Benefits of Nicotine

Tobacco has been thoroughly demonized by the health nazis who supply the press and policy makers with doped information. Prohibitionists have a unique color blindness to shades of gray -- every drug is either absolutely "good" or "bad." Nicotine, of course, is bad.

In tobacco's case, prohibitionists and restrictionists have latched onto scientific evidence that tobacco is addictive and cancer-causing. They seize anything that might disparage the drug, and ignore anything that suggests that some use may be harmless or even beneficial.

For years, scientists have been doing research that has found that cigarette smokers have a reduced risk of certain diseases. Nicotine may one day be studied to help find treatments for major health problems like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, attention deficit disorders, ulcerative colitis and Tourette's syndrome.

Nicotine attaches to certain receptors found on many types of cells, and stimulates cell activity including the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, acetylcholine and glutamate. This stimulation reduces the risk of certain neurological diseases such as Parkinson's by half. Research continues to find beneficial effects of nicotine, such as interfering with plaque deposits that lead to Alzheimer's disease.

The Legacy of Prohibitionism

The prohibitionist mindset, which marks drugs as "good" or "bad," blinds people to the reality that all drugs have beneficial and harmful uses. Dosage, frequency, genetics and numerous other factors affect what effects a drug will have on a given individual.

The New York Times remarked that nicotine research "sounds a little like scientific blasphemy" and that "efforts to stop smoking have discouraged research into the possible benefits of nicotine."

Source: January 14, 1997, New York Times News Service article "Can it be? Researchers investigating possible benefits of nicotine."