People smoke cigarettes for more than just making smoke rings. Many people smoke cigarettes for stress relief and to feel better, even if they aren’t necessarily aware of it. Consequently, an American association interested in public health is now considering prescribing nicotine for wellbeing. The most depressed and anxious of people may indeed be able to replace psychotropic drugs with nicotine.
In a 2009 study, individuals were urged to get angry in order to study their reaction. Those who were given a nicotine patch were less likely to become upset. This experiment shows that smoking can be a form of self-medication to help individuals feel more relaxed and less stressed. The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) recently published statistics that confirm the study’s findings.
Nicotine: an effective healthcare tool?
Based on these numbers, the American association has confirmed that a person with depressive tendencies is much more likely to pick up smoking. There is nothing surprising about this, as we know that nicotine has anti-depressant properties. Although nicotine is naturally present in tobacco, the study does not establish causality. Nonetheless, there is enough information about smoking to recognize the clear link between stress and smoking.
Consequently, the debate about vaping has been revived. The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) has suggested that nicotine found in e-liquids is much less harmful than its combustible counterpart. Vapers known of course that they do not inhale even a fraction of the carcinogens inhaled by smokers. This does not mean, however, that the authorities consider e-cigarettes healthy. But in the case of a former smoker looking to the e-cigarette for stress relief, the medical world would be wise to suggest vaping for anxious patients.
Currently, anti-depressants and anxiolytics are the primary solution for anxious and depressed individuals. It is vital that people recognize how much safer nicotine is compared to anti-depressants.
It remains to be seen whether or not the debates surrounding the e-cigarette will ever end. The hope is that the United States and other countries will begin to seriously consider alternative treatments to protect the public’s mental health.