Who says smoking cigarettes is so bad … well, aside from the World Health Organization, Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and every medical board and association on the face of the Earth?
But should smokers be fortunate enough to dodge all that cancer, heart disease, emphysema and the like, they will be uniquely protected — for reasons unexplained by science — against a handful of diseases and afflictions.
Call it a silver lining in their otherwise blackened lungs. Although long-term smoking is largely a ticket to early death, here are (gulp) five possible benefits from smoking. Breathe deep.
1. Smoking lowers risk of knee-replacement surgery
While smokers might go broke buying a pack of cigarettes, they can at least save money by avoiding knee-replacement surgery. Surprising results from a new study have revealed that men who smoke had less risk of undergoing total joint replacement surgery than those who never smoked.
The study, from the University of Adelaide in Australia, appears in the July issue of the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism. What could be the connection? Knee-replacement surgery was more common among joggers and the obese; smokers rarely jog, and they are less likely to be morbidly obese.
After controlling for age, weight and exercise, the researchers were at a loss to explain the apparent, albeit slight protective effects of smoking for osteoporosis. It could be that the nicotine in tobacco helps prevent cartilage and joint deterioration.
2. Smoking lowers risk of Parkinson’s disease
Numerous studies have identified the uncanny inverse relationship between smoking and Parkinson’s disease. Long-term smokers are somehow protected against Parkinson’s, and it’s not because smokers die of other things earlier. [10 Easy Paths to Self-Destruction]
The most recent, well-conducted study was published in a March 2010 issue of the journal Neurology. Far from determining a cause for the protective effect, these researchers found that the number of years spent smoking, more so than the number of cigarettes smoked daily, mattered more for a stronger protective effect.
Harvard researchers were among the first to provide convincing evidence that smokers were less likely to develop Parkinson’s. In a study published in Neurology in March 2007, these researchers found the protective effect wanes after smokers quit. And they concluded, in their special scientific way, that they didn’t have a clue as to why.
3. Smoking lowers risk of obesity
Smoking — and, in particular, the nicotine in tobacco smoke — is an appetite suppressant. This has been known for centuries, dating back to indigenous cultures in America in the pre-Columbus era. Tobacco companies caught on by the 1920s and began targeting women with the lure that smoking would make them thinner.
A study published in the July 2011 issue of the journal Physiology & Behavior, in fact, is one of many stating that the inevitable weight gain upon quitting smoking is a major barrier in getting people to stop, second only to addiction.
Continue reading at Live Science
Tagged Smoking benefits, Smoking helps the heart drug clopidogrel work better, Smoking lowers risk of death after some heart attacks, Smoking lowers risk of knee-replacement surgery, Smoking lowers risk of obesity, Smoking lowers risk of Parkinson's disease