Cravings For Cigarettes: Why?

Discussion in 'Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs' started by John Eels, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. John Eels

    John Eels Member

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    Recently, Austin wrote about his cravings for beer. That reminds me of my cravings for cigarettes. I recently picked up the habit again of smoking a few cigarettes a day; that is around five. I start in the morning after breakfast on the way to work. Usually, I also have one after meals. I wonder about its relationship to serotonin and its propensity to lower it.

    What ideas do you have and what other alternatives do I have to smoking a cigarette? Increase T3? My pulse averages at 72. I started to log my pulses in a Google Spreadsheet.
     
  2. charlie

    charlie The Law & Order Admin

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    This quote comes to mind:


    So, maybe your body realizes that the nicotine is gonna boost up your metabolism. And wants stability restored.
     
  3. Austin

    Austin Member

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    Nicotine seriously messes with serotonin levels. Aside from that, I don't know if there's a way around it via the Peat method other than just avoiding nicotine. I was addicted for over a decade. Quitting smoking was one of the best decisions of my life, and I don't regret it at all. If you're looking to quit, check out Allen Carr's "Easy Way" book. It did the trick for me, along with Nicorette gum for a few weeks (nasty stuff but it helped). Smoking really is one of the worst things you can do to your body. Strange that you're on a health diet site, but you smoke. :P Eating junk food every day is probably healthier than smoking and eating a Peat diet. Sorry I don't mean to preach. I just want to help other smokers because I know where you are.
     
  4. jaguar43

    jaguar43 Member

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    I thought Nicotine was an aromatase inhibitors which would lower estrogen thus lower serotonin levels ? any thoughts
     
  5. kiran

    kiran Member

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    Austin, lowering serotonin is one of the *positives* of cigarettes. Serotonin is bad mmmkay?
     
  6. Austin

    Austin Member

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    Hmm, I always thought that while indeed nicotine lowers serotonin levels right after smoking a cigarette, that hours later during a craving, those serotonin levels would skyrocket higher than they initially were. I thought I read that awhile ago, though I may be wrong.

    Edit: I will have to find a link for this later. Sorry to not provide any solid data here, lol.
     
  7. OP
    John Eels

    John Eels Member

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    I find value in cravings. I think they inform us about something. I don't know what it is with smoking. Maybe hypothyroidism? Maybe high serotonin levels? Maybe strongly fluctuating serotonin levels (e. g. high serotonin in the morning, low in the afternoon, high in the evening)?

    Hm, I really don't know about serotonin dropping and then skyrocketing hours later. And I wonder about your statement that smoking is one of the worst things you can do to your health. Probably smoking is the healthier and safer antidepressant then a SSRI. And maybe PUFA's are worse than smoking a cigarette.

    And then there is interesting findings in centenarian research.

    source

    All these centenarians smoked. The standard argument goes: they got so old b/c of their genes (and if they didn't smoke they lived even longer). What if they lived so long b/c they smoked? That's very contrarian.

    One thing is for sure, there is a lot of ideology around smoking.
     
  8. Energizer

    Energizer Member

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    Hello everyone, some of you may recognize me from Peatarian.

    A lot of people can't handle the idea that smoke from the ancient medicinal tobacco plant is healthy. Like the "serotonin is the happy hormone" trope, the idea tobacco smoke might be beneficial clashes with their world-view, so most people live comfortably in the anti-smoking matrix (usually the same kind of people that think saturated fat = bad, sugar = bad, cholesterol = bad, PUFA = good, etc, I was one of them). You can quote animal research showing rats, dogs, monkies, etc, live 20% longer, are sharper, thinner, and healthier than their sham-smoked counterparts, but some people have to experience the magic for themselves. I was skeptical about tobacco until reading the thread http://www.longecity.org/forum/topic/38 ... d-for-you/, as well as "The Smoking Scare Debunked", and "The Scientific Scandal of Antismoking" (available online), and eventually picking up my own tobacco from online and hand-rolling cigarettes. I started smoking around when my thyroid symptoms were noticeable, which provided some relief (I believe Broda Barnes in "Hypothyroidism" says a lot of his thyroid patients smoked, some also drank frequently, probably for some relief of their low thyroids). I still smoke occasionally, less frequently because I'm poor and it can be expensive unless you buy the bulk leaf and shred it for pipe-smoking or hand-roll your own cigarettes.

    Often times, poor people smoke probably because they're unhealthy, and smoking is a cheap medicine compared to over-priced pharmaceuticals which don't work, so it skews the statistics non-smokers see and interpret as smoking being harmful. Ask any construction worker, miner, who works in around heavy dust if smoking provides him relief. He will likely tell you, it does. The tobacco smoke, unlike ordinary smoke is protective to the lungs. Can you tell me a drug that lowers MAO-B, raises the youth hormones and slows their decline - DHEA, testosterone, pregnenolone, keeps you sharp even in old age (just go to any old folks home where there are smokers and non, you'll quickly see the difference), helps you lose weight, is a natural anti-estrogen, good source of niacin, etc? No, you can't, because there is nothing that comes even REMOTELY close to the rejuvenating magic of tobacco. The tobacco leaf works in the same direction as coffee, thyroid, progesterone, etc. I don't think it's a coincidence, like John points out, that some tobacco smokers are the longest living people in the world, as tobacco smoke raises the metabolic rate, among other things. Long-living animals tend to have very high metabolic rates. Some research on tobacco benefits: http://wispofsmoke.net/goodforyou.html

    There is no good science, hard animal experiments, showing tobacco smoke harmful. The anti-smoking propaganda relies on the sleight of hand technique, taking a pin hole view and cherry-picking variables to show the result the scientists want. If people believed tobacco smoke was helpful, as it used to be (schoolboys in Europe were prescribed tobacco to help them focus in school), quite a few pharmaceutical companies would go bankrupt. That's why you see all of these multi-billion dollar anti-smoking ads, smoking cessation therapy drugs, etc. Often, the people who think smoking is harmful, are the ones who never have smoked. Sometimes, smokers feel guilt for smoking, believing the propaganda, but they still smoke, because it provides them some relief from their illness (hypothyroidism, ulcerative colitis, crohn's disease, schizophrenia, alzheimer's, parkinson's, etc). The taboo curse on smoking is enough to kill some people, skewing the anti-smoking epidemiological statistics even further.

    As far as I know, the only time smoking is dangerous, is if you take or were taking an MAO inhibitor, as this can dangerously lower MAO-A, which can cause a hypertensive crisis if you eat cheese or some foods rich in tyramine. If you wait a month after taking the MAO inhibitor, you should be fine to experiment with your own rolling tobacco. Maybe someone more knowledgeable on pharmacology can chime in, but I think that's the only major contraindication to watch out for. Also, if you have very high blood pressure, I'd stay away, of course (although smoking can lower blood pressure, probably from its anti-estrogen effect).

    (I'm talking about the pure tobacco leaf, the commercial variety can make you sick).
     
  9. charlie

    charlie The Law & Order Admin

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    Energizer, welcome to the forum. :welcome

    This is absolutely incredible and even somewhat hard to fathom. Thank you for posting this information.

    I'm kinda stunned, really.
     
  10. Austin

    Austin Member

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    Meh, interesting read there, but seriously, just no. No. I rolled my own cigarettes for a year after getting sick from the cigarettes that contained the carpet glue, fire retardant paper (FSC garbage). I rolled organic American Spirit tobacco with non FSC paper. I still had horrible coughing, chest pains, and often had to run to the bathroom after smoking. This was while eating 60-70% Peat. It has its benefits, sure, but overall it is not healthy. It also ruined various dates that I went on as I would get nervous when I couldn't get my fix in and act well, off. To top that off, modern society treats smokers like lepers. You will get scowls on the street, and angry people complaining about the smell. Your spouse or partner will hate the way you smell. Your clothes will stink. Your breath will stink at work.

    Anyone can point out the odd uncle who lived to a ripe old age smoking, but the majority of smokers die very young, in their 50s and 60s of lung cancer or heart disease. Look at all the old 1950s actors who died very young due to smoking. And they didn't smoke modern cigarettes filled with additives. It just isn't a healthy thing to do, and Peat agrees.

    I'm really not one to engage in forum debates, but I don't want people here falling into the nicotine trap, getting addicted, and ruining their health like I did. Nicotine is arguably one of the most addictive drugs in the world, and once you get that taste, it is nearly impossible to quit. After quitting, I can honestly say that I feel a ton better than I ever did while smoking. And that feeling is a constant. Being addicted to nicotine is just a rollercoaster of emotions. You're great after you smoke, then upset, needy and desperate when you can't get your nicotine fix.
     
  11. jyb

    jyb Member

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    Some compounds of tobacco may be beneficial, sure. The problems is more about the side effects. With smoking comes carbon monoxide and other poisons, which is why Peat is against I believe.

    I disagree with the bias against smoking as poorer people might be more inclined to smoke. Studies showing association with lung cancer are now mature enough and go beyond just correlation, and some control for wealth, showing smoking is a more important predictor for such disease than wealth or education, which is really mind blowing. However, as you said those conclusion are for commercial cigarettes. Not sure about cleaner ones.

    PS. For those reasons...wouldn't tobacco snuff be better (tobacco not smoked)?
     
  12. Energizer

    Energizer Member

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    It wasn't until the 1950s that strong opinions for or against smoking began to form, when Bradford Hill and Richard Doll published a study that showed a correlation between smoking and lung cancer. The great statistician, Ronald Fischer, looked at their results and found that men who inhaled were actually significantly less likely likely to develop lung cancer than those who didn't. Since then, anti-smoking scientists have been stuck into the hint phase with their correlational research.

    http://members.iinet.net.au/~ray/TSSOASb.html

    A correlation between two variables A and B does not mean A causes B, and that there is some factor C that can cause both A and B. If you use your imagination, you can think of plenty of scenarios that influence the likelihood of lung cancer, besides smoking. For instance, hypothyroid people are more likely to smoke than healthy people, and also more likely to develop cancers, heart disease, etc (read Broda Barnes for more on that). This is the weakest type of research. The stronger research is animal experiments, because they can be repeated ad nausum clearly showing causal effects. The animal research shows the animals exposed to tobacco smoke live ~20% longer and are healthier (sharper, thinner, more vigorous) than their non-smoking counterparts.

    I have, in my own experience, smoked to better health in terms of feeling sharper, decreased my estrogen, and improved my endurance when I was training for the half-marathon two years ago (I no longer run, too stressful). People would give me funny looks seeing me smoke while I was running, as you might expect. I found it amusing. Whether you choose to smoke is entirely your decision, and I respect your choice to not smoke. But much of the reason why people don't smoke is that their information is based on anti-smoking propaganda , not hard science, or their own experience. That's unfortunate to hear you had a bad experience, Austin. Personally I have no problems quitting. I can go without for months at a time without any withdrawal effects, YMMV I guess. When I started taking thyroid, my cigarette cravings decreased significantly.

    In Sumatra, people smoke from a very young age, and are very healthy: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2523227/posts. In Japan, and countries with high rates of smoking, lung cancer is low. In America, the rate of smoking is decreasing, and the rate of lung cancer is rising: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/09/0 ... -suggests/ (originally posted from livescience).

    Like coffee, some people think tobacco is evil, and they lose out on some beneficial effects to their health because of fear and ignorance. If your adrenaline is very high, eating a meal (sugar, protein) right before you smoke or drinking sugary beverage during can prevent the release of excess adrenaline.

    Tobacco snuff I've never tried personally, there isn't as much research on snus as tobacco smoke and it doesn't have the same instantaneous feedback as smoking does. Also, tobacco smoke is protective to the lungs, snus aren't. Still you could try it out and see how it goes.
     
  13. j.

    j. Guest

    It's too bad that Broda Barnes or someone else didn't persuade the tobacco companies to try to blame the alleged effects of smoking on hypothyroidism.
     
  14. Austin

    Austin Member

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    Energizer, what are your thoughts on e-cigarettes? Same health benefits and less risk from the flawed delivery system of reg cigs? And yes I see breathing in carbon monoxide as a flawed system. :P
     
  15. sladerunner69

    sladerunner69 Member

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    I've been smoking a lot for about 4 months and been on a fairly strict peat diet for almost a year. I use natural american spirit ultra-light cigarettes, and have anywear from 4-10 per day or more on the rare occasion I have a few drinks. I've noticed good and bad affects. Firt Ive noticed it raises my testosterone a little but more importantly my DHT, which is very significant since I am a post-finesteride syndrome sufferer. Smoking helps keep me in a good mood, and alleviates the depression from PFS. It also drastically helps my sexual function, which is something that just hasn't been a factor in my life for years. It also helps with cognition and my ability to form thoughts and feelings. The downside is mostly that I've noticed chestpain, which has been getting worse lately. It comes and gos, and it helps to breath slowly and heavily. I can tell my lungs are not as efficient as they used to be. The other downside is the addiction. I have quit a few times since starting, and usually takes a couple days to feel like I dont want one. I have to say the withdrawal, for me at least, hasn't been anywhere as bad as people say. However, I defiantly feel off and mentally subdued without it. I think smoking a half cigarette every hour or so is optimal dosage for me. Another downside is poor circulation, as my exremities feel cold although my heart rate is way up there, doesnt get lower than 85. This is also causing my hair to shed again, but I think by spending a half an hour on the inversion table each day will remedy it.
     
  16. fyo

    fyo Member

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    This article references some research on nicotine: http://www.gwern.net/Nicotine

    To me, nicotine seems fine, even beneficial.
    I would avoid smoke though, for reasons such as carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide, other particulates, etc. And regular cigarettes have many other chemicals I wouldn't trust.

    For that reason, e-cigarettes or some other vaporization method of a relatively pure product (nicotine, tobacco etc) might be a better idea.

    There is some relation between Nictoine and Niacin (nicotinic acid), which could help explain the seemingly broad benefits of nictoine, but its not clear to me what exactly happens inside the body.
     
  17. Blossom

    Blossom Moderator

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    I don't smoke tobacco anymore but I do still use nicotine. I can see a lot of benefits for myself personally by not inhaling carbon monoxide at regular intervals throughout the day. I'm sure I will always miss it on a certain level just because I did it so long and it was a coping mechanism for me. I did read that females are more likely to successfully quit during the luteal phase so maybe using Progest-e has helped me stay off cigarettes. Just some thought I wanted to share in case it may be of interest to others.
     
  18. himsahimsa

    himsahimsa Member

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    Nicotine itself causes derangement of chondrocites and chondrocitic stem cells. The result is degeneration of cartilage, bone and connective tissue in general. It's a direct perverse redirection of differentiation. That's why smokers tend to nonunion. Not the carbon monoxide, tars or pesticide residue. Nicotine itself.
    Google: nicotine chondrocite.
     
  19. Blossom

    Blossom Moderator

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    You may be right. I know the very best I can do at the moment is not smoke tobacco. The last time I tried to go off nicotine in December 2013 I embarrassingly was pretty incapacitated. It came down to 1. Start smoking again 2. Go back on nicotine until spring 3. Curl up in a ball under a blanket and cry like a little baby indefinitely.
    I went back on the patch because at the time I needed to be able to continue moving forward in life and couldn't really afforded to deal with more stress beyond making it through winter while keeping up with a heavy load of responsibility. It might not be perfect or optimal but it's my reality. Since my mother smoked while pregnant with me I'm sure my cells are especially sensitive to nicotine being absent. In an ideal world I wouldn't use nicotine but I'm still in the real world and its currently helping me along. I use less and less all the time so I'll just be happy with that for now. Thanks for pointing that out though himsahimsa. It's probably comparable to your feelings about iodine and cysteine in some ways. I respect your choices and you respect mine whether we agree with one another or not.
     
  20. sladerunner69

    sladerunner69 Member

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    You make tobacco seem like a cure-all miracle plant without any Caveats. I realize this extreme stance is a reaction to the also extreme "smoking kills" dogma. I do agree that smoking provides numerous health benefits, and probably extends life expectancy in some people, but there are some caveats, and it isn't 100% beneficial to everyone in every circumstance. First off, nobody should smoke factory made cigarettes as they contain numerous synthetic chemicals added for fire-proofing, burn time, addiction and so forth. Also tobacco contains abnormally high amounts of pesticides and radiation when compared to other foods so its best to use organic tobacco, always in plain old paper. The consumption of tobacco down-regulates C-amp, which is critical in cellular energy production and in skin elasticity. Increasing intake of copper and zinc will counter this, so daily consumption of foods like oysters, liver and dark chocolate is essential. The more you smoke, the more these foods need to be consumed, and they will never counter tobbaco's harmful effects on c-amp 100%, so you're taking a health hit here regardless, but much less if u eat these foods. Also tobacco smoke contains small amounts of carbon monoxide, which can be justifiably described as poison. Carbon monoxide harms respiration, circulation and decreases oxygen intake. That's probably why, despite sticking to what people on this forum would call an optimal diet and lifestyle, I have to constantly breath heavy and suffer chest and heart pain most days. I don't smoke more than a half a pack a day,, and usually about 5. I can't imagine the heart pain pack-a-day normal cig smoker go through. Smoking cigarettes may not be anywhere addictive as people say, in fact it hasnt been addictive at all for me, but if you smoke you're going to need to smoke again in a couple hours because you will get tired, irritable, and brain fogged. I say its not addictive because strangely, i can wake up and not smoke and not feel like I have to.

    That all said, smoking has provided me some many significant health benefits. The main for me is tobacco's mildly androgenic properties, which is rare for any plant. After suffering the worst possible androgen desensitization from taking fraudelent prescription meds, I am willing to use anything that can reliably up my testosterone and DHT. This also means that tobacco has sexual-function benefits, even if it decreasing circulation(can be negated by exercise). I think I will keep smoking to my body recovers, and then decide if its a good fit for me.

    I just want to set the record straight that smoking tobacco can be good for many people, but like all drugs/diets is not right for everyone.
     
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