Does Cigarette Smoking Increase Concentration?
Have you heard of the stories which smokers spin about being able to concentrate better at work while smoking. What if I told you that a smoker can only achieve the levels of concentration he was capable of before he became smoker no matter how many cigarettes he smokes. Worse his level of concentration declines with every smoke since the carbon monoxide content in the blood increases reducing the oxygen supply to the vital organs of the body including the brain, leading to severe energy sapping lethargy.
Imagine the whole conundrum of concentration and smoking as below:
Before becoming a smoker: concentration level = A
After becoming a smoker: concentration level=A – (concentration sapped by nicotine withdrawal pangs)
After having a smoke: concentration level = A (for a few minutes till the nicotine pang starts)
After a few smokes: concentration level = A – (energy loss due to oxygen deprivation) – (nicotine withdrawals pangs)
What did you really achieve by smoking?
Nothing. Your concentration levels never increased in fact they reduced after you started smoking. Now with this reduced level whenever you smoke all you achieve (during ideal conditions) is the same state of concentration which you already had before you became a smoker. But it feels as if your concentration has increased, of course it has but the stupidity of it is that it reduced first and then became normal and this normal state is what the smoker claims to be a state of high concentration. It’s just an illusion.
The dosage keeps increasing
After a few smokes, as is the case with any drug, the doses fail to achieve the same level of satisfaction and there is a permanent feeling of lack. The body reaches saturation and the cells are extremely fatigued due to loss of oxygen. The lethargy which sets in makes it impossible for the smoker to focus on any activity, anything which requires a good amount of brain involvement like solving statistical problems. The brain actually becomes incapable to indulging in puzzle solving or any work which involves serious grey cell indulgence. You are as good as what you would usually feel towards the end of a tiring day when you were a non-smoker. You have managed to achieve that state within a few hours from starting your day, and you actually believe that to be an achievement of sorts attributing the gain in concentration to smoking when cigarettes where the reason for the drop to start with.
Cigarettes are a pretty clever contraception aren’t they? As a smoker you never blame the cigarette for anything, but believe that all the good things happening to you is because of the cigarette. Its just an illusion, there is no good thing happening. With smoking you get nothing, you just lose what you already had and try to compensate somehow.
The flawed state
Your body was perfect, your concentration was flawless the way it was (your normal state), your stress handling capacity, your disease handling capacity, was all at the optimal level. Then the cigarettes came along. They introduced nicotine into your blood stream. From here on there was a new craving to feed along with your hunger for food, now there was your hunger for nicotine. An added burden got attached to your life and this burden was always never seen for what it was because of the clever disguise.
Towards the end all the behaviors depicted by the smokers are the ones of a drug addict. In a normal human being injecting a drug initially creates a want during the withdrawal from the blood stream, injecting or inhaling the drug fulfills the want for a small period of time and with time the want keeps on increasing causing the addict to cater to it by increasing the drug dosage. There comes a point that no amount of drug dosage gives the required satisfaction, panic sets in and the smokers start the process of chain-smoking in a desperate attempt to feel normal.
It’s ironic that the smokers believe that non-smokers where missing out on something, I was one such joker who believed that. Non-smokers never feel deprived of an addiction and hence never feel the need to feed it. A smoker on the other hand creates an addiction or a want inside him and then goes about fulfilling the craving with cigarettes believing that the state achieved is a good state (which in fact is just the normal state of any non-smoker). Create a lack and fulfill it or just stay fulfilled, which option seems sane to you?