OMG! Smoking changes the brain like drugs!!!!

| Comments (3) | Pharma
The title of this Reuters article on an NIDA report about changes in smoker's brains is "Smoking Changes Brain the Same Way as Drugs: Study". Here's the result:
Feb 20, 2007 -- WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Smoking causes long-lasting changes in the brain similar to changes seen in animals when they are given cocaine, heroin and other addictive drugs, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.

A study of the brain tissue of smokers and nonsmokers who had died showed that smokers had the changes, even if they had quit years before, the team at the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported.

"The data show that there are long-lasting chemical changes in the brains of humans," said Michael Kuhar of Emory University in Atlanta, who was not involved in the study.


Hope said other studies had seen the same thing in animals given cocaine and heroin \u2014 and it was clear that the drugs were causing the effects.

What a shock to discover that nicotine is a drug! Before this new result I was under the impression that smoking was totally innocuous and that that the gum smokers chewed while trying to quit was just some singularly foul breath mint. Do you think maybe it was intended to help them withdraw from something they were addicted to?


A lot of news items along the lines of "Scientists confirm something that everyone knew to be true!" are actually "Scientists refine our knowledge about something but journalists' eyes glaze over when you go into detail".

I hate it when these popular science articles don't reference the papers behind the conclusions.

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