Health benefits of smoking ( From Wikipedia )

Several types of “Smoker’s Paradoxes”,[1] (cases where smoking appears to have specific beneficial effects), have been observed. This is in addition to the numerous documented negative health effects of smoking.

These effects should not be confused with altered mortality rate in “quitting ill”. Patients who quit smoking have a temporary increase in mortality from lung cancer compared to smokers, but this is due to the rate of quitting smoking after receiving the diagnosis of lung cancer itself.[2][3]


Often the actual mechanism remains undetermined.

A plausible mechanism of action in some cases may be the nicotine in tobacco smoke acting as an anti-inflammatory agent and interfering with the disease process.[4]

Specific conditions

  • Digestive system
    • Risk of ulcerative colitis has been frequently shown to be reduced by smokers on a dose-dependent basis; the effect is eliminated if the individual stops smoking.[5][6]
    • Smokers are less often affected by aphthous ulcer.[7]
  • Reproductive/breasts
    • breast cancer among women carrying the very high risk BRCA gene[9]
    • Pre-eclampsia[10]
    • Smoking can also reduce rates of uterine fibroids.[11][12] This may be due to estrogen inhibition, as opposed to general inhibition of inflammation.
    • The risk of endometriosis has been reported to be reduced in smokers.[13]
  • Neurologic
    • Smoking has been consistently found to be a protective factor on epidemiological studies for Parkinson’s disease. The basis for such effect is not known but possibilities include an effect ofnicotine as dopamine stimulant.[15]
    • The majority (80% in Australia as of 2001, 85% in the US as of 2007) of schizophrenics smoke, apparently to self-medicate.[16] Nicotine appears to be an effective antipsychotic, and work is underway to develop antipsychotic drugs based on nicotine without the ill effects of smoking or of nicotine itself.[17]


  1.  Cohen, D. J.; Doucet, M.; Cutlip, D. E.; Ho, K. K. L.; Popma, J. J.; Kuntz, R. E. (2001). “Impact of Smoking on Clinical and Angiographic Restenosis After Percutaneous Coronary Intervention: Another Smoker’s Paradox?”. Circulation 104 (7): 773. doi:10.1161/hc3201.094225.PMID 11502701edit
  2.  Herbert I. Weisberg (7 September 2010). Bias and Causation: Models and Judgment for Valid Comparisons. John Wiley and Sons. pp. 272–. ISBN 9780470286395. Retrieved 16 November 2010.
  3.  Knoke JD, Burns DM, Thun MJ (March 2008). “The change in excess risk of lung cancer attributable to smoking following smoking cessation: an examination of different analytic approaches using CPS-I data”. Cancer Causes Control 19 (2): 207–19. doi:10.1007/s10552-007-9086-5ISBN 1055200790865PMID 17992575.
  4.  Melton Lisa (June 2006). “Body Blazes”Scientific American: 24.
  5.  Longmore, M., Wilkinson, I., Torok, E. Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine (Fifth Edition) p. 232
  6.  Green, J. T.; Richardson, C.; Marshall, R. W.; Rhodes, J.; McKirdy, H. C.; Thomas, G. A. O.; Williams, G. T. (2000). “Nitric oxide mediates a therapeutic effect of nicotine in ulcerative colitis”.Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics 14 (11): 1429. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2036.2000.00847.xPMID 11069313edit
  7.  T�z�n B, Wolf R, T�z�n Y, Serdaro�lu S (May 2000). “Recurrent aphthous stomatitis and smoking”. International journal of dermatology 39 (5): 358–60. doi:10.1046/j.1365-4362.2000.00963.xPMID 10849126.
  8.  “Smoking Cuts Risk of Rare Cancer”. UPI. March 29, 2001.
  9.  Recer Paul (May 19, 1998). “Cigarettes May Have an Up Side”. Associated Press. Retrieved November 6, 2006.
  10.  Hjern, A; Hedberg, A; Haglund, B; Rosén, M (2001). “Does tobacco smoke prevent atopic disorders? A study of two generations of Swedish residents”. Clinical and experimental allergy : journal of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology 31 (6): 908–14.doi:10.1046/j.1365-2222.2001.01096.xPMID 11422156edit
  11.  Ross RK, Pike MC, Vessey MP, Bull D, Yeates D, Casagrande JT (August 1986). “Risk factors for uterine fibroids: reduced risk associated with oral contraceptives”. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 293(6543): 359–62. doi:10.1136/bmj.293.6543.359PMC 1341047PMID 3730804.
  12.  Templeman C, Marshall SF, Clarke CA, et al. (October 2009). “Risk factors for surgically-removed fibroids in a large cohort of teachers”Fertil. Steril. 92 (4): 1436–46.doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.08.074PMC 2765807PMID 19019355.
  13.  Daniel W. Cramer, Emery Wilson, Robert J. Stillman, Merle J. Berger, Serge Belisle, Isaac Schiff, Bruce Albrecht, Mark Gibson, Bruce V. Stadel, Stephen C. Schoenbaum (April 1986). “The Relation of Endometriosis to Menstrual Characteristics, Smoking, and Exercise”JAMA1986;255(14):1904-1908 255 (14): 1904–8. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370140102032.PMID 3951117.
  14.  Hjern, A.; Hedberg, A.; Haglund, B.; Rosen, M. (2001). “Does tobacco smoke prevent atopic disorders? A study of two generations of Swedish residents”. Clinical <html_ent glyph=”@amp;” ascii=”&”/> Experimental Allergy 31 (6): 908–14. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2222.2001.01096.x.PMID 11422156edit
  15.  de Lau LM, Breteler MM (June 2006). “Epidemiology of Parkinson’s disease”. Lancet Neurol 5(6): 525–35. doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(06)70471-9PMID 16713924.
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