“Some experiments have shown that nicotine can slow down the onset of Parkinson’s symptoms. Others have revealed its power in curtailing the hallucinations of schizophrenics. ‘A whole range of psychiatric conditions seem to be helped by nicotine,’ said Dr. Dan McGehee, a neurobiologist at the University of Chicago. ‘However, such benefits do not justify smoking. The lethal effects of cigarettes far outweigh any help they provide. On the other hand, our research does suggest that derivatives of nicotine administered medically could help to alleviate a range of psychiatric problems.'” Well, let’s get nicotine approved by Medicare! Let’s do it. (pounds desk) Let’s move on this now, folks: Nicotine approved by Medicare. We haven’t even gotten around to this business of — well, we talked about it on Friday. Obesity is now an official “disease.” (Rush: Trial Lawyers Closer to Making Obesity a Disease)
Nicotine helps that, too, by the way. Well it helps curb the appetite. If you’re a smoker and you stop (hee, hee, hee) you know. Ask Mr. Snerdley. “Nicotine is…” (laughing, clearing throat). “Nicotine is known to switch on receptors on the surface of cells in certain parts of the brain causing these neurons to release the neurotransmitter dopamine, a chemical that is associated with the feelings of pleasure. This effect leads to a person’s addiction,” and I’ll tell you about dopamine. It’s thirty times more powerful than morphine, and if nicotine releases dopamine — and I’m not disputing that it does, but if it does — it’s not even a speck compared to… Try crystal meth if you want to find out what an overdose of dopamine does. That stuff is horrible. It is just horrible, but dopamine is the key here. I mean, that’s what this stuff works on. Dopamine is the thing that gets activated when these pleasure receptors are stimulated. However, with whatever, nicotine, sometimes behavioral things can do it, too.
But it is extreeemely powerful, and people are — the evil types of the world are — trying to figure out what it is, what designer drug would cause a massive release of dopamine right off — this is the side issue here — that would cause instant addiction to whatever designer drug they create. This stuff is natural. It’s produced by the brain, but it’s such small quantity. If nicotine is releasing dopamine, it’s nothing, but I tell you what. Don’t misunderstand me, because try to think of this as it was explained to me. The most addictive drug, substance, whatever, on the planet is nicotine — and here’s the proof. No one has a pleasant first experience with it, and yet… You ever seen somebody smoke their first cigarette? (Coughing wildly, first-time smoker impression) “Never doing this again. Where’s my back?” It’s the most powerful drug on the face of the earth.