Whenever people talk about the long-term health effects of tobacco
, they're always talking about the physical effects; heart and lung disease, cancer, etc. Those are well known to me. I am more interested in what the long-term psychological effects of tobacco smoking are. And I'm not talking about the effects of acute nicotine
withdrawal and quitting, but the common differences in the minds and personalities of daily smokers vs non-smokers.
If nicotine is such a powerfully addictive drug
, if its withdrawal
effects are so pronounced, surely there must be mental effects from using it daily? All I have heard described is a "stimulation or increased ability to focus". If nicotine acts on the dopamine
pathways in the brain, similar to cocaine
or amphetamines, then why aren't smokers as mentally fucked up as long-term coke
/speed addicts? Or maybe they are, and they just don't know it? Personally, I feel like most smokers I know are very "high-energy" people, not in the way they work or move, but in the way they talk and socialize. I have also noticed that most smokers have a shorter temper than others, and are quick to anger, even when they are actively smoking (so its not withdrawal-related anger).
I ask because I have been smoking for almost 5 years now, and I feel like there are certain parts of my mind, or certain feelings, that I haven't felt since I was a non-smoker. It is very hard to describe. I am wondering if quitting smoking, after all the acute withdrawal is over, if I might feel better mentally
in some ways than I do now as a smoker?