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How Does Smoking Affect Your Brain?

The use of cigarettes is one of the harmful addictions, which according to the severity of exposure to the body is equivalent to some narcotic drugs. The impact of cigarettes on the human body is as destructive as the impact of marijuana, hashish and other drugs that have a plant basis.

Impact of cigarettes

Nicotine – the main component of tobacco products, causes not only the physical dependence on its use but also psychological. This process is familiar to every smoker. Strong stress, free time, need to take something in your hands? It is at these moments that the smoker begins to increase the amount of consumed product.

Unlike psychological addiction, a physical attachment is less obvious. However, if you analyze the process of forming habits. You can realize how smoking affects the human body. The passion for cigarettes develops very slowly, at first the person can smoke a few cigarettes a week, only to support the company’s smoke. Then the dose can gradually increase to a few packs per day. In the tobacco industry and in the documents of the World Health Organization a cigarette is called the DSN, the “delivery system of nicotine.” Nicotine, carbon monoxide, acetone, arsenic, methane, polonium – contents of one cigarette. Researchers have calculated that cigarette smoke contains 7,357 chemical compounds of different classes.

But even if you choose non-nicotine e-juice, it does not mean that it will be useful for your body.

The main components of any vape fluid are propylene glycol and glycerin. Scientists have found that they decompose during heating and this leads to the release of toxic substances such as formaldehyde and acrolein. Smoking can cause disorders of both the central and peripheral nervous systems. Smokers often have inflammations of the nerve trunks – neuritis, polyneuritis, radiculitis, etc. Smoking is especially harmful to people suffering from any nervous diseases or those who have experienced trauma to the nervous system, such as contusion, concussion.

What is more, according to the opinion of scientists from the American National Institute for Drug Addiction, nicotine has a positive effect on memory, which improves the ability to make decisions and perform tasks, Discovery News reports.

As a result, a person can’t imagine his life without a cigarette in his hands. An attempt to quit smoking is accompanied by the appearance of strong irritability, anxiety and sleep disturbance. Also, there are physical symptoms of withdrawal syndrome. They consist of the deterioration of well-being, the occurrence of nausea and irresistible cough.

By the way, American researchers from the University of West Virginia found that smoking the e-cigarette (check this) accelerates the aging of artery cells and veins, which can make people more likely to develop hypertension and other diseases of the cardiovascular system.

The brain is the central part of our body. It is the center of the behavior of all organs and systems of the body, the center of all body movements (conscious and unconscious), the center of conscious thinking. Our physical and mental health depends on the state of the brain and the nervous system in general. Not a single action, not a unique physiological process in the body occurs without its participation. Therefore, speaking about the dangers of smoking for health, the threat should be considered for the nervous system. People should remember that under the influence of nicotine there is a narrowing of the cerebral vessels, and, consequently, blood flow to the nervous tissue decreases. In this regard, there are frequent headaches and a weakening of memory.

Almost every internal organ is negatively affected by tobacco products. Receptors that have a sensitivity to nicotine are located in practically every part of the human body. To a greater extent, from the use of tobacco suffers central nervous system; adrenal tissues; ganglia; neuromuscular connections; carotid; lungs; heart.

The main task of the electronic cigarette was to get the smoker out of his bad habit by replacing bitter smoke with aromatic steam. Avid smokers choose a liquid with a nicotine content and gradually reduce its dosage during smoking.

And at the same time, the analysis of blood and urine among fans of electronic cigarettes showed that they are also affected by nitrosamines and toxic polymers. The nicotine they contain is addictive and is a potent neurotoxin.

Such conclusions were made by a group of scientists led by Dr. Stephen Heishman, having analyzed the literature between 1994 and 2008, concerning the effect of nicotine on the human body.

In general, scientists have studied 41 studies to understand how nicotine affects the body. In particular, excellent motor skills and short-term memory.

The results of the analyzed materials surprised scientists. It turned out that nicotine not only positively affects fine motor skills and vigilance but also improves short-term memory for tasks such as memorizing the list of elements.

Actually, e-cigarettes, as a rule, contain nicotine, and this is the main component that causes addiction. Nicotine acts on the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors of the brain and creates a strong dependence by stimulating the system of dopamine neurons, which is called the method of reinforcement or pleasure. At the same time, nicotine is a strong toxic substance. In large doses, it acts as a neurotoxin, causing paralysis of the nervous system. Prolonged use in small doses leads to hypertension, atherosclerosis, heart failure, in combination with resins contributes to the development of malignant tumors. Constant intake of nicotine causes atherosclerosis of the cerebral vessels, resulting in a deteriorated blood supply to the brain. This, in turn, increases the risk of intracerebral hemorrhage.

It makes sense to admit that in small doses, nicotine is a psychostimulant. There are research findings that suggest some positive effects of nicotine on the brain (but not smoking!). Nicotine, in its purest form, is opposed to certain brain disorders – for example, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease. There is also evidence that nicotine enhances cognitive functions – memory and attention. Anyway, to get rid of nicotine addiction with the help of e-cig is not possible.

About the author:

Margaret Wilson, a blogger who writes about the healthy way of life (healthy food, sports, motivation etc.)  Now she studies vaping as an alternative for people who are struggling with smoking.

TUT Staff

Written by TUT Staff

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