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January 15th, 2009:

Nicotine Properties

Division of Periodontology, University of Minnesota

Nicotine combines with a number of neurotransmitters in the brain and may contribute to the following effects:

Dopamine: Pleasure, suppress appetite Norepinephrine: Arousal, suppress appetite
Acetylcholine: Arousal, cognitive enhancement Vasopressin: Memory improvement
Serotonin: Mood modulation, suppress appetite Beta-endorphin: Reduce anxiety / tension

Tobacco is as addictive as heroin (as a mood & behavior altering agent).

  • Nicotine is:
    • 1000 X more potent than alcohol
    • 10-100 X more potent than barbiturates
    • 5-10 X more potent than cocaine or morphine

  • A 1-2 pack per day smoker takes 200-400 hits daily for years. This constant intake of a fast acting drug (which affects mood, concentration & performance).. eventually produces dependence.

Pressures to relapse are both behaviorally & pharmacologically triggered.
Quitting involves a significantly serious psychological loss… a serious life style change.

Should The Ban On Smoking Be Delayed?

SCMP – Updated on Jan 15, 2009

P. A. Crush (Talkback, January 10) is absolutely right to question the use of statistics churned out by the Anthony Hedley/Judith Mackay camp on passive smoking.

A little park at the side of Hiram’s Highway in Sai Kung has been designated a no-smoking zone. This banning of smoking outdoors is a further encroachment on the lives of the old and poor who gathered here to enjoy their hard-earned leisure time and to smoke if they so wished. It would be ridiculous to suggest that their cigarettes contributed more “poison” to the outdoor air quality than the endless stream of private cars that shuttle between Clear Water Bay and Sai Kung, both of which are linked by public transport.

If they are forced to give up the habit of a lifetime for the public good, it is very little to ask of the zealous protectors of our air quality that they too make sacrifices by abandoning their private vehicles and cycling to their important public health meetings.

I should like to be assured through these columns by Dr Mackay and Professor Hedley that they do not affect the quality of the air I breathe in Sai Kung parks by driving private cars past the very places they have been so vociferous in advocating as no-smoking areas.

It would be unacceptable to be involved with clean air and public health and drive a private car without being deemed hypocritical. I use public transport and am a non-smoker.

Cynthia Henderson, Sai Kung