By Margarita Snegrieva. It is not a slumber party getting a good night’s sleep if you are a smoker.
Researchers who tracked the brain activity of smokers while they slept found that they spent less time in deep sleep than nonsmokers. Smokers were also about four times as likely to complain that their sleep did not leave them well rested.
The nicotine from cigarettes seems to be a nightmare for sleeping smokers. Because it can act as a stimulant, nicotine makes it harder to fall asleep, the researchers said. And minor withdrawal symptoms that occur as the night drags on can further disturb a smoker's sleep, they added.
Tobacco-related diseases are some of the biggest killers in the world today and are cited as one of the biggest cause of premature death in industrial countries. In the United States some 500,000 deaths per year are attributed to smoking-related diseases and a recent study estimated that as much as 1/3 of China's male population will have shortened life-spans due to smoking.
Many governments are trying to deter people from smoking with anti-smoking campaigns in mass media stressing the harmful long-term effects of smoking. Passive smoking, or secondhand smoking, which affects people in the immediate vicinity of smokers, is a major reason for the enforcement of smoking bans. This is a law enforced to stop individuals smoking in indoor public places, such as bars, pubs and restaurants. The idea behind this is to discourage smoking by making it more inconvenient, and to stop harmful smoke being present in enclosed public spaces. There is also a worldwide move to make smoking by minors illegal (selling to minors and use of tobacco by minors <21 years).
The effects of addiction on society vary considerably between different substances that can be smoked and the indirect social problems that they cause, in great part because of the differences in legislation and the enforcement of narcotics legislation around the world. Though nicotine is a highly addictive drug, its effects on cognition are not as intense, noticeable or debilitating as cannabis, cocaine, amphetamines or any of the opiates. As tobacco is also not an illegal drug, there is no black market with high risks and high prices for consumers.