Skip to comments.Smoking Protects Against Allergies
Posted on 05/16/2009 10:13:41 AM PDT by nickcarraway
They say smoking is injurious to health, but a new study has revealed that cigarettes can protect from allergies.
The research team from Utrecht University in the Netherlands has shown that cigarette smoke can prevent allergies by decreasing the reaction of immune cells to allergens.
It decreases the allergic response by inhibiting the activity of mast cells, the major players in the immune system's response to allergens.
The researchers also found that treatment of mast cells with a cigarette smoke-infused solution prevented the release of inflammation-inducing proteins in response to allergens, without affecting other mast cell immune functions.
In the study, the researchers had derived the mast cells from mice, but it is likely that the same anti-allergy effect will hold true in humans.
While taking up smoking to cure allergies is unwise, Neil Thomson, a leading expert in the field of respiratory medicine concludes that the findings presented in this study are "consistent with a dampening of allergic responses in smokers."
What type of allergies are being inhibited? Hay Fever or peanut type allergy?
I call BS on this one. My parents were both heavy smokers and my sister and I suffered from serious allergies — hay fever, pollen, dogs, cats, horses, you name it. Oh, yeah, maybe if we had taken up smoking at age two, we wouldn’t have suffered. Yeah, that’s the ticket. /s
I’m not totally suprised at this finding.
The incidence of asthma has certainly risen pretty dramatically over the past 40 years. Back in the 60s, people smoked everywhere and there were a lot more smokers. In addition, automobile traffic caused a lot more pollution and the air outside often smelled like rotten eggs.
Could pollution of all types actually be beneficial at least in some way? I don’t know but the idea certainly needs explored considering the increase in asthma.
Here we go again. In the 30s and 40s, some fool got the medical profession to buy into this “smoking can be healthful” crapola to the extent that doctors in the US used to prescribe cigarettes as a means to fight certain diseases.
some 70+ years and untold millions of cancer related deaths later, all of a sudden, what was old and false is becoming new again.
Hopefully, somebody will follow the money and see who paid for the study. Chances are, there’s a tobacco related business in the center!!
It will be hilarious when its finally told that people are genetically predisposed to certain diseases...doesn’t matter what they do or don’t do.
BUT hey...where will be the money in that? Guess then we will have to demonize people who are carriers and they should be removed from society.
What a Nazi mentality the people in this country have been trained to have.
Don’t let the O administration know there may be ‘medicinal value’ to nicotine...they’ll reclassify it and require prescriptions!
My parents were both heavy smokers and my sister and I suffered from serious allergies
hhmmmm...NO smokers in the house with my first 2 children, at the ER all the time with allergy crap. Smoked with my 3rd..she was never sick. Not smoking or smoking had nothing to do with it....my first 2 were born suseptible to allergies...my 3rd wasn’t.
The FDA has taken over the tobacco industry...WHAT do you think will happen? roflol Now its time to re-condition the American people.
Well, sure. People who have already died of lung cancer also have a very low incidence of Alzheimers, scurvy, and athlete’s foot.
It is important to remember Tobacco companies used to be the biggest Republicans donors
Do a search for asthma and MTBE.
My parents and every adult I grew up around smoked, and no one in my family had any allergies what so ever. I am not claiming this article is right- I just don’t know that cigarettes cause allergies or prevent them.
What I have noticed is that it sure seems to me there are more people now with allergies of all types than there were when I grew up. I knew exactly one child with asthma during my childhood and it was very rare for anyone to be allergic to anything. Now it seems most children and adults have some allergy issues and childhood asthma is through the roof.
I think the trouble with issues like this is both sides go too far. While I am convinced cigarette smoking is harmful in general, I don’t think it is as harmful as it has been claimed. It is bad enough that there should be no need to embelish the harm but I do believe it has been overblown. I don’t believe there is any medicinal value in smoking, and even if they prove it does help against allergies, the harm far outweighs the good. On the other hand I also don’t think being exposed to cigarette smoke is a death sentence as some want you to believe.
Then, there's my husband and his dad. His dad died of a heart attack at age 94 and smoked most of his life.
My husband is a smoker. Whenever I get a respiratory ailment he gets the same thing but for a much shorter duration. He is 75 and going strong.
At this point, my biggest objection to his smoking is the cost. He's not allowed to smoke in the house, either. Frankly, he never gets sick.
The smokers in my family are very healthy and live long lives- though several have died from cancer they are far up in years when they get it. My sister was not a smoker and died from cancer and died much younger than anyone else in my family at age 60- when most live at least mid-80s and above. My sister worked in a research lab and I am convinced something they played with where she worked caused her cancer though no one wants to believe that.
One thing I know about cancer from being around cattle all my life- if a cow lives long enough she is nearly certain to get cancer, many get it while fairly young. I haven’t ever seen a cow smoke a cigarette so I am fairly certain that is not the cause of cancers in cows. That makes me more skeptical that cigarettes is to blame for all the claimed health issues in humans especially cancer.
I think as time goes on we will discover that genes likely play a much bigger role in our health than diet or smoking. I do believe if you are genetically disposed smoking or bad diet might speed it along or make it worse than it would have been.
I don’t think smoking is good for you- I just don’t think it is nearly as much to blame as is claimed for everything that goes wrong healthwise.
The spring after I quit smoking 30 years ago I had my first bout of serious hay fever and ended up having to get allergy shots for 5 years. I always believe it was related to quitting smoking.
hog wash!!! it is spring in indiana and my allergies are screaming,and i smoke outdoors so i don’t inflict my bad habit on the family.
My parents and every adult I grew up around smoked, and no one in my family had any allergies what so ever. I am not claiming this article is right- I just dont know that cigarettes cause allergies or prevent them.
“What I have noticed is that it sure seems to me there are more people now with allergies of all types than there were when I grew up. I knew exactly one child with asthma during my childhood and it was very rare for anyone to be allergic to anything. Now it seems most children and adults have some allergy issues and childhood asthma is through the roof.”
There is data out there that shows the rise of asthma is almost exactly in direct correlation with the fall of smoking in this country. It can’t be just coincidence.
Science is now using nicotine for medicinal purposes.
It isn’t ALL bad. Science should be allowed to prove this point without being accused of being bought off by someone or another.
I have an open mind for the research- I do know in some things exposure to something can keep you from getting ill. If that wasn’t true then vaccines would be worthless.
It would sure be ironic if in my lifetime I would live to see smoking go full circle from being acceptable to being the worst thing one can do back to acceptable. I don’t see that happening but I see things happen every day I never expected to see.
I do think there is a definate benefit to smoking- the reason most people smoke is to relieve stress. As smoking goes down we do see stress go up.
Anybody happen to know if it is the SMOKE from cigarettes that is a mast cell inhibitor — OR, perhaps, might the chemical nicotine (delivered via patch) also work to inhibit mastcells?
I’ve read that it’s been known for decades that IBS often becomes very severe in ex-smokers, but I’ve never seen any mention of mast cells - in fact, I’ve never seen any mention of WHY it becomes significantly, noticably worse.
However, maybe this explains it?
It seems that the impact of not smoking upon mast cell activity and resultant weight gain and occasional obesity may not be due to restriction of nicotine, but to the absence of SMOKE??
I don’t know, honestly. Nicotine is noted as being an appetite surpressant. Many over-the-counter antihistamines have the same effect. Maybe that’s the association, if there is any.
The rotten egg odor was a result of attempting to clean up automotive exhaust via catalytic converters. Before that (1974 for most makes, Honda being one of the few exceptions that I'm aware), automotive exhaust from gasoline engines really didn't smell all that bad.
What really has changed is widespread, tightly insulated houses, with the windows seldom being opened due to air conditioning. And, those houses went to wall-to-wall carpeting at about the same time. Drywall board replaced mold-inhibiting lime plaster, too. Several variables there, that could be a culprit. Video games and cable tv keeping kids inside aggravated the situation, all manner of behavioral changes associated with climate control.
Throw open your windows, turn off the tv and computer, get your kids outside at an early age. Let them get a little grubby as kids are wont to do, get a couple of pets. Epxose them to allergens while their immunity is still forming, and these several allergies won't be quite the issue that they are now. I recall only one person from my childhood with asthama, and pitied him. It's almost endemic now.
I would guess the nicotine, because the human body is loaded with nicotine receptors. They use the same receptors as one of our top neurochemicals, acetylcholine, used by every nerve in the body.
This is why plant generated nicotine is so deadly as an insecticide.
The rotten egg odor was a result of attempting to clean up automotive exhaust via catalytic converters.
I was thinking more about the rotten egg odor that came from industrial sources, particularly coke plants.
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