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We already know that smoking helps with stress, and vaping seems to have the same effect.
(You should see how furiously our MD, Jean, puffs away at her e-cig when stressed, normally while bashing away at the keyboard as if it was her mortal enemy!)
But, according to a summary of 40 years of research into nicotine by scientists Ipsen and Kjellerup, that's not the only benefit of smoking (and, we hope, vaping!)
How nicotine benefits you...
Here are some key points from the study (summarised - read the full study if you have time!):
- nicotine can make your brain up to 30% more efficient
- if you use nicotine, your brain will have more stamina than non-smokers' brains
- nicotine makes you more attentive, more precise and faster
- nicotine improves your attention and your memory
- nicotine makes you less aggressive in stressful situations
Famous scientists and athletes
Perhaps it's not surprising that many of the great brains and even athletes of both the past and the present have been heavy smokers.
The pipe-loving Einstein and cigar-aficionado Churchill immediately jump to mind, but there's also Wayne Rooney, Gazza, Zidane and Socrates, the Brazilian captain who smoked two packets of cigarettes a day - and then became a doctor when he retired from football!
Outrageously, not only do we rarely see pictures of these people smoking, the very act of smoking is being airbrushed out of their history.
Banning cigarettes can be dangerous...
Avoid planes piloted by smokers suffering from nicotine-withdrawal symptoms![/caption]
Unfortunately, when you take nicotine away from a nicotine addict, the opposite happens, with their brains potentially working 25% less effectively than those of non-smokers.
So when a smoking ban among pilots was proposed, one alarmed scientist warned:
"I would much rather climb into an airplane piloted by a chain-smoker than one piloted by a smoker deprived of cigarettes for a number of hours..."
Dr Norman Heimstra
The ban was dropped!
Smoking, nicotine and health risks
"Although pure nicotine is poisonous in large doses, there is no evidence of health risks from nicotine in the amounts in which it is consumed using tobacco."
Unfortunately, nicotine is usually enjoyed in the form of a tobacco cigarette - which, when lit, creates hundreds of chemicals and dozens of carcinogens.
Smoking, as a result, is really bad for you.
Which is why Professor Brad Rodu states:
It is time to abandon the myth that tobacco is devoid of benefit, and to focus on how we can help smokers continue to derive those benefits with a safer delivery system.
Does vaping make your more intelligent?
Nicotine gum also helps our brains - but, curiously, not as much as smoking.
So what about vaping? Could it help? In contrast to nicotine gum it certainly addresses the psychological needs of smokers as well as delivering nicotine. But no research has yet been carried out into its effects on intelligence.
What do you think?
Here's what we want to know:
1. When you vape, are you:
- less smart
- just as smart
than when you are not vaping?
2. Are you:
- less smart
- just as smart
than when you smoked?
Take our short survey and give your opinion!
Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.
This is a summary of the article, which I have attempted to condense so it is easy to read even if you are a smoker suffering from severe withdrawal symptoms (i.e. not in your normal super-intelligent smoker mode, but 25% stupider than a non-smoker).