Based on this post:
I’m not a doctor, nor have I ever been a smoker. So, I have no expertise on this subject and no personal experience with the effects of nicotine.
It’s entirely possible that Cecil has nailed this, and that the ONLY reason smoking a cigarette SEEMS to “relax” people is that it eases the nicotine withdrawal symptoms that were causing the stress in the first place.
BUT… it’s worth noting that many drugs have effects that seem to contradict the facile titles they’re given. For example, when children are hyperactive or show signs of serious ADD, what kinds of drugs are they usually given? Sedatives, to calm them down? No! In general, they’re given stimulants, often amphetamines.
What Doctors prescribe STIMULANTS to calm down hyper kids? Sounds counter-intuitive, if not crazy, right? But it’s true- SOMETIMES, the best way toward mellower behavior is to prescribe drugs that stimulate parts of the brain that CONTROL behavior. Hence, a hyper kid to takes a stimulant may actually chill out.
My questions (again, since I’m neither a doctor NOR a smoker, I don’t know) are:
Does smoking have any relaxing effects for novice smokers, guys who haven’t gotten addicted yet and aren’t subject to unpleasant withdrawal symptoms yet?
Could nicotine have any pleasant, relaxing effects on parts of the brain DESPITE the fact that it’s a stimulant?