Re: Does smoking have any health benefits?

**When talking about possible health benefits of nicotine, it seems to me that making a distinction between smoking methods would be appropriate. After all, there is a vast difference between inhaling large amounts of smoke into your lungs, all day, every day, and, well, not.
I’ve found it hard to come across statistics, having only the internet, and not the vast resources of Cecil, but I read somewhere that pipe smokers have about the same mortality rate as non-smokers, and that cancer and other lung disease is relatively rare among cigar smokers. And of course there are various forms of chewing tobacco, which involve no smoke at all. I think it’s also worth mentioning the difference in purity and quality between American cigarettes and nearly every other form of tobacco, particularly as many cig smokers have been reduced to much cheaper and presumably inferior products by excessive taxation.
How about updating that column with some statistics? It’s hard to come by reliable info on this highly politicized topic, so we turn to you, Cecil. How dangerous are these other forms of tobacco use compared to cigarette smoking? What’s the safest way to enjoy tobacco?

ETA: Link to relevant column: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1101/does-smoking-have-any-health-em-benefits-em

Pipes and cigars.
Chewing tobacco

I really think that at this point the entire column could be called “the health benefits of nicotine”. So far, from my own research, I have concluded that there are absolutely no health benefits to smoking anything unless the chemical compound you are using is specifically created through burning as opposed to vaporizing or injecting. The chemicals might have some benefit, but inhaling smoke of any kind will only result in layers of lung paralyzingly films; Hypodermic needles, ingestion, and absorption through the skin, eyes, or colon are all much safer alternatives to get a something into your bloodstream, generally speaking.

“…there is overwhelming epidemiological evidence that smoking protects against ulcerative colitis, the risk of developing the disease being significantly lower in smokers than in non-smokers or former smokers…”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2014383/

oops, I see this has already been covered.

The big broad leaves can be laid down between garden rows and serve as mulch, conserving water and keeping weeds down.

Some varieties of Nicotiana are quite ornamental.

As aninsecticide

People with schizophrenia are often heavy smokers, because nicotine can reduce the severity of their hallucinations. Research is being done regarding this.

5 years ago, I lost 50 pounds. I had my last tobacco almost 3 years ago. I switched to an ecig, and now a personal vaporizer. A few months ago, I started weaning down the nicotine level in the eliquid, and goddamnfuckingshitballs if the weight didn’t come back. I kept that 50 pounds off for more than 4 years…apparently it was the nicotine keeping my appetite under control, or my metabolism revved up, or both.

So, now I have to decide. Is it worth the hypertension and arteriosclerosis risks of the (smoke free) nicotine to reduce the hypertension and diabetes risks of morbid obesity? And is it worth being pinged as a “smoker” if my doctor for some reason (like an insurance request) decides to test me for nicotine metabolites?

I think that the research showing it to be a fact should come before the statement that it is a fact…but that’s just my humble opinion.

I understand that smoking cures old age.

Walking to the corner store to get cigarettes = exercise.

That would help save the Social Security Administarion.

I believe a few years ago, the cigarette companies actually made that argument. There was a study that talked about the cost of cigarettes, and the idea that they should be taxed accordingly.

“Not, so fast!”, said the cigarette companies. “You didn’t take into the account the cost savings cigarette smoking has!”, and then talked about the savings in Social Security benefits.

Here’s the research article here.