Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Nicotine Is the New Wonder Drug

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the if-it-don't-kill-you-first dept.

Biotech 439

Fantastic Lad sends us to Wired for a story on the upside of nicotine. Researchers are developing drugs based on nicotine that may prove beneficial for brains, bowels, blood vessels and immune systems. "Nicotine acts on the acetylcholine receptors in the brain, stimulating and regulating the release of a slew of brain chemicals, including seratonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. Now drugs derived from nicotine and the research on nicotine receptors are in clinical trials for everything from helping to heal wounds, to depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, Tourette Syndrome, ADHD, anger management and anxiety." A separate story talks about nicotine warding off Parkinson's disease.

cancel ×

439 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

"New Wonder Drug" (-1, Offtopic)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811431)

Brings but a shrug
Merely be not a thug
When cutting the rug
Burma Shave

OT (-1, Offtopic)

wish bot (265150) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811921)

Posting as a bit of a test - the past couple of times I've posted I seem to have been port scanned almost immediately from an IP in Bulgaria. Anyone else getting this? Weird.

Smoke that, losers! (1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811435)

Neither Americans nor United-Statesians... ...the citizen of the Jesus-Land© should rather [watchingamerica.com] be called Amuritans .

BTW, Firefox gives me javascripts errors in the Slashdot home page, gotta love how those self-proclaimed "hackers" contradict their supposed skills by that obvious crappy programming...

Suspicious at best. (4, Interesting)

John Pfeiffer (454131) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811447)

This certainly sounds too good to be true. Makes me wonder who's funding the research.

Re:Suspicious at best. (4, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811481)

Phillip Morris Healthcare

Re:Suspicious at best. (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811509)

<sarcasm>
But they're a "family" company. That's what the commercials say! That means we can "trust" them right?
</sarcasm>

Re:Suspicious at best. (2, Funny)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811667)

Of course we can trust them! Their ads say so, and trustworthy people don't lie.

Re:Suspicious at best. (5, Insightful)

canUbeleiveIT (787307) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811519)

I guess that you're intimating that the cigarette companies are pushing this.

I'm sure that it won't be administered via a cigarette because the delivery system is important too. In the case of cigarettes, the delivery mechanism causes more harm than the nicotine helps. After all, antibiotics are good medicine but you wouldn't administer them by putting them on the tip of a knitting needle and jamming it into your eyeball.

Re:Suspicious at best. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19811595)

Depends on who I was administering it to...

Re:Suspicious at best. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19811905)

Let's not kid ourselves: the nanny state requires either a) population growth or b) euthanasia.
It is vitally important that the machine aggressively trim the deadwood.
As long as we have enough 1,000+ page studies to build a wall between the sheep and understanding, then we can continue to push poisons and stabilize the machine.
It is imperative that the sheep stay sheep, and not consider responsibility, liberty, and how a long, healthy, happy life can be achieved by simply minimizing interaction with the nanny state.
That is all.

Re:Suspicious at best. (1, Interesting)

dattaway (3088) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811767)

You can be sure the tobacco industry is funding this research. Its survival among any large company to fund research. No matter how innocent a product is made, such as tennis shoes, there's always some negative image. Research is the key to make *some* good to outweigh the bad. There's grants and scholarships to universities in exchange for IP rights. They are granting HUGE amounts to contractors in the sciences to come up with anything seemingly useful.

If the tobacco companies ignore research, marijuana might end up being the medicinal drug. And that's going to be a hard cash cow for a currently legal business to milk.

Re:Suspicious at best. (2, Funny)

broggyr (924379) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811819)

**but you wouldn't administer them by putting them on the tip of a knitting needle and jamming it into your eyeball**


Thanks - I nearly gave my keyboard a coffee shower; truly made me LOL. Good show!

Re:Suspicious at best. (2, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811991)

Thanks - I nearly gave my keyboard a coffee shower; truly made me LOL. Good show!
Recent research has shown that computer parts truly appreciate coffee showers, as they provide new pathways for carrier electrons. To REALLY stimulate your electronics, though, give them coffee enemas!

Re:Suspicious at best. (1)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811859)

I'm sure that it won't be administered via a cigarette because the delivery system is important too. In the case of cigarettes, the delivery mechanism causes more harm than the nicotine helps. After all, antibiotics are good medicine but you wouldn't administer them by putting them on the tip of a knitting needle and jamming it into your eyeball.

That is quite simply the best analogy ever.

Re:Suspicious at best. (4, Insightful)

LS (57954) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811913)

Who said that cigarettes had to be the delivery mechanism? I'm sure cigarette companies have a large stake in tobacco farms, and may even own them. Seeing the heavy legislation and the decline in smoking, they are doing what any well-run company would do, which is to pursue other markets. The nicotine has to come from somewhere.

LS

Re:Suspicious at best. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19811997)

Hey it may work out for the herpes [msn.com]

Re:Suspicious at best. (2, Funny)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 7 years ago | (#19812079)

antibiotics are good medicine but you wouldn't administer them by putting them on the tip of a knitting needle and jamming it into your eyeball.
Arrrr, why'dya think I is wearing them eyepatch, laddy??

Re:Suspicious at best. (3, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811763)

This certainly sounds too good to be true. Makes me wonder who's funding the research.


Actually, according to TFA (you did RTFA, right? Nevermind, "I must be new here" ;), the company doing the research was founded by a guy who used to work for RJ Reynolds. RJR retains a 4% stake in the company.

Still, why poo poo the research just because its linked to RJR? It's not like they're trying to use it to sell cigarettes here ... they're developing drugs based on a modified nicotine. Sounds good to me.

*shrugs*

Now excuse my while I go outside to light another Marlboro.

Re:Suspicious at best. (2, Insightful)

Andrzej Sawicki (921100) | more than 7 years ago | (#19812029)

Still, why poo poo the research just because its linked to RJR? It's not like they're trying to use it to sell cigarettes here ...
No, just trying to make cigarettes look less deadly. "Oh, look, there's good sides to smoking." Sad.

Re:Suspicious at best. (2, Insightful)

MacDork (560499) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811853)

This certainly sounds too good to be true. Makes me wonder who's funding the research.

With a response like that, it makes me wonder if you even care if the research is accurate.

Nicotene may have it's uses... (3, Insightful)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 7 years ago | (#19812009)

,,,but breathing in tar and particulate matter does not. And even if they find some beneficial uses for nicotene, its use must still be weighed against its effects as an addictive stimulant, including constricting the arteries and making people more susceptible to stroke and heart attacks.

No matter what uses they find for nicotene, you're not going to suddenly make smoking healthy, so it wouldn't matter even if the tobacco industry was funding this.

Re:Suspicious at best. (1, Interesting)

ntropia (939502) | more than 7 years ago | (#19812061)

Smoke is bad. No way. So quit smoking ASAP, but nevertheless keep your mind without filters.

I worked in one of the small biotechs that do research in the field, an I can say you that, yes, nicotine could be a good "weapon" for some targets.

But when you smoke, it's like to take a bullet's box and put it on fire, while using nicotine it's to take one single bullet, charge your sniper rifle... press your right mouse button and.. you know :D

Very naif, maybe, but I suggest to my father (an ol'penitent smoker since almost 30 years) to use once or two in a weak the nicotine patches, as a kind of prevention. At least, there are no serious side-effects with such a low dosage.

Anyway, nicotine is one of the many natural compounds that are active in our organism... Again, there are a kind of "receptors" (proteins) that have been characterized by nicotine itself (nicotinic receptors, see in the links).

Finally, as well as water, the "dose" is essential.


eNjoy

Re:Suspicious at best. (1)

eiapoce (1049910) | more than 7 years ago | (#19812067)

I guess the effects are even better if you soak the pills in ammonia :D

ABT-594 (1)

lemon_dieter (949624) | more than 7 years ago | (#19812087)

I remember doing an essay on a chemical derived from amazonian frogbacks when I was a sophomore in high school...1998...nine years ago.

ABT-594 was ten times more effective than morphine for pain relief. I know that opiates are much better understood due to their thousands of years of use, but isn't it about time that someone like Roche or Lilly focus on an effective painkiller with the mere side effect of a tobacco addiction in lieu of opium? Or have dope fiends become more socially accepted than smokers?

In other words (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 7 years ago | (#19812089)

In other words:

Don't confuse us with your facts and scientific studies. We're trying to demonize people here.

Re:Suspicious at best. (1)

paanta (640245) | more than 7 years ago | (#19812099)

If it's true, this shouldn't come as some huge surprise. MOST drugs people use recreationally have some sort of valid pharmacological use. Alcohol for your vascular system, pot for your glaucoma/cancer pain/whatever, heroin for the crushing sadness in your heart, coke for staying awake and alert during 12 hour stints at the wheel of your 18-wheeler, etc.

Oh great (4, Funny)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811461)

Every time I try to get out, they pull me back in.

Stop making me smoke you damned scientists!

Re:Oh great (1)

spxZA (996757) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811503)

Join me for one outside then? I just did a postgrad module on cancer. I wish i knew about this. That would've shown my lecturers!

Re:Oh great (5, Funny)

niceone (992278) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811511)

Stop making me smoke you damned scientists!

I'm surprised they are letting lab beagles post on slashdot, is it the result of some animal rights campaign?

Oh great (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19811467)

quit smoking after 15 years. What a bitch. And NOW they say that the nicotine is good?

Re:Oh great (2, Informative)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811487)

I think they are planning on modified nicotine. Anyway, considering all the stuff in cigarettes, I don't think nicotine is the worst part - it's just the part that makes it hard for you to quit.

Well, in the quantities present, it's not the worst part, but put a drop of that stuff on your tongue, and it's all over.

Re:Oh great (3, Insightful)

value_added (719364) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811887)

I think they are planning on modified nicotine. Anyway, considering all the stuff in cigarettes, I don't think nicotine is the worst part - it's just the part that makes it hard for you to quit.

Personally, I think the idea of modified nicotine may hold promise for many, but for those who smoke, the concept is somewhat akin to taking caffeine tablets instead of enjoying (or sharing ) that great cup of coffee. To the extent it works, life becomes a little bit less enjoyable. And less social.

I smoke. Not because I suffer from an addiction to nicotine, or an innability to change any number of related habits, but because I choose to. And I derive great pleasure from it for a large number of reasons. I have, on occasion, cut back, or stopped entirely for weeks or months at a time, but I think that was due in most part to suffering the effects of a good habit gone bad. Too much of anything is bad (or bad for you, if you prefer). The ability to make that distinction is important.

The benefits of nicotine for those suffering schizophrenia I found notable. Anyone familiar with the disease knows that smoking "relaxes" schizophrenics. I have a family member who has suffered from schizophrenia for most of his life. Watching him suffer from the disease is one thing, but seeing him endure the effects of the varying regimen of (mostly ineffective) drugs was even more painful. Personally, I'd prefer that he have a cigarette from time to time to make his (and others) life more bearable.

For anyone that has opinions on smoking that borders on the hysterical, I'd suggest they lighten up. Or better still, light up once in a while. There are many things in life that are good for you in small amounts, but dangerous or poisonous at higher levels. Put another way, you'd be better served by not moralising your (and everyone else's) choices and instead, pick your favourite poison and enjoy it responsibly. Besides, what else are you going to do after sex? Peel an orange?

Re:Oh great (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811999)

I wasn't criticiznig smoking or smokers...

I don't smoken, I hate the "smell". I quoted that because I don't mind the actual smell that much really, but it stings my sinuses and throat.

I don't like dealing with inconsiderate smokers however. I know plenty of smokers who smoke outside to respect the non-smokers around them, who make sure to go down wind of non smokers, etc. But there are smokers that will not care, get smoke in your face, and then get mad at you for walking away. It's the latter kind that I don't like dealing with.

What you do with your body is your business, have fun with it. Just don't force it on me.

Re:Oh great (1)

TodMinuit (1026042) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811743)

Did anyone ever say nicotine was bad for you? They (which is a weasel word) have said smoking is, but I don't believe nicotine.

Re:Oh great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19811893)

iirc, they did, only the amount of nicotine in a cigarette is so small that the poisonous effects (it's supposed to be a poison) are outnumbered by the other bad stuff in there.

I do remember nicotine gums having warnings about heart disease etc though, but i don't know how much of that is liability protection.

Re:Oh great (4, Interesting)

necro81 (917438) | more than 7 years ago | (#19812027)

Well, nicotine is a tremendously addictive substance, like heroin, and a powerful stimulant to the body. It screws around with the all kinds of chemical receptors in the brain, including the ones that allow you to feel good. This is why a smoker in need of a fix is usually irritable and grumpy before taking that first sweet drag.

But, you are right, the real danger with smoking is, well, smoking all the other shit that's in cigarettes - the nicotine is a secondary concern. The danger of the nicotine in cigarettes is the fact that it keeps you addicted.

Re:Oh great (2, Funny)

duguk (589689) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811863)

I gave up on Sunday and NOW this comes up? C'mon guys, be fair! Its hard enough as it is!

Re:Oh great (1)

SnapShot (171582) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811883)

Exactly. Also, it's not like I needed some researcher to tell me that nicotine helps prevent anger, depression, and anxiety. Oh well, quit after about 12 years and I'm guessing that the "modified nicotine in a pill" is going to be more expensive than my old pack of Camels.

This Post... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19811471)

...was brought to you by the Tobacco Industry of America.

Well (1)

Jaaay (1124197) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811485)

It's possible that something very bad for you that can kill you in a dozen different ways can be used in some different ways but it sounds a bit like those "drinking coffee while smoking is better for you than just smoking" articles. Something that technically might be one iota less harmful but in reality is still terrible for you.

Re:Well (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811655)

I would say it is more on the line of "morphine and derivated substances can help in the treatment of some medical conditions, so let's become junkies"

Ahh, science. (1)

HalifaxRage (640242) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811489)

Sure, nicotine will save your brain. But if it kills your body before that...

...just remember (3, Funny)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811491)

... if you're undertaking clinical trials with these drugs in the UK - don't do it in public enclosed spaces.

Re:...just remember (1)

cabinetsoft (923481) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811693)

And don't mention it on a job application [ft.com]

Employers in Europe are free to refuse smokers a job, confirming their status as the continent's last pariahs.

Of course it does (1)

JFMulder (59706) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811495)

Of course it offsets the chance that you catch some other disease... if you consider the chances you will die of lung cancer before you catch something else.

Re:Of course it does (4, Informative)

MoonFog (586818) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811527)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that while the nicotine makes quitting smoking hard to do, its health effect is not as great as that of the other substances in smoke such as tar. That's what gives you lung cancer, not the nicotine itself.

Re:Of course it does (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811725)

Unfortnately, cancers are the most horrible but not the only way cigarettes can kill you. If I remember well, nicotine does something to your blood vessels that favors heart attacks and strokes.

Re:Of course it does (1)

MoonFog (586818) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811785)

Well, nicotine is indeed a very toxic substance, according to Wikipedia even more toxic than cocaine. On the other hand, lethal substances are used all the time as medicine, it all comes down to how much you administer compared to the level required to reach the lethal or damaging effect. I assume further testing on this will reveal if nicotine in levels that are helpful with the issues mentioned in the summary also provide a different health risk. However, the grand parent (and several others in this thread) seemed focus on cancers and the risks that come from the smoking of nicotine which is part of tobacco, something containing much, much more than just nicotine. (Interesting to note from Wikipedia - referenced from New Scientis - is the claim that tobacco contains what might be dangerous levels of both radium and polonium)

Re:Of course it does (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19811845)

Unfortnately, cancers are the most horrible but not the only way cigarettes can kill you. If I remember well, nicotine does something to your blood vessels that favors heart attacks and strokes.
Smoking increases your heart rate and blood pressure, cholesterol, and red blood cell count (polycythemia). In addition your blood clots more easily. All of these factors leaves us smokers more prone to heart attacks and strokes.

Re:Of course it does (1)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811753)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that while the nicotine makes quitting smoking hard to do, its health effect is not as great as that of the other substances in smoke such as tar. That's what gives you lung cancer, not the nicotine itself.
That is mostly true. Wikipedia says

The currently available literature indicates that nicotine, on its own, does not promote the development of cancer in healthy tissue and has no mutagenic properties. However, nicotine and the increased cholinergic activity it causes have been shown to impede apoptosis[citation needed], which is one of the methods by which the body destroys unwanted cells (programmed cell death). Since apoptosis helps to remove mutated or damaged cells that may eventually become cancerous, the inhibitory actions of nicotine creates a more favourable environment for cancer to develop. Thus nicotine plays an indirect role in carcinogenesis.

As Dr Orva says.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19811517)

"Here, smoke this, and be sure to get the smoke deep down
into your lungs"

It's tobacco, it's one of the healthiest things for your body!

sweet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19811525)

So the 50s cigarette commercials were right all along. Smoke up people, its good for you.

Re:sweet! (2, Funny)

vasqzr (619165) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811619)


Wait until you hear about the benefits of cocaine and opium!

Re:sweet! (2, Interesting)

MoonFog (586818) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811647)

This is hardly the first time toxic substances have proven (although it's not proven yet) to have health benefits. For example, smoking marijuana (or THC rather) has proven to be an effective pain medication and helpful to some very ill people.

Whether or not it is politically correct to tout this information.. well, that's a different story.

So in fact passive smoking ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19811569)

... is actually helping by "vaccinating" the nation against Parkinsons Disease and ensuring healthy bowels ?

"We usually thank people for not smoking, sir"
"Why, you don't know they're not going to ?"
Commander Vimes and Corporal Carrot (Pratchett's finest).

Nicotine and bowels (4, Insightful)

LordBafford (1087463) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811573)

I can kind of vouch for this. Usually when I have my first smoke of the day I have to use the can soon after. I always thought they just put laxatives in cigarettes..

Re:Nicotine and bowels (2, Funny)

neonmonk (467567) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811717)

Mod parent insightful!

I just love to have an indepth of understanding of fellow Slashdotters morning rituals.

Re:Nicotine and bowels (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19811923)

Smoking can also reduce the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulcerative_colitis [wikipedia.org]

Re:Nicotine and bowels (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811925)

It's the coffee man.

Re:Nicotine and bowels (4, Funny)

Bourbon Man (76846) | more than 7 years ago | (#19812115)

I quit smoking about a year ago, and I've found that there is one bad thing about quitting (at least for me). I used to always get up, have a smoke, and within minutes I would need to go poop. Since I quit smoking, my pooping schedule is all messed up. When your bowels perform like clockwork for decades, to have that schedule go awry is truly a shitty thing.

Wait ..... (3, Funny)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811575)

So fags are good for you now?

Just make sure that report wasn't signed by anybody named Benson or Hedges!

Re:Wait ..... (4, Funny)

troc (3606) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811803)

My gay office-mate thoroughly enjoys his daily fags ;)

(that's a UK-centric joke, sorry)

Oh and he's giggling over my shoulder now.

Re:Wait ..... (5, Funny)

Jargon Scott (258797) | more than 7 years ago | (#19812041)

I'm surprised at your typing prowess given that type of activity. o.O

:x (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19811841)

WTF

'medicine' (2, Informative)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811581)

Nicotine is a toxin. Heck it's more toxic that arsenic and roughly the same toxicity of cyanide (roughly 50mg). Something as dangerous as that shouldn't be prescribed for non-life threatening situations (smoking can be considered life threatening).

Re:'medicine' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19811661)

Everything is toxic at a certain doseage.

Re:'medicine' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19811665)

It's _based_ on nicotine. It isn't _just_ nicotine.

It's just like snake venom is bad for you. What do they use to treat snake bites? Anti-venom.
What is anti-venom made from? Oh yeah, snake venom!

Just because it's bad for you in one form, doesn't mean it's bad in others.

Re:'medicine' (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19811677)

Come on cartoon camels smoke them. How dangerous could cigarettes be?

Re:'medicine' (3, Informative)

bradmacd (860925) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811685)

Most things are toxic at some level, be it 50mg or 500mg. If you take too much tylenol it can kill you. That doesn't mean that at low doses its not useful.

And also, they are not saying smoking is healthy, they are investigating the properties of nicotine and how it affects the brain. Smoking is not the only method of getting nicotine into the body. If they can isolate helpful effects of the drug, maybe it can do some good.

Re:'medicine' (1)

BigDogCH (760290) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811801)

Is there anything that isn't toxic in extreme levels? The human body is really quite fragile when you consider it.

People have died from overdosing on most over-the-counter drugs. I have heard that Vitamin C is even toxic in extreme levels. If you are in the arctic, and live purely off of Rabbit meat, it is toxic (protein poisoning). Even water can kill you if you drink too much of it (kidney overload?)? Correct me if I am wrong, but I can't think of anything that isn't toxic in the improper quantities. Air? If you breath too fast repeatedly, you will surely suffer brain damage (though passing out should prevent this).

Re:'medicine' (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#19812053)

Actually water toxicity is a ton of things. You can basically dilute your blood and create an extreme electrolyte imbalance and can even have brain swelling in extreme cases.

Not unless... (1)

jenik (1030872) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811699)

you use less than 50 mg...

Re:'medicine' (4, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811731)

You're overreacting. It's all about the dosage and usage.

Lots of people go for botox treatments, and allegedly some of them end up looking better ;).

People consume poisons all the time - capsaicin (in spicy foods), cyanide (in almonds), caffeine, and nicotine. Chrysanthemum is often made into a tea, but it contains pyrethrum which is a "natural pesticide".

In fact, it may be that a lot of smokers are dying more due to the radioactivity than the nicotine or tar.

wiki: "One study found that tobacco grown in India averaged only 0.09 pCi per gram of polonium 210, whereas tobacco grown in the United States averaged 0.516 pCi per gram."

"In support of this hypothetical link between radioactive elements in tobacco and cancer is the observation that bladder cancer incidence is also proportional to the amount of tobacco smoked, even though nonradioactive carcinogens have not been detected in the urine of even heavy smokers; however, urine of smokers contains about six times more polonium 210 than that of nonsmokers, suggesting strongly that the polonium 210 is the cause of the bladder carcinogenicity, and would be expected to act similarly in the lungs and other tissue."

Re:'medicine' (2, Informative)

vigmeister (1112659) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811789)

One study found that tobacco grown in India averaged only 0.09 pCi per gram of polonium 210, whereas tobacco grown in the United States averaged 0.516 pCi per gram.
Quick guide to Indian tobacco:
If you're poor, smoke beedis (unflavored ones); If you're rich, Trichnopoly cigars (Woraiyur suruttu used to be an excellent choice).
The first is probably available at your local Indian store and the second at elite tobacconists'.

Cheers!

Re:'medicine' (1)

bs7rphb (924322) | more than 7 years ago | (#19812109)

Chrysanthemum is often made into a tea, but it contains pyrethrum which is a "natural pesticide".

Was going to make a pithy comment about pyrethrin being an insecticide, and harmless to mammals. But I had to go and check on wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

"For humans, pyrethrin is known to irritate eyes, skin, and respiratory systems."

Hmph.

Re:'medicine' (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 7 years ago | (#19812113)

wiki: "One study found that tobacco grown in India averaged only 0.09 pCi per gram of polonium 210, whereas tobacco grown in the United States averaged 0.516 pCi per gram."

Hm. Any data on Russian cigarettes ?

Re:'medicine' (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811833)

Many medical products can be lethal at relatively small dosage but they are used everyday because, when handled correctly, they are benefical and relatively safe, so I see no reason not to consider using nicotine as a medication the same way we use morphine.

For an addicted smoker, on the other hand, the nicotine fix is not that different from heroine addiction, with of course the notable and fortunate exception that nicotine addiction rarely triggers criminal or short term destructive behaviors.

Re:'medicine' (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811907)

They are not saying smoking is good for you. They are just saying nicotine may have benefits in certain circumstance. Coca leaves also may have some benefit, but no is is advocating crack as a cure-all. So may red wine, but that also doesn't mean drowning yourself in moonshine is better because it has more alcohol.

The human body is way too complicated for simplistic analysis.

BTW, I heard that if you are taking one cigarette and put it in a glass of water (cigarette tea), that drinking it can kill you. So nicotene is plenty toxic, if taken the wrong way.. But how often does a person die of 1 cigarette or even a 1,000 of them when taken the normal way.

how to use this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19811637)

Now now, from 1st of july, smoking at public places is banned in many places. So, how can the patients smoke nicotine puff inside hospitals as medication ????

Anyway.. is this another CIA conspiracy like LSD on hippies, yippies?

Daydream (3, Funny)

Detritus (11846) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811643)

Go away! Don't you have work to do?

Grumble...

Can't take a smoke break in peace anymore, with all these health nuts trying to get a free lungful of nicotine.

NicLite-Nicotine Water (1)

n2art2 (945661) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811709)

There is a product on the market, that has some great promise, to help stop smoking as well as help those who smoke but can't. (Like when you have to take a long flight, or are in the hospital, or any number of other places where smoking is banned.) Check it out. . . http://nicoworldwide.com/ [nicoworldwide.com]

Good luck ... (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811939)

(Like when you have to take a long flight,

... getting that bottle through security.

The real problem (5, Interesting)

stormi (837687) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811769)

The idea is that nicotine releases happy chemicals in your brain. I think we've already known this for a while - it's why it's so hard to quit smoking. Now they are realizing that happy chemicals can treat some psychological disorders. Plausible. However, there is a problem with this theory that we've recognized for a long time. When we artifically create these chemicals in the brain via medications or other chemicals and drugs, we get used to having the feeling. Then, in ordinary situations where we are supposed to experience happiness (ex. a day off, a sunny day, a good dessert, a good song) we don't feel anything. This leads further into depression because people literally cannot find happiness in activities they once found enjoyable. Any of the "happy chemicals" that might go off naturaly are so negligible compared to the constant chemicals caused by the drugs that the good experiences may just as well have never happened. So, nicotine makes you happy? Probably. Can help with certain mental disorders? Again, probably. But should it be used / is it the best solution? That is what's debatable.

Re:The real problem (1)

djtachyon (975314) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811871)

This is a very good point that is often overlooked. Not to mention that it hurts me to see that half of these posters think that TFA is saying cigarettes are good for you. They are deriving treatments from the chemical nicotine. Ugh this is a painful set of comments to read.

Nothing NEW here... please move along... (1)

Assassin bug (835070) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811791)

There is nothing new about nicotine. Maybe these particular findings are new, but it has had many uses (most notably as a toxin [wikipedia.org] ) in pest management for a long time.

better than SSRI? (5, Interesting)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811793)

I had a bout of depression last year and I saw a psychiatrist. I went over my life history. At the end of the session, he recommended a cocktail of 3 different drugs! Apparently because I had had a manic episode once in my life when I was in high-school, I was a manic-depressive. I needed one drug for the depression, one for the mania, and some other one. Jesus Christ.

I stopped seeing him. I was looking into 'legal' highs for depression, such as St. John's Wort and

Since I also had problems concentrating, I tried smoking for the nicotine. I found that it really helped with my anxiety. I took a smoke after work, I relaxed, and then moved my bowels. I felt calm and focused rather than frenzied and harried. Things were right on course instead of all over the place. I've since given it up, however, since I started coughing.

I know smoking destroys your lungs gives you cancer after decades. My maternal grandparents died of cancers in their 60s, probably from smoking. All the people I try to turn on to smoking tell me that. But what are the long-term effects of taking anti-depression or anti-anxiety medication for decades.

It seems to me that cigarettes are a relatively cheap and simple anti-depressant. Although there are long term health consequences, we don't really know what the damage is from decades of wellbutrin. Of course, Big Pharma would rather have us rely on them for anti-depressants than use a simple plant that we could grow ourselves... Hey, that sounds familiar.

Re:better than SSRI? (1)

Phanatic1a (413374) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811953)

I've since given it up, however, since I started coughing.

There *are* other ways of absorbing nicotine. Smokeless tobaccos are still carcinogenic, but are a lot safer [reason.com] for you than smoking are.

Re:better than SSRI? (2, Informative)

adamkennedy (121032) | more than 7 years ago | (#19812007)

Wait a sec, you tell him there's alternatives to absorbing nicotine, and then proceed to give him a DIFFERENT way put carcinogens into his body.

Am I the only person that's noticed that nicotine comes in patch now?

co3k (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19811825)

be treated by your Obligated to care NNed to join the rivalry, and we'll DOG THAT IT IS. IT future. The hand

Please at least read it first... (1)

Tizz986 (1126171) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811847)

NNR research has nothing to do with smoking, nor would anyone who studies it suggest that you ever smoke. The company in the artical (the one you didn't read), Targacept, used to be a branch of RJR. They are not anymore. Nicotine will still kill you. Don't believe me? Put some in your hand without being at least double gloved, I may even stop by your funeral. If you want to know more about it the company has a website, www.targacept.com. The drugs are taken in pill form or through an IV, not smoked.

Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19811849)

This is really old news for us medical nerds.
Millis Phorris subvented clinical trials, anyone ?

Oh ya... (2, Interesting)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811865)

Buy it at a corner store and smoke it, it's teh evil!!!!one!!!

Extract the same stuff, put it in pills and tablets, and sell it for a bajillion more, it's medicine.

Re:Oh ya... (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811941)

it doesn't give people around you lung cancer. Now shut the f$#! up ya lame troll.

Since most dont RTFA.... (3, Informative)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811867)

They're planning on using Nicotine as a basis for new drugs by using similar structures to target receptors in the brain and slow, pause or reverse diseases like parkinsons.

Alternatively they're looking at cremes which can be used to promote blood flow to parts of the body (begin Viagra jokes now please). Mostly as a way to prevent Diabetic amputations which means its better for the health care system since they wont have to chop off as many legs which means less people in wheelchairs and such.

It's not endorsing that people go light up. Just that they can probably make these things new drugs and get them in 'patch form' in the future (because lets face it lighting up a cigarette is not the best method of administering such a drug)

Maybe they'll start working with Marijuana again.

I second (2, Funny)

jfekendall (1121479) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811891)

...the benefits of nicotine when it comes to ADD. I can actually concentrate now. The only downside is the yellowed teeth thing. I suppose yellow is the new white.

Re:I second (1)

soupforare (542403) | more than 7 years ago | (#19812045)

More like white is the new yellow.

Sponsored by the tobacco industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19811931)

Cocaine suppresses appetite big time, where's the article on that? Or can only the legal drugs get facetime?

As seen in Woody Allen's "Sleeper" (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19811969)

Dr. Orva: Here, smoke this. And, be sure you get the smoke deep down into your lungs.
Miles Monroe: I don't smoke.
Dr. Orva: It's tobacco. It's one of the healthiest things for your body.

Crazy (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 7 years ago | (#19811989)

"There will be great progress when the nicotine sister drugs come to market," he says. "About half the cigarettes in this country are bought by people with psychiatric problems -- high percentages of people with depression and schizophrenia smoke, for example.
Wow, about a quarter of people smoke so 12% of people have psychiatric problems.

nicotine can't be patented (3, Insightful)

LM741N (258038) | more than 7 years ago | (#19812031)

What they are doing is looking at drugs which are derivatives of nicotine. Thus they can patent them and charge you $5/pill.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?