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Old 08-09-2019, 12:59 PM
HoneyBadgerDC is offline
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Smoking and mental acuity


Last few months I have had a struggle with quitting smoking. I quit for a few days then start back for a few days back and forth. Something that caught my attention was my times I take on my soduko puzzles when I am not smoking. I beat my lifetime best times several times the first time I got 24 hours straight and my average time has improved by about 20%. When I go back to smoking the times go with it. I was always under the false impression that smoking improved concentration. Has anyone else noticed anything like this?
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Old 08-09-2019, 02:36 PM
Machine Elf is offline
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Disclaimer: IANAD.

Nicotine is a stimulant, so after ingesting some, you might expect your mental acuity to perk up in the same way that it does after you drink coffee. But it also messes with your sleep, which could have the opposite effect. That same link also indicates that at high doses, there is a sedative effect that begins to outweigh its stimulant effect.

There's also all the other crap in cigarette smoke that you're inhaling, which may have a detrimental effect on your mental performance independent of the nicotine.
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Old 08-09-2019, 04:48 PM
Zyada is offline
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Another factor - smoking reduces the available oxygen in your blood supply, according to several sources, at the very least because of the CO content

http://www.bloodjournal.org/content/...o-checked=true
https://www.unitypoint.org/livewell/...0-58eb71fe982b
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Old 08-10-2019, 10:47 AM
DesertDog is offline
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After coming back from work one night, we came upon a smouldering fire in the house that burst into (small) flames when the backdraft hit it. In rapid succession we got the dogs out, called the FD, shut off the mains* and threw a pot of water on the flames, dousing them. We then waited outside while the firemen ejected the smoke and overhauled the hotspot so total time running around in the smoke, which was about four feet down from the ceiling, was about one to two minutes.

To get to the point of the post, the EMT that had arrived with the firemen urged we go to ER for a checkup so we did after everything calmed down. After the tests were done, the ER doc found nothing big enough to worry about but commented I had about the same CO in my blood as a two pack a day smoker. I felt awful and was noticeably muzzy for hours afterward, especially after the adrenaline wore off.

*The culprit was the stove clock -- long story.
  #5  
Old 08-10-2019, 11:41 AM
HoneyBadgerDC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertDog View Post
After coming back from work one night, we came upon a smouldering fire in the house that burst into (small) flames when the backdraft hit it. In rapid succession we got the dogs out, called the FD, shut off the mains* and threw a pot of water on the flames, dousing them. We then waited outside while the firemen ejected the smoke and overhauled the hotspot so total time running around in the smoke, which was about four feet down from the ceiling, was about one to two minutes.

To get to the point of the post, the EMT that had arrived with the firemen urged we go to ER for a checkup so we did after everything calmed down. After the tests were done, the ER doc found nothing big enough to worry about but commented I had about the same CO in my blood as a two pack a day smoker. I felt awful and was noticeably muzzy for hours afterward, especially after the adrenaline wore off.

*The culprit was the stove clock -- long story.
Interesting, my Dr told me I had slightly elevated levels of CO from smoking. They go back to normal pretty quick unless of you have copd.
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:57 AM
DesertDog is offline
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How quick is "pretty quick?" The ER visit was maybe two hours after the exposure and my understanding is that CO latches onto the hemoglobin a lot firmer than O2 does. That's what makes carbon monoxide poisoning so deadly. The CO rides round and round in your circulation, not letting go when it is supposed to thus freeing up the hemoglobin for more oxygen uptake. If you pull someone out of a CO2 filled room they'll recover pretty quickly, not counting any brain damage. Pull someone out of a CO filled room and you've got more work to do.
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:24 AM
HoneyBadgerDC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertDog View Post
How quick is "pretty quick?" The ER visit was maybe two hours after the exposure and my understanding is that CO latches onto the hemoglobin a lot firmer than O2 does. That's what makes carbon monoxide poisoning so deadly. The CO rides round and round in your circulation, not letting go when it is supposed to thus freeing up the hemoglobin for more oxygen uptake. If you pull someone out of a CO2 filled room they'll recover pretty quickly, not counting any brain damage. Pull someone out of a CO filled room and you've got more work to do.
I may be confusing CO with CO2 not really sure what levels he said were slightly high
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Old 08-11-2019, 11:19 AM
DrDeth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneyBadgerDC View Post
Last few months I have had a struggle with quitting smoking. I quit for a few days then start back for a few days back and forth. Something that caught my attention was my times I take on my soduko puzzles when I am not smoking. I beat my lifetime best times several times the first time I got 24 hours straight and my average time has improved by about 20%. When I go back to smoking the times go with it. I was always under the false impression that smoking improved concentration. Has anyone else noticed anything like this?
Smoking has no benefits whatsoever. It's deadly.

Now- nicotine, altho quite addictive- does have some possible benefits. The problem is , you are constantly going in and out of "fixes', causing your brain and nervous system to go up and down. Smoking is actually a rather poor nicotine delivery system. You get a lot, then none, then sleep- when you get none, etc.

As a experiment, try a nicotine patch, and see what that does to your scores.
  #9  
Old 08-11-2019, 03:20 PM
HoneyBadgerDC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
Smoking has no benefits whatsoever. It's deadly.

Now- nicotine, altho quite addictive- does have some possible benefits. The problem is , you are constantly going in and out of "fixes', causing your brain and nervous system to go up and down. Smoking is actually a rather poor nicotine delivery system. You get a lot, then none, then sleep- when you get none, etc.

As a experiment, try a nicotine patch, and see what that does to your scores.
I tried the weakest ones and I feel like I am overdosing on nicotine, they make me a little queezy. I tend to chain smoke and then go hours without smoking. Maybe 5 cigs in the morning over 1 1/2 hours. And then 3 or 4 hours without smoking. My scores seem to improve after about 24 hours. I noticed something else after I became aware of a possible connection. If I play while am in a smoking period my scores plummet to sometimes double the times or even more. I usually play in bed at night and haven't smoked for an hour or two.
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