Cigarettes are good for you, say "scientists."
October 30, 2002 7:29 AM   Subscribe

Cigarettes are good for you, say "scientists." Yes, that's right. According to the Times of India the National Institute on Drug Abuse did a study in Bethesda, MD that reports that nicotine aids in concentration. The "Times" also says that this means new things for sufferers of ADD. Unfortunately, NIDA doesn't seem to want to say much about this new study on their own website. I wonder why the "Times of India" is all in English. Well, if you need a new reason to justify smoking, you can take this at face value, but something tells me there's more to this story than is instantly obvious.
posted by magikeye (26 comments total)
Come on, magikeye. The whole reason NIDA didn't put this on their website is because people would jump to conclusions like you just did. Just because nicotine has a positive side effect doesn't mean it's good for you.

By the way, I hear cocaine increases your energy level. And heroin is a great pain-killer.
posted by gramcracker at 7:35 AM on October 30, 2002

English speaking Indians. Particularly abroad.
posted by hackly_fracture at 7:39 AM on October 30, 2002

Why wouldn't the Times of India be in English? India was a British colony for a good long time, and from what I understand, English continues to be a lingua franca there (as well as a language of higher education) because so many different languages are spoken in different parts of India.
posted by kate_fairfax at 7:40 AM on October 30, 2002

Well, there's more to this story than is instantly obvious from the FPP. "Nicotine may have some beneficial effects" ≠ "Cigarettes are good for you." The linked article suggests the former, not the latter.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:40 AM on October 30, 2002

Good to know that you will be able to concentrate..... while you DIE of lung cancer!

(ok, time for a smoke break... hee hee)
posted by bmxGirl at 7:44 AM on October 30, 2002

The Times of India is in English for the same reason the South China Morning Post and Jerusalem Post are in English...

On preview.. ditto what kate_fairfax said
posted by PenDevil at 7:47 AM on October 30, 2002

That nicotine aids or stimulates concentration has been known by western scientists for at least a year or two. I've read about it before. Shouldn't be too hard to find more links. I found a couple in Dutch.
posted by ginz at 7:49 AM on October 30, 2002

Ok, so this site is a little suspect, but several studies have shown that smoking reduces your risk of Parkinson's Disease.
Again, this does not mean smoking is good.
posted by Fabulon7 at 7:49 AM on October 30, 2002

English-educated Indians: Obvious legacy of the Commonwealth. And they're stealing your jobs (previously posted on MeFi). lol!
posted by freakystyley at 7:50 AM on October 30, 2002

Here’s a fun one. According to a few studies, Cigarettes may increase your risk of getting Alzheimer’s... however if you continue smoking it will alleviate most of the symptoms! Good to know.
posted by bmxGirl at 7:53 AM on October 30, 2002

I take it back. Check this out. Full of the kind of weird logic only addicts can summon.
If cigarettes kill, so do ice creams, cars and medicines - and not in smaller measure.
posted by Fabulon7 at 7:53 AM on October 30, 2002

Cigarettes are the leading cause of statistics.
posted by remlapm at 7:56 AM on October 30, 2002

Check this out. Full of the kind of weird logic only addicts can summon.

Wow. I had no idea I was part of a vast antismoker industry! Where's my check?
posted by Vetinari at 7:57 AM on October 30, 2002

Times of India (TOI) is published in English because most if not all the educated people in India can read, write and speak in English. English is the second most commonly spoken language in the country. Pre-primary, primary, and high schools follow either the CBSE, ICSE, or the SSC format. CBSE and ICSE formats are in the English medium, and the English taught is the Queen's English. Of course not everyone speaks in Queen's English because we like to Indianize it, just as the Brits Anglicized Hindi. Indian English is an officially recognised dialect, just like Australian English, and Canadian English. Our accent may not be easy to understand at times, but that's because most English speakers in India were taught the Indian English under the SSC structure. The ICSE and CBSE taught English speakers tend to have a better grasp of the language and speak fairly clearly. As a matter of a fact about five or six years back the TOI had an article about a study done in the UK that listed the Anglo-Indian accent as the third best English accent, coming behind the Queen's English, and the BBC English, of course the common Indian accent was much worse.
posted by riffola at 8:07 AM on October 30, 2002

Speaking of smoking....

What will Florida decide on Tuesday?
posted by bmxGirl at 8:10 AM on October 30, 2002

The Times of India is one of the two major English-language newspapers in India (the other is The Hindu). English is the only language spoken throughout India. The central government is trying to make Hindi India's national language, but the south isn't having any of that, so English remains the de-facto standard for Indians communicating with people from other parts of the country.

And even if nicotine is good for you, doesn't mean the delivery mechanism (cigarettes) is. Just like drinking Coca-Cola is a lot worse for you than the caffiene you get that way :)
posted by Emanuel at 8:15 AM on October 30, 2002

Hmmmm. I quit smoking 2 and a half weeks ago. What the hell was I thinking?
posted by syzygy at 8:20 AM on October 30, 2002

Lisa, you can use statistics to prove ANYTHING that's even remotely true.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:41 AM on October 30, 2002

It's funny, I learned this in my High School Psychology course. (Please note high level of simplification here:) Because ADD is caused by lower activity in certain parts of your brain, stimulants have been found to be effective in treating the symptoms of ADD. That would include both coffee and cigarettes, among other things. see here.
posted by valval22 at 8:53 AM on October 30, 2002

Yeah, Nicotine aids in concentration. This has been out for a number of years, actually. (at least 5 if not 10) I used to know lots of Philosophy PHD's who smoked. When (a few) would quit, they would say they couldn't concentrate as well. Oh well, everything is a tradeoff: Sharper concentration vs. an agonizing death from lung cancer.
posted by troutfishing at 9:05 AM on October 30, 2002

nicotine aids in concentration....

sure until you need to get more nicotine into your system. thanks to non-smoking buildings you can concentrate in sessions.

posted by tomplus2 at 10:33 AM on October 30, 2002

Indian English is an officially recognized dialect, just like Australian English, and Canadian English.

Canada? Oh wait, you mean America Jr.!

Nicotinic receptors are now being studied, a picture of one can be found here. Could anyone comment as to who is studying these receptors? Are they now regularly studied for their role in various neurological issues?

"Canada is just like a country except that it isn't."
posted by Tystnaden at 11:10 AM on October 30, 2002

In Woody Allen's "Sleeper", he portrays Miles Monroe, owner of a health food store in Greenwich Village who's cryogenically frozen and wakes up 200 years in the future...

Doctor 1: "This morning for breakfast, uh, he requested something called wheat germ, organic honey, and Tiger's Milk."

Doctor 2: "Oh yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life preserving properties."

Doctor 1: "You mean there was no deep fat? No steak, or cream pies, or hot fudge?"

Doctor 2: "Those were thought to be unhealthy. Precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true."


Doctor 1, to Miles: "Here, smoke this. And be sure you get the smoke deep down into your lungs."

Miles: "I don't smoke."

Doctor 1: "It's tobacco! It's one of the healthiest things for your body!"

(Hey, who knows?!)
posted by chuq at 12:26 PM on October 30, 2002

To clear up a couple of issues:

magikeye (who happens to be a childhood friend of mine) obviously wasn't jumping to the conclusion that smoking is good for you. The first sentence was obviously sarcastic, as can be seen by the quotes around "scientists." Duh.

Second of all, just to add a little credibility to all of this, Reuters also covered this, albiet much less optimistically. Here's a Google news search for "nicotine." (Of course, since a new anti-smoking report comes out every day, you'll have to look down a few items.)

Third: You can't distill ADD (which I have, by the way) down to a single cause. But still, yes, stimulants work.

Fourth: troutfishing -- I never realized before, but I'm a philosophy major, and I smoke -- and all the other philosophy majors I know smoke too. Interesting...

Well, time to smoke a cigarette and write a paper on William James. Later.
posted by tweebiscuit at 1:20 AM on October 31, 2002

Jimmy: "Ummm...Mr. McClure, I have a crazy friend who says smoking cigarettes is bad for you. Is he crazy?"

Troy McClure:"Nooo, he's just ignorant. Just ask this scientician!"
posted by LairBob at 9:32 AM on October 31, 2002

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