Smoking is the act or process of inhaling the fumes from burnt plant material. It earned a deadly reputation, so much so that many find it difficult to find any silver lining in it. However, recent findings prove that the drug component of cigarettes may be good for health.
In 2017, a study revealed that 14.0% or 34.3 million adults in the US are smokers. Of this number, 75% were smoking pipes daily, which proves that cigarette consumption in the US alone is relatively high.
There are many plant materials used for smoking, including marijuana, hashish, and the most commonly used, tobacco. It happens through vaping (e-cigarettes), smoking pipes, or using an ordinary cigar. While smoking is an addiction that poses a lot of health risks, various researches are showing that smoking can induce many long-term health advantages as well.
Why People Smoke
An estimated amount of nicotine in one regular cigarette is one or two milligrams. However, it still depends on how a person smokes or inhales and how many puffs he/she takes. Nicotine affects a person’s brain chemistry and nervous system through a chemical called dopamine.
It induces a positive mood by causing pleasant feelings and distraction from negative thoughts. Therefore, smokers feel the need to smoke more whenever they experience these effects.
According to medical reports, the habit starts to develop during the teenage years. The younger you start, the more you become addicted to nicotine through the years. Most adult smokers began smoking before the age of 18. Besides, three out of four high school students will become regular smokers by the time they reach adulthood.
Surprising Benefits of Smoking
Many illnesses are associated with smoking. However, there are also benefits to tobacco.
Reduces Obesity Risks
Nicotine suppresses appetite by acting on a region in the brain called the hypothalamus, with a function that controls a person’s appetite. Thus, smokers find it easier to cut down on food intake, helping them lose weight in the process. Also, there are findings that chemicals in cigarettes can burn calories.
Lowers Risk of Parkinson’s Disease
Smoking provides a protective effect against Parkinson’s disease. Studies show that the chemical compounds found in tobacco stop the spread of akinetic-rigid Parkinson’s.
In some researches, smoking proves to prevent the onset of different dementias. Dementia is caused by the loss of chemical receptors in the brain. Nicotine is found to be a stimulant of these receptors, which prevents a smoker from obtaining the disease.
Decreases the Possibility of Joint Replacement Surgery
Knee replacement surgery is more common among joggers and obese people. Moreover, nicotine in tobacco prevents cartilage and joint deterioration. Thus, it somehow protects smokers from osteoporosis.
Improves Emotional Well-being
As mentioned earlier, nicotine induces positive feelings and a better mood. Therefore, smoking can stabilize the emotional aspect while reducing stress and anxiety, which helps people to function more.
While the risks of smoking should not be entirely disregarded, a more nuanced look on the positive effects of nicotine should be practiced as well. At the end of the day, discipline is what matters. Controlled usage of the substance will not only give you a better mood but will also help you gain its positive effects.