What are the benefits (mainly health benefits) of smoking

I assume this is a general question, not meant to be a debate.

But playing devils advocate, what all benefits are there from smoking nicotine tobacco?

Nicotine seems to help ‘rebalance’ brain chemistry among the mentally ill, so mentally ill people are prone to smoking as a way to be mentally healthy.

Smoking reduces BMI and body weight.

Smoking relieves stress.

Doesn’t smoking reduce the risk of dementia and parkinsons?

I assume most of these benefits can be had from obtaining nicotine in ways that do not cause health problems (patches, gum, vaporizers, etc)?

Here is another ‘benefit’. Smoking kills you young which saves money on pensions and health care costs. However not everyone would look at that as a benefit except the people in Logans run.

I’ve never heard that. What I’ve heard is that the last thing a person with dementia forgets is what brand of cigarettes they smoke.


I could be wrong about the dementia thing though. Those articles are about Parkinsons.

You hit on the primary answer right there, but made the common mistake of singling out nicotine. Tobacco contains various natural MAOIs that mimick the action of prescription antidepressants.

You look way cooler.

I’m pretty sure that that is just a side effect that smoking reduces eating particularly snacking.

Smoking has zero, zilch, nada health benefits. None.

But yes, nicotine might very well have a few.

If you really are interested in staving off Parkinson’s , and dont want the many many times great risk of cancer and heart disease, just chew the gum or the patch. Or Vape.

Smoking for health benefits is like finding you have a nasty infected ingrown toenail, so you use dynamite to blow your toe…and foot and leg off.

I’ve heard that it reduces the risk of Alzheimers. I’ve never checked on my own to see if it’s actually true, but I’ve heard it. I also heard someone, probably sarcastically, say that it reduces that risk because it’ll kill you before the you get Alzheimers. That wasn’t how I heard it to begin with, but statistically, it makes sense.

It’s also a great social lubricant, for lack of a better way to say it. As an overly shy person, when I was in college I’d purposely leave my lighter in the dorm (or pretend I did), just to give me a reason to ask someone for theirs and hopefully spark a conversation. I met one of my best friends, and quite a few other friends, because I needed to borrow their lighter.

Another ‘health’ benefit is that people can/will trade it for another addiction. I’m not sure which is better, but if you trade cocaine or heroin for smoking, at least you’re not doing cocaine or heroin.
In fact, the few times I’ve had to be at a inpatient addiction/detox facility (making a delivery), I noticed ashtrays/coffee cans everywhere. However, it’s entirely possibly the people that were there smoked to begin with.

That used to be true, when most people smoked, but now it’s just the opposite.

Yeah, smoking is negatively correlated with socioeconomic status now. So it really isn’t much more of a social lubricant than mentioning driving a Kia.

When I was in college, I was friends with a girl who was a dance major; she told me that nearly everyone in the dance and drama departments smoked, specifically because it acted as an appetite suppressant, and staying thin was important for their careers.

Yes, smoking or vaping do offer many of the benefits listed, including weight loss (nicotine decreases appetite, among other things), Parkinson’s, Dementia. Note that gum and patch will work to help with addiction, but will not provide the other benefits. Smoking or vaping allows nicotine to cross the blood-brain barrier.

Smoking is still a social lubricant.

Maybe not in all social scenes universally. But most definitely in the music scene, whether performing or as a concertgoer, and in the stage acting scene.

Going outside to smoke is a perennial form of bonding. This applies to weed also, but less commonly.

when 10% of the populace smokes? Doubtful.

I didn’t say “smoking is a social lubricant for 100% of the population.”

Lubricant is lubricant, no matter how many or how few p…ok, I’m just gonna stop right there. Maybe a better way of putting it is, tobacco smoking is part of some subcultures, but yes, it has decreased in the population at large. It’s also been replaced, as I said, by weed, for many people.

In the 1930s an uncle of mine wrote a PhD dissertation, at Harvard, on the benefits of smoking.
Oddly his father owned a tobacco farm (for cigar tobacco) in Connecticut.
Ironically lung cancer killed both him and my aunt.
Sorry, I grew up with it on a bookshelf and don’t have it anymore, so I can’t list some of these benefits.



Try 15, with wild variations from state to state, education level, gender, race and a bunch of other factors.

IIRC, Cecil once cited a study claiming that there was a link between smoking and decreased risk of Alzheimer’s, but he speculated that this was a result of smoking taking years off your life.

When my mother was diagnosed with vascular dementia, her doctor told us that her smoking had almost certainly been a factor. Vascular dementia is caused by a series of small strokes cutting off blood flow to parts of the brain. Smoking constricts blood flow, which is partly why it acts as an appetite suppressant.

I guess it’s a question of which you value more: looking svelte, or being able to remember your name.

Smoking after sex is a wonderful communal experience shared with your SO. I guess that’s healthy depending on how you want to look at it.

I recall reading that the study was commissioned by the tobacco companies to counter the claim that smoking caused extra costs to the health care system. Not exactly the result they were looking for, finding that smokers died younger before they could add all sorts of esoteric geriatric costs to the system.

70 is young, when you consider that a lot of people are living into their 80’s and 90’s routinely now. If you don’t want to live an extra decade in a hospital bed or as a drooling vegetable in a wheelchair, I guess smoking is the way to go.

(Another study suggested most people cost the system the most in the first and last 6 months of their lives).

“Makes you cough, stink, and die. Must be real sexy…” -Calvin, Calvin & Hobbes