

  • heart disease
  • lung cancer
  • empyhsemia
  • impotence
  • and lots and lots of statistics

But that doesn’t mean to say it’s all bad!

What’s Good about Smoking?

Smoke from a cigarette forms a question mark.

First, we should say that these benefits are controversial.

Many benefits of nicotine are being investigated as the basis for potential treatments. However, some campaigners argue that nothing good can come from either nicotine or smoking.

(We are sure this has nothing to do with anti-smoking anti-nicotine fanatics funded by huge pharmaceutical companies to sell their smoking cessation products ;) )

Five Benefits of Smoking

Smoking and Concentration

Calm meditation.

In one experiment carried out by Wesnes and Warbuton, smokers and non-smokers were required to watch a clock for 80 minute. 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.

Nicotine and Aggression

Controlled aggression.

Researcher Norman Heimstra hired smokers and non-smokers 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!

Smoking and Memory

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!

Smoking and Mental Illness

A girl with a mental illness rests her head in her hand.

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.

Smoking and Pleasure

Man covered in kiss marks smoking a cigar.

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 – and helps you feel goods things better!

7 More Reasons Smoking is Good for You

  • lowers risk of Parkinsons Disease
  • may reduce risk of breast cancer
  • lowers risk of knee replacement therapy
  • lowers risk of obesity
  • lowers risk of death after some heart attacks
  • helps the heart drug clopidogrel work better
  • can help both relax and stimulate (depending on how it used)!

Can you think of any more? If so, let me know in the comments section below.

Why don’t people tell us about the benefits of smoking?

Stick man scratching his head.

 We can not see what tobacco contributes

Danish Cancer Society

Unfortunately, there seems to be a paternalistic attitude to the anti-smoking crowd.

Frightened that you are too stupid to make an informed choice about smoking, they’d rather invent crazy theories like third hand smoke (the idea that shaking the hands of a smoker could give you cancer) than admit there are ANY possible benefits from smokers.

I think you are more intelligent than that!

Butt…

Man smoking a no-smoking sign.

Of course, I have to say, before I get jumped on by a million people, that the benefits of quitting smoking are much greater for you than the benefits of smoking (yawn – you already knew that, didn’t you!)

Fortunately, most of the benefits of smoking seem to accrue from nicotine.

(See Nicotine and Electronic Cigarettes: 10 Facts All Users Should Know.) And nicotine, while addictive, only causes about 1% of the harm of smoking (and carries a similar risk level to coffee.)

So if you can’t quit or don’t want to quit nicotine, but would like to use it in a safer way, consider switching to alternatives like snus or electronic cigarettes. Enjoy this post? If so, please share using one of the buttons below.

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23 Responses to “Smoking is Good For You: Here’s Why”

  1. a stott March 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    utter rubish im a nicotene addict ,but unlike a lot of addicts i dont come up with tottall rubish to justify my habbit ,drugs are nveer a better way of doing things theres always a price ,the smokers would be crap at all these tests if theyed run out of nicotene

    • George December 26, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

      I get that people are paying more attention to their health these days, since we have the technology to do so. however, i feel that we’ve gotten to a point where many people assume by not smoking and eating healthier that one can live forever, and are shocked and outraged when a “health nut” has a heart attack at age 40 or 50. the simple fact that has always been around is that we are all going to die at some point. you might quit smoking today, but you could get hit by a truck tomorrow. yes, you can potentially increase your longevity by quitting/not smoking, but that’s not guaranteed to do anything. you might get lung cancer tomorrow while a lifetime smoker might live to 100, happily puffing away.

      • James December 26, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

        All you can ever do is improve (or worsen) your chances of longevity, there’s no guarantees!

      • Franco December 29, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

        I do agree with your point an you are very correct that we all will die one day, regardless of what we do. I have quit smoking already for 4 months and one of the benefits that I have seen already is that I no longer need Viagra and I smoked for 30 years. To me that alone is worth staying off the tobacco.

        • James January 8, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

          Well done, Franco.

  2. James March 6, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    Thanks for your comment, a stott.

    “drugs are nveer a better way of doing things theres always a price”

    Reading your comment carefully, I’m struggling to see what you disagree with. We said that the cost outweighs the benefits, and you seem to agree that nicotine does help people to perform well in the tests referenced in the post.

    • Unknown April 12, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

      Smoking is VERY BAD FOR PEOPLE! i don’t know why people still smoke if they know its bad for you!? Well im a student and im doing a speech why smoking should be illegal.. if everyone comes together and shows the world that its horrible maybe people will understand that its bad or maybe even ban it!

  3. James March 7, 2012 at 10:38 am #

    Some clarification on “passive smoking”.

    The idea of “passive smokING” (which originated with the Nazis, by the way) is just another baseless inflammatory term. There have even been jokes and comments made in films, for example, that a nonsmoker has “passive smoked” a pack a day.

    The term “secondhand smoke” (highly diluted) is OK, but SH smokING or passive smokING are not. There are some nonsmokers who believe that when they are exposed to SHS they are being forced to smoke, that they are effectively smokING. Being exposed to SHS, which is breathing air with highly dilute remnants of smoke, is nothing like smoking. Those who believe they are passively “smoking” have obviously never smoked a cigarette. Having never smoked, and therefore unable to tell the difference, they have been manipulated into the deranged belief that SHS exposure is equivalent to smoking. The quickest way to resolve the issue is to borrow a cigarette, light it, take a drag and inhale (drawback) the concentrated “packet” of smoke. That’s smoking. It should be noticed immediately the incredible difference between smoking and simply being exposed to ETS which cannot be equated in any way with smokING. There is no active and passive smoking. There is only smoking which involves inhaling a concentrated packet of smoke.

    For those not prepared to test the hypothesis, it should dawn that if smoking was simply being exposed to SHS, then why don’t smokers just leave their cigarette lit and breathe the ambient air? No. They actually take a drag on the cigarette – a concentrated packet of smoke – and inhale. That’s smokING.

    For gullible nonsmokers, when you are sitting by an open fire, do you believe you’re “smoking” then? If you’re close-by to lit candles, do you believe you’re “smoking” then? If you’re close to cooking or BBQ smoke, are you “smoking” then? Etc. See the point?

    The only term that has a modicum of meaning with little/no application is “involuntary smoking”. This would refer to the situation where a person is forced (e.g., at gunpoint) to take a drag on a cigarette and inhale the concentrated packet of smoke.

    Referring to SHS exposure as a “fraction” or a “degree” of smoking for statistical/causal extrapolation has no meaning. SHS exposure and smoking are two entirely different phenomena.

  4. James March 7, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

    Nicotine is not peculiar to tobacco. There are small quantities in potatoes, tomatoes, green peppers, egg plant, and black tea:
    http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/extract/329/6/437
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1765327

  5. James March 7, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    “The use of tobacco, in any form, is a dirty, filthy, disgusting, degrading habit….
    You have no more right to pollute with tobacco smoke the atmosphere which clean people have to breathe than you have to spit in the water which they have
    to drink.
    …. use of the filthy, nasty, stinking stuff [tobacco]”

    Sound familiar? These are the sorts of sentiments that are common amongst contemporary antismokers. Interesting is that the quote above is from an anti-tobacco billboard (photo circa 1915) on the road leading into Zion, Illinois, USA. When considering the sentiments appearing on the billboard, it must be remembered that this was many, many decades before the concoction of secondhand smoke “danger”.

    Zion City was a “utopian” community established in the early-1900s by John Alexander Dowie representing a so-called “Christian” sect (Christian Catholic Church). Tobacco, alcohol, and gambling were banned within Zion.
    http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/whi/fullimage.asp?id=55422
    http://yeskarthi.wordpress.com/2010/03/27/1915-anti-smoking-sign-zion-illinois/

    Serious, dangerous fanaticism/extremism was rife in America right up to WWII. The Temperance (religious leanings) and Eugenics (physicians, physicalists) Movements, both having dictatorial tendencies and a delusional emphasis on and obsession with physical health, wreaked considerable damage in America.

    The EM was by far the most influential in America and eventually produced catastrophe in Nazi Germany with global consequences. The Temperance and Eugenics Movements shared the anti-tobacco sentiments in the quote above. While they attempted to change society with destructive consequences, Dowie chose to create his own “protected” community.

  6. James March 7, 2012 at 11:40 am #

    Antismoking is not new. It has a long, sordid history, much of it pre-dating even the pretense of a scientific basis and long before the more recent concoction of secondhand smoke “danger”.
    The two major antismoking crusades of the last century were in America and Nazi Germany. The “connecting thread” between these crusades was eugenics.
    http://www.americanheritage.com/content/thank-you-not-smoking
    http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&File_Id=5339

    These antismoking “crusades” follow a typical pattern. Lawmakers are duped by fanatics’ incessant inflammatory rhetoric. Fanatics typically deteriorate into a litany of baseless, inflammatory lies, i.e., propaganda, in order to achieve smoking bans. The idea of tobacco or “nicotine addiction”, for example, was pushed, without basis, since the 1850s by the Temperance Movement. This idea was also picked up by the Eugenics Movement from the late-1800s. Post-WWII, smoking was – reasonably – not considered an addiction. It took the US Surgeon-General in 1988 to “resurrect” the nicotine addiction myth, a throw-back to the 1800s. The Office of the Surgeon-General, together with many other organizations, has been committed to the smokefree “utopia” since the 1960s: The Office is ideologically compromised.

    The current antismoking crusade had its formal beginnings in the mid-1970s and is an “extermination” crusade, i.e., social engineering, in the eugenics tradition.
    See the Godber Blueprint
    http://www.rampant-antismoking.com

    The current crusade is physician-led social engineering with considerable overlap with those of the two previous crusades. Although begun by antismoking (ideological) fanatics, Big Pharma saw the financial opportunity of exploiting the fanatics’ reliance on the questionable idea of “nicotine addiction”. Once governments were seduced onto the antismoking bandwagon and BP started pumping obscene amounts of funding into antismoking, i.e., cultivating the market, only big trouble could ensue from this partnering.

    When physicians venture into social-engineering, they become a dark entity, typically producing catastrophe. We seem to have forgotten that physicians (and lawyers) were leaders in the eugenics disasters in America and Nazi Germany.

  7. James March 7, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    3
    There are two main, interconnected reasons for the “nicotine addiction” myth. Firstly, it serves the deranged antismoking goal of a smokefree world legitimized by a eugenics framework. Smoking is depicted as useless, maintained only by nicotine addiction and where “addiction” is intended in the most derogatory sense of the term. This fosters the idea that smokers are reckless, “intoxicated”, irrational, irresponsible persons. And it is intended to create outrage in particularly nonsmokers. Nonsmokers who allow themselves to be brainwashed by the propaganda then demand protection from irresponsible “addicts”. Even more perverse is the claim that nicotine is “more addictive” than heroin or cocaine. Such irresponsible, agenda-driven statements trivialize what are profound differences between these substances.

    Secondly, the nicotine addiction myth also serves the pharmaceutical cartel. By depicting smoking as due only to nicotine addiction, the pharmaceutical cartel has been able to peddle its nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) as the major/only means of quitting smoking. It was fully expected, according to the nicotine addiction model, that people would simply put on a nicotine patch and they would quit smoking. But it doesn’t quite work that way.

    Yet, the success rate of NRT at one year is 3+% above a 3+% placebo baseline. At one year, NRT has a failure rate of ~97%. At two years, it is even closer to a 100% failure rate. This further and greatly undermines the “nicotine addiction” model.
    http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/extract/338/apr29_1/b1730?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=smoking&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=date&resourcetype=HWCIT

  8. Robin March 8, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    Well, I’m not nearly as erudite as most of the contributors seem to be. The only thing I can add is personal experience of my first time of giving up. I had a very sore throat and it hurt to inhale my dear old roll-ups, so I stopped. There were no withdrawal symptoms or cravings of any kind. I’d just stopped and that was it. My thoughts at the time were ‘Addiction? What a load of c**p I’ve been fed!”

    I now vape with my Halo and can easily go weeks without a roll-up, but every now and then I fancy one, so I’ll have one. Simple.

  9. James March 8, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

    I think it’s pretty good you can use it as you please. We have a dual user working for us in the office – like you, he uses e-cigs most of the time, but every now and then he’ll have a roll-up.

  10. KING LION June 6, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    This is just the 10 reason why smoking is good. We just call them the 10 commandment for smokers, enjoy….
    Smokers help the government; we paid the taxes when buy the cigarettes.
    Smokers creates job; we help paid off the workers’ fee in cigars factories.
    Smokers help financials sectors, smokers make benefit in all sectors, for the cigarettes factories, for the cigarettes distributors, also for a lot of stores, supermarket, grocery stores, retailers and those who sold cigarettes.
    Smokers help a lot of landlords, which grow crops related with cigars industries like clove and tobacco farms.
    Smokers decrease traffic accident, you cannot get sleepy while driving if you smoke cigars.
    Smokers light up the cities, smokers paid the advertisement; most of the advertiser in billboards and media, like television, magazines, radios, and newspapers comes from the cigarettes factories.
    Smokers can prevent the crime, a thief cannot doing his action while smoking
    Smokers protect environment, we help burn a lot of paper into the ash.
    Smokers can held the art, music, sport, celebrities events and exhibitions, like bands festivals, Formula 1 car racing, etc; same reason like light up the cities.
    Smokers help God create clouds

  11. grace November 13, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

    get out of here! I am a smoker. There are few benefits to it and the risks are enormous, mostly because unknown, like with everything. The greatest advantage to smoking is for those that sell cigarettes…I am unlikely to…

  12. James November 13, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    We did say:

    “Of course, smoking is also very bad for you. It causes:

    heart disease
    lung cancer
    empyhsemia
    impotence
    and lots and lots of statistics”

    But of course you are right when you say: “the risks are enormous” – they far outweigh the benefits, and those benefits mostly come from nicotine, which can be obtained in much safer ways than smoking.

  13. nameless December 19, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

    lets not forget the smokers contribute to the economy in society by paying taxes for tobacco products and the package.

  14. andrew dempster January 8, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    I quit smoking 3 months ago partially from fear so i now enjoy an e cigarette few points when i smoked and love smoking I probably only really enjoyed about 3 of those per day i;people enjoy them for a variety of psychological reasons fuck you moments bits of private pleasure in meditation and a kind of concentratrion wonderfull,writers and artists mostly smoke and how much they add.Alan carr made an important point that it is nicotine ,harmless in itself which causes smokers to be more stressed than non smokers the irony of addiction to nicotine and someone here said nicotine has benefits good im looking to go onto ecigs without nicotine might not.If you give up old type smoking you loose all the health negatives you can feel them when you smoke but if you give up that habit you can return to your roots in smoking and start again and enjoy the psychology of smoking ,my 3 cigarettes , even if you believe nicotine is bad for you.Somewhere in the future they might invent a probe stem cell which cleans out your lungs so you can smoke as much as you want to whenever ,would smoking increase i dont know hope i havent bored you meanwhile i plan to carry on smoking the memory which is the way tv pundit clive james recommended giving up.

    • James January 8, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

      Thanks, Andrew, I hadn’t heard of that quote from Clive James – it’s a good one!

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