Health Benefits Of Tobacco

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jitterbugdude

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Mar 25, 2014
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As requested by several members, here is a little info on the health benefits of smoking. My intent is not to prove tobacco is healthy/unhealthy but just to show that there is a lot of research that shows there are benefits to smoking. Life is all about trade-offs (benefits to risks). The nature of this subject would best be explained in a very large book but due to the nature of forums I have to limit myself to brevity. I have included just a few research papers showing the possible benefits of consuming tobacco. There are many, many such studies.
1. Tobacco improves memory

J Psychopharmacol. 2014 Oct; 28(10): 915–922.

Published online 2014 Aug 13. doi: 10.1177/0269881114543721

PMCID: PMC4305443

NIHMSID: NIHMS657005

Effects of Tobacco Smoke Constituents, Anabasine and Anatabine, on Memory and Attention in Female Rats

Edward D. Levin, Ian Hao, Dennis Burke, Marty Cauley, Brandon J. Hall, and Amir H. Rezvani

Author information ► Copyright and License information ►

Abstract

Nicotine has been well characterized to improve memory and attention. Nicotine is the primary, but not only neuroactive compound in tobacco. Other tobacco constituents such as anabasine and anatabine also have agonist actions on nicotinic receptors. The current study investigated the effects of anabasine and anatabine on memory and attention. Adult female Sprague-Dawley rats were trained on a win-shift spatial working and reference memory task in the 16-arm radial maze or a visual signal detection operant task to test attention. Acute dose-effect functions of anabasine and anatabine over two orders of magnitude were evaluated for both tasks. In the radial-arm maze memory test, anabasine but not anatabine significantly reduced the memory impairment caused by the NMDA antagonist dizocilpine (MK-801).
2. Prevents Alzheimer's ( there is a lot of evidence for this)

Anatabine lowers Alzheimer's Aβ production in vitro and in vivo.

Paris D1, Beaulieu-Abdelahad D, Bachmeier C, Reed J, Ait-Ghezala G, Bishop A, Chao J, Mathura V, Crawford F, Mullan M.

Abstract

Brain Aβ accumulation represents a key pathological hallmark in Alzheimer's disease. In this study, we investigated the impact of anatabine, a minor alkaloid present in plants of the Solanacea family on Aβ production in vitro using a cell line overexpressing the human amyloid precursor protein (APP) and in vivo using a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. In vitro, anatabine lowers Aβ₁₋₄₀ and Aβ₁₋₄₂ levels in a dose dependent manner and reduces sAPPβ production without impacting sAPPα levels suggesting that anatabine lowers Aβ production by mainly impacting the β-cleavage of APP. Additionally, we show that anatabine lowers NFκB activation at doses that inhibit Aβ production in vitro. Since NFκB is known to regulate BACE-1 expression (the rate limiting enzyme responsible for Aβ production), we determined the impact of anatabine on BACE-1 transcription. We show that anatabine inhibits BACE-1 transcription and reduces BACE-1 protein levels in human neuronal like SHSY-5Y cells suggesting that the Aβ lowering properties of anatabine are mediated via a regulation of BACE-1 expression. In vivo, we show that an acute treatment with anatabine for four days significantly lowers brain soluble Aβ₁₋₄₀ and Aβ₁₋₄₂ levels in a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Altogether our data suggest that anatabine may represent an interesting compound for regulating brain Aβ accumulation.
3. Prevents Parkinson's

Neurotoxicology. 2004 Jan;25(1-2):279-91.

Tobacco leaf, smoke and smoking, MAO inhibitors, Parkinson's disease and neuroprotection; are there links?

Castagnoli K1, Murugesan T.

Abstract

The potential neuroprotective properties of monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B) inhibitors have been of interest in part because of the role that this enzyme plays in the bioactivation of the parkinsonian inducing neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). Interestingly, tobacco smokers have lowered levels of brain and blood platelet MAO-B activity and a well documented lowered incidence of Parkinson's disease (PD) compared to non-smokers. This correlation has led to the intriguing question of whether there are possible relationships between smoking, MAO-B activity and PD.
I have noticed that with each passing year tobacco becomes more and more vilified so much so that it is now considered completely evil. Researchers back through the 80's all knew of tobacco's effect on lowering AD and PD as well as MS and improving brain function ( as evidenced by their many research papers). Now it is hard to find any current research paper that talks of the benefits. Studies are typically designed to prove that tobacco is bad, not to truly investigate the good and bad aspects.
If you want to conduct your own research you have to figure out how to get by the dishonest science that is posted. If you were to do a search for "Smoking and Alzheimer's" you would probably get 10,000 hits, all telling you how smoking causes AD. To get to the truth you need to know how to ask the question.
So(a). Alzheimer's Disease (AD). In a nut shell the hallmarks of AD are the destruction of Acetylcholine receptors and the build up of A-beta protein. Smoking upregulates acetylcholine receptors (increases the quantity) and reduces A-beta. Its interesting to note that there are only 2 kinds of acetylcholine receptors. Muscarinic and Nicotinicacetylcholine. Interesting how the medical field always leaves off the "nicotine" portion of the word when talking of AD. (b) One of the hallmarks of Parkinson's Disease (PD) is the loss of Dopamine receptors in the substantia nigra of the brain. The loss is due to an enzyme the rises as we age. It is: Monoamine Oxidase (MAO). Tobacco is a natural MOA inhibitor which probably accounts for long time smokers having an 80% reduction in PD.
Sorry for the long post. I feel I should add more studies and go into greater details of the beneficial pharmacological effects of tobacco but a forum isn't the best place for this.

 

btp79

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Jan 27, 2018
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Not to split hairs, but it looks like these articles are speaking to the potential health benefits of tobacco not so much of smoking. Do the studies mention the route of administration? I'd love to see a rat sized pipe and rat trained to smoke it :)

 

cosmicfolklore

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Aug 9, 2013
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Unfortunately, I've lost a few pipe smoking friends to Parkinsons and Alzheimers.

A couple of these were mentioned on the Radioshow years back, and I think we even had a thread on the Alzheimer's study. My damn memory, but I think it was that just one pipe full of tobacco was way more nicotine than the study tested with. So, it is a moot point for pipesmokers, but it was nice to see that at least some scientist decided to at least look for a positive in tobacco. I think they all concluded that more studies were needed.

 

molach95

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Dec 19, 2017
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If I think about it most pipe smokers in my family were also cigarette smokers, so that eschews things somewhat, but my grandmother died of Alzheimer's and was a regular cigarette smoker. Most of them died of heart problems or strokes, or emphysema. I have a very good friend whose grandfather smoked a pipe constantly and died of oral cancer that returned, despite having most of his lip cut away.
The problem is there's so many factors to consider - lifestyle, stress, alcohol, diet. My grandfather pretty much ate cigarettes and smoked a pipe and sadly died of a stroke, but he was also on very strong medication for decades that had serious side effects. Two of my great grandfathers smoked pipes, one of which died of a stroke (but he also smoked, drank and had a poor diet) and the other had serious lung problems and also had a lot of stress. My great uncle that taught my brother and I to smoke pipes also died of a heart attack. I could put the strokes and heart attacks down to excessive nicotine but had alcohol and medication in the mix too. It gets more complicated when I consider how my great, great grandfather smoked strong rope tobacco for decades in his pipe, didn't drink and wasn't very anxious and died at 87 of natural causes, and my paternal grandfather gave up smoking in the 1970s and still died of cancer a few years ago.

 

woodsroad

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Oct 10, 2013
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"Prevents" is the wrong word. "Is shown in lab animals to decrease the potential likelyhood" is probably more accurate, but still stretching it.

 

molach95

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Dec 19, 2017
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I'm sure like any drug e.g. caffeine or alcohol tobacco has health benefits when taken in moderation. I feel the same way about smoking as I do drinking coffee; both probably have similar health costs when taken to excess but in moderation they relieve a lot of my stress and seem to sharpen my thought processes. There is one health benefit of smoking I've heard of and that's keeping fleas and parasites at bay. Travelling people (sometimes called gypsies) in Scotland traditionally (up until the 1940s or so) got their kids to start smoking pipes as young as possible, even at under 5 years old to protect them from disease-carrying fleas and bugs. I notice pipe smoking keeps mosquitos and midges away, but I can't confirm the travellers' more general beliefs in the anti-bacterial properties of tobacco. They also believed that chewing rope tobacco could keep illnesses like typhoid away.

 

woodsroad

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Oct 10, 2013
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No wonder I've had an overwhelming desire to buy a caravan, wear a headscarf and tell fortunes.

 

molach95

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I heard a great story once of a gypsy woman who happened across her daughter as she was travelling down in the Borders. The daughter had her 7 year old son strapped to her back in a plaid (tartan blanket), a bit like a squaw with a papoose. They were chatting away when the mother suddenly saw smoke coming out of the bundle and remarked "I think your wee boy's on fire!". Her daughter just laughed and opened her plaid to reveal her son with a clay pipe in his mouth, puffing away.

 

cosmicfolklore

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Aug 9, 2013
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on even C&D tins, which is supposed to be natural.
What makes you think this? I am just curious. I have never seen anything from C&D proclaiming that their tobacco is all natural.

 

woodsroad

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Oct 10, 2013
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If you really want to understand what these studies are saying, and the impact that smoking tobacco has on health, you need a much wider context, including findings from other, similar studies, the standing of the researchers involved and who paid for the studies. Moreover, you need to understand the other health risks involved in tobacco smoking, and weigh the detrimental against the potentially beneficial. It would also help to have a background in human health. These aren't simple issues.

 

cosmicfolklore

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Aug 9, 2013
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Additives, I am thinking that he meant PG's and chemicals that would help keep the product moist. But, if C&D do not use any casings, then I will eat my computer. They even have their own aromatics. And, they've been experimenting with new mold-inhibitors.
This Fall, I can send you all natural tobaccos from my own harvest, and you'll see why they all have casings. But, I don't think you'll really want to smoke uncased tobacco. It really isn't very good, and burns like crap.
GLP has some of his earlier works that are supposedly made with blended uncased tobacco. But, he is heavy on the latakia, so he doesn't need to add any flavorings. But his newer work is a whole different thing. He even has some new aromatics.

 

sablebrush52

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Jun 15, 2013
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Nicotine and other tobacco constituents MAY have health benefits, and these can be given to patients without their having to be smoked. Smoking isn't healthy, except, perhaps, for the relaxing aspect. Look, when even fleas consider you a pariah for smoking, there's a lesson there. :wink:

 

jitterbugdude

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Mar 25, 2014
994
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you really want to understand what these studies are saying, and the impact that smoking tobacco has on health, you need a much wider context, including findings from other, similar studies, the standing of the researchers involved and who paid for the studies.
I agree 100% but like I said earlier, A topic such as this really deserves a book. The topic is way to complicated for a forum such as this.. not that I'm calling anyone stupid but rather a topic like this would take up gazillions a gigabites..
Smoking isn't healthy,
I disagree 100%. There are enough studies showing reductions in brain disorders due to moderate smoking. Note the word "moderate".
To encourage anyone that wants to investigate this further I would suggest getting on Pubmed and use search terms such as "Anatabine and Alzheimers", "MOA-B and smoking" other terms would be "Anasabine, Nicotine, smoking and nicotinicacetylcholine receptors" etc. There is a wealth of information out there its just obscured by the antis
Btw, A good Government issued book is called "Monograph No.9" It was published by the U.S. Gov't in response to the cigar craze of the 90's. It's intent was to show that smoking cigars was not any less harmful than cigarettes. What it showed was that people that smoke 2 cigars a day live longer than non smokers.

 

sablebrush52

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Jun 15, 2013
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There are enough studies showing reductions in brain disorders due to moderate smoking.
Please point me to 1 study that specifically points out that the benefit is quantifiably related to introducing these drugs and compounds into the body by smoking them, as opposed to introducing these drugs and compounds thru other means. You are conflating the effect of certain drugs and compounds with the act of smoking them.

 

woodsroad

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Oct 10, 2013
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Dud Monograph #9 weigh the benefits accrued cigars smokers by virtue of their overall higher socio-economic standing? Money may not buy happiness, but it does equate to better diet and healthcare.

 

brian64

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Jan 31, 2011
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Look, when even fleas consider you a pariah for smoking, there's a lesson there.
This is only anecdotal, but I did experience an overall general improvement to my health when I stopped exposing myself to fleas.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xs0Ap1PoTDA

 

npod

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Jun 11, 2017
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Please be very careful with this post. It is a slippery slope to present opinion data on this topic. I am a physician with a Masters degree in clinical trial design. I am one of the few physicians heavily involved in the high end tobacco space (pipes and cigars). Although I make no excuses for my enjoyment of smoking cumture, I do stay clear of justifying it with data. The area of “research” and evidence based medicine is a complex specialty and highly debated even for specialists. In summary, there are essentially no proven overt health benefits to tobacco or nicotine, and the research would be tabled anyway. The real discussion for pipe smokers is the lack of evidence proving harm (vs cigs, chewing tobacco, etc). And remember always that the FDA was presented with granular data and didn’t care one lick.
Smoke in good health.

Try to avoid addiction at all costs.

Excercise.

Pay your taxes.

Eat right.

Don’t be mean.

Everything in moderation.

 

aldecaker

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Feb 13, 2015
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Of course smoking and other types of tobacco use have health benefits. A lower population means more food to go around, hence better diet. More clean water available, hence fewer water-borne illness outbreaks. And have you seen how fast disease spreads in overcrowded conditions? Thin the herd a bit, and everyone gets to breathe cleaner air.

 

cosmicfolklore

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Aug 9, 2013
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Gotcha cigarbox, I was taking it out of context.
You know, I set with a whole room full of pipe and cigar smokers occasionally, and they all site these types of studies as we all kick back and chain-smoke, “it’s good for me. I’ll live longer, and it’s good medicine.” Of course not all of us are this stupid silly, and you’d think that just noticing what happens to ourselves as we smoke that we’d all see the fact that it is NOT the healthiest thing we could be doing.

However, I’ve been going to the gym four times a week, and it’s very tempting to get my BP up to workout level by smoking some Picayune instead of running for seven minutes on the elliptical machine. :puffy:

 
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