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Some "Benefits" of Smoking Report No. Rd.1461 Unclassified
Length: 20 pages
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This British American Tobacco (BAT) document from 1977 reviews human studies to try and find some benefits of smoking to the smoker. The report reveals some interesting insights, including that nicotine acts as a stimulant, that deprived smokers may have lower performance levels than non-smokers, that people smoke for weight control and to counteract the effects of other drugs, and that smokers have poorer mental health scores than nonsmokers. The "Discussion" section of the paper states,
"The 'benefits' of smoking indicated by vigilance studies are those that would be reasonably expected to follow from the role of nicotine as a stimulant..."
"It also seems likely that smokers (in their non-smoking state) may exhibit intrinsically lower levels of performance than non-smokers, and use smoke to equal, or sometimes exceed the performance levels of non-smokers."
In many instances, the paper refers to nicotine as a stimulant, and speculates that the nicotine's stimulating effect may counteract the depressing effect on smokers' inhaling carbon monoxide. In a section entitled "Counteracting the effects of other drugs," the paper says that people tend to smoke and drink together because alcohol (a depressant) and nicotine (a stimulant) counteract each other. The paper also makes the point that people use smoking as a means of weight control.
The paper was produced almost 20 years before the FDA proposed regulating nicotine as a drug.
[from Page 8]
With regard to the role of nicotine in affecting levels of arousal, it seems worth pointing out that since carbon monoxide acts as a depressant, the two compounds probably act in opposite directions. For many cigarettes it is considered that the nicotine delivery will be sufficiently high for the effect of nicotine to predominate. However, there is the possibility that, for cigarettes with low nicotine deliveries, the effects of carbon monoxide will dominate. It seems unlikely that these could be considered to be beneficial...
SMOKING AND LEARNING
The effects of smoking on learning nonsense syllables have been studied by Andersson (19). Her studies suggest that smoking can have differential effects...Andersson pointed out that this result might be expected on the basis that nicotine is a stimulant...
...OTHER EFFECTS OF SMOKING
It has been pointed out that smokers are able to survive Parkinson's disease better than non-smokers...It is thought that the relevant action of nicotine is as a stimulant in the hippocampal region of the brain, causing an increase in the levels of dopamine....
...OTHER BENEFITS OF SMOKING
Pleasures associated with smoking:
Many smokers appear to derive pleasure from the habit: this might be of particular importance to smokers whose life-style or circumstances are such that pleasure cannot be readily obtained in other ways, e.g., in time of war. Relevant to this view are the theories that pleasure is derived from stimulation of the primitive parts of the brain, the so-called limbic system, and the suggestions that there exists within most human beings an innate drive "to develop techniques or to find mechanisms...[to] permit him temporarily to alter the state of his consciousness and thereby escape a world that seems all to humdrum..."
SMOKING and ANXIETY, Mental Health, etc.
Some thirty comparisons between smokers and non-smokers are listed in a review by Smith in which various aspects of mental health were considered. Slightly more than half the analyses show a significant association between smoking and some aspect of mental health. In all instances where a significant association was found the smokers had poorer mental health scores than did non-smokers.
It is a reasonable inference that the mental health of the smokers would be even worse if they were deprived of smoking...
Additional effects of smoking:
An increase in weight occurs in some 70% of subjects who give up smoking (27). Some subjects find the resultant increase in weight (which is related to an increase in food intake) unacceptable and resume smoking. Arguably, this might be seen as a benefit of smoking.
Counteracting the effects of other drugs
Generally speaking, alcohol has a depressant effect as has marihuana...The effects of smoking will be in the opposite direction in that the effects of nicotine are frequently that of a stimulant; thus smoking may be used to counteract the effect of these depressants. It has been observed that smoking and drinking may frequently occur together, and a study by Myrsten has confirmed that smoking and drinking do act in opposite directions. Furthermore it has been reported by Ashton that nicotine is frequently co-administered with A9-tetrahydrocannabinol.
...It is believed that the next step in work of this kind should be to investigate the effectiveness (in terms of performance in vigilance tasks) of cigarettes delivering different amounts of nicotine...
In the U.K., the Tobacco Research Council is studying the specific area of "social consequences of a sustained attack on smoking"...and this work may also be relevant in clarifying the role of smoking, particularly in alleviating some of the stresses of life.
- British American Tobacco
- Thornton, Ray E. (BAT GR&DC Smoking & Health Dept.)Smoking & Health Department, Group Research and Development Centre, British-American Tobacco Co. Ltd. (BAT), UK (United Kingdom)
- Desiqueira, Cjp
- Felton, David Geoff Dr. (Sr. Scientist for BATCo R&D '75-76)Dr. Felton was senior scientist for the Research and Development Dept of British-American Tobacco Co. Ltd. from 1975 to 1976. Felton received a copy of "Project Wheat--Part 1" dated 7/10/75 and "Project Wheat--Part 2" dated 1/30/76 (Project Wheat 1&2).
- Gibb, Robert "Rob" M. (ITC Attorney in Montreal CA)Robert M. Gibb, Esq. was an attorney for Imperial Tobacco, LTD in Montreal, Canada, circa 1973-81
- Green, Sydney James "Jim", Dr. (BATCo R&D Research Director, Southampton)Senior Scientist for the Research and Development Dept. at British-American Tobacco Co. Ltd. in 1975. Deceased as of 1994 (G. Bell LT Waxman 5/16/94). Head of BAT research for 19 years and a member of the board of directors of BAT (Source 3/24/94). Green received a copy of Project Wheat--Part 1 dated 7/1/75 and Project Wheat--Part 2 dated 183076 (Project Wheat 1&2).
- Hughes, Ivor Wallace, Dr. (CEO Brown & Williamson, TI Executive Committee)Ivor Wallace Hughes was The Chief Executive Officer of Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company in 1983, also served on the Tobacco Institute Executive Committee in 1983 and was CTR Director 1/28/83.
- Kruszynski, A.J. (BAT Attorney c. 1975-76)Kruszynski was a attorney for the British-American Tobacco Co. Ltd. in 1975-76. A.J. Kruszynski, Esq., received a copy of Project Wheat-Part 1 dated 7/10/75 and Project Wheat-Part 2 dated 1/30/76 (Project Wheat 1&2).
- Nicholls, R.G., Esq. (BAT Attorney 1975-76)Nicholls was a attorney for British-American Tobacco Co. Ltd. in 1975-76. R. G. Nicholls, Esq. received copy of "Project Wheat-Part 1 dated 7/10/75 and Project Wheat-Part 2 dated 1/30/76 (Project Wheat 1&2).
- Sanford, Robert A. (BW RD&E VP, Research Director)
- Seehofer, F.
- Sottorf, H. E. (BATCo Scientist, Germany, 1975)H. Sottorf was a Scientist at Batco in 1975. (Source: NM Tobacco Companies Personnel List)
- Wade, R. S. (BW R&D Director)R. S. Wade is a former Research & Development director for Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation. Wade is deceased as of 1994 (G. Bell LT Waxman 5/16/94). Attorney for British-American Tobacco Co. Ltd. (1975-76); "R. S. Wade, Esq." received copy of "Project Wheat--Part 1" dated 7/10/75 and "Project Wheat--Part 2" dated 1/30/76 (Project Wheat 1&2).
- United Kingdom
- United States
- 10004026 01968
- 10004042 01517
- 10004013 01517
- 10004027 02742
- Named Person
- Thornton, R.E.
- Warburton/Univ Reading
- Wesnes/Univ Reading
- Wood, D.J.
- X/Reading Univ, U.K.
- X/Tobacco Research Council
- X/Univ Cambridge
- X/Renault Car
- X/Philip Morris
- Frankenhauser/Stockholm Univ
- Guillerm, R.
- Horvath/Univ Melbourne
- Johansson/Stockholm Univ
- Johnson, R.R.
- Mills, I./Univ Cambridge
- Myrsten/Stockholm Univ
- Post/Stockholm Univ
- Russell, M./Austin Hospital
- Russell, Mah
- REPT, REPORT, OTHER
- nicotine level
- drug use
- human subject
- weight control
- Mental Health