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A new study shows that smoking tobacco cigarettes, like consuming alcohol, can lead to severe brain damage, though the mechanism is different. The study also suggests that second hand smoke exposure can also lead to brain damage.  (Source: The New York Times)

Perhaps that Guiness World Book Record for most cigarettes smoked wasn't such a good idea, now that the brain damage smoking tobacco causes is known...  (Source: Guiness World Book of Records)
Move over alcohol, brain damage has a new buddy

New research is set to be published in the July issue of the Journal of Neurochemistry that looks to offer yet another damning medical argument against smoking and allowing second hand smoke in public locations.  The new report finds that Tobacco smoke contains a compound which can cause brain damage.

The new study examined NNK, a procarinogen.  NNK is a toxic derivative of nicotine produced when the chemical is cured in preparation for use in cigarettes.  NNK is not found in other smoked drugs, such as cannabis.

Before the study it was thought that the compound could be damaging to the body, but it was unclear how damaging it was.  In the study, performed by Debapriya Ghosh and Dr Anirban Basu from the Indian National Brain Research Center (NBRC), it was found that the compound caused white blood cells in the central nervous system to attack healthy cells causing severe neurological damage.

Unlike alcohol or other forms of drug abuse, the drug does not impact brain tissue directly via oxidation or receptor damage.  Rather, it triggers an inflammatory immunological response that is believed to lead to Multiple Sclerosis and other brain diseases.

Both with in vivo, in mice, and in vitro tests, the researchers discovered that the compound elevated proinflammatory signaling proteins, proinflammatory effector proteins and other stress related proteins, and increased levels of proinflammatory cytokines, which act as molecular messengers between cells.  These factors led to increased activity by microglia, the brain's white blood cells responsible for attacking intruders.

The microglia turned on healthy cells, due to the increased level of these compounds.  States Professor Ghosh, "Considering the extreme economical and disease burden of neuroinflammation related disorders, it is extremely important from a medical, social and economic point of view to discover if NNK in tobacco causes neuroinflammation.  Our findings prove that tobacco compound NNK can activate microglia significantly which subsequently harms the nerve cells.

While most studies have focused on health threats from smoked tobacco, NNK is also present in chewing tobacco, helping make a stronger case against its use.  NNK is present in 20-310 nanograms in cigarettes, but is also can be present in concentrations as high as 26 nanograms in smoke filmed rooms.  This report adds more evidence that second hand smoke may damage non-smokers' health.

Concludes Professor Ghosh, "This research sheds light on the processes that lead to nerve cell damage in those who smoke cigarettes or consume tobacco products on regular basis."


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RE: No true need for a study.
By Chaser on 6/26/2009 11:05:29 AM , Rating: 1
Funny how most the people on your list were around when tobacco advertising was like this (from a KOOL ad in the 60's):

"Does winter make your head feel stuffy? Steam-heated rooms parch your throat? Heavy smoking 'brown' your taste? Then you've three extra reasons for changing to KOOLS.
They're mildly mentholated. Light up and feel that instant refreshment. Smoke deep; the choice Turkish-Domestic tobacco flavor is all there. Smoke long; your throat and tongue stay cool and smooth, your mouth clean and fresh.
Change to KOOLS. It's a change for the better."

You don't have Yul Brynner on your who made this commercial from his death bed pleading for people not to smoke.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNjunlWUJJI

Yeah. Anyone that surrenders control of their body and sells their health off towards non smoking tobacco exec profits is acting like a complete idiot.


RE: No true need for a study.
By choadenstein on 6/26/2009 11:15:36 AM , Rating: 4
You and the poster above you clearly missed the point of the rebuttal.

OP Said:
quote:
You can clearly see in a smoker the lack of ambition, the lack of willpower, and stubbornness, this just finally proves my idea that smokers brains are deeply effected by the chemical toxins involved. Clearly smokers are some of the most stubborn, narrow minded people, with a lack of drive, its almost like the toxins over the years cause them to be less of what they could really be, achieve less than they were once capable of. It makes them stubborn in daily activities, I work in an office and notice that they are usually slower to adapt, and are slower to learn.


The OP was saying that smokers lack drive, ambition, willpower, etc... My response had nothing to do lung cancer or other health concerns. The list was meant to represent the fact that smokers do not inherently lack or lose the certain positive personality traits due to smoking.

Also, the list is far from all actors. There are half-a-dozen US presidents, over a dozen heads of state, inventors, scientist, authors and even a pope or two.

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