Carroll County Times
Carroll County Times Opinion

Studies highlight benefits of nicotine [Letter]

I read with dismay the Sept. 21 article concerning the Carroll County General Hospital's stance that read in part, "The hospital will no longer hire anyone who uses nicotine in any form — including e-cigarettes, nicotine patches and gums - making the controversial claim that the use of such products is as hazardous as smoking."

I don't believe this absurdist claim is motivated by concern for anyone's "health" and is political correctness in its most obtrusive form. Indeed, Carroll County Commissioner Richard Rothschild observed that this could in legal terms open the door to even more dictatorial mandates regarding what a U.S. citizen can or cannot do in their own home.


I am a mere medical layman. However, the NIH, a senior editor of the Scientist magazine, The Journal of Neurology and too many others to mention have studied the beneficial effects of nicotine on the human body.

One example is Dan Hurley's paper, "Growing List of Positive Effects of Nicotine Seen in Neurodegenerative Disorders."


"Dyskinesia and impulsivity in Parkinson disease, cognitive defects in attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and now attention and memory in mild cognitive impairment (MCI): the list of reported neurological benefits just keeps growing in animal and human studies of nicotine," he wrote. "The latest study, published in the Jan. 10 Neurology, involved 67 subjects with amnestic MCI randomized for six months to either placebo or 15 mg per day of transdermal nicotine. The results found 'significant nicotine-associated improvements in attention, memory, and psychomotor speed,' with excellent safety and tolerability. 'The idea that nicotine would have positive therapeutic effects on brain function is still a novel idea to a lot of people,' said the senior author of the paper, Paul Newhouse, MD, professor of psychiatry, pharmacology and medicine, and director of the Center for Cognitive Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville. 'Nicotine obviously carries a lot of baggage,' he told Neurology Today, 'but this paper is based on work we started doing in the late 1980s on the beneficial effects of nicotine in Alzheimer disease. There are now clinical trials of nicotine in Parkinson disease.'"

I am not supporting a still legal choice to smoke. I am touting the facts. If you are so fearful of what I have written here, then please do a search yourself utilizing the terms "benefits of nicotine."

Sharon Galloway