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History of smoking a possible co-factor of ME/CFS?

CFS patients - have you ever or do you now smoke cigarettes?

  • Firm ME/CFS diagnosis - currently smoke cigarettes

    Votes: 14 10.1%
  • Firm ME/CFS diagnosois - past cigarette use only

    Votes: 40 28.8%
  • Firm ME/CFS diagnosis - have never smoked cigarettes

    Votes: 69 49.6%
  • Unconfirmed or no ME/CFS diagnosis - currently smoke cigarettes

    Votes: 4 2.9%
  • Unconfirmed or no ME/CFS diagnosois - past cigarette use only

    Votes: 5 3.6%
  • Unconfirmed of no ME/CFS diagnosis - have never smoked cigarettes

    Votes: 7 5.0%

  • Total voters
    139

xrayspex

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I think cigarettes act on the dopamine which is important for some cases of cfs to have more energy.

sheeeit, I just misvoted in the poll, meant to say i was a past smoker but accidentally said current sorry, if you can change one vote that way....


I have suspected that growing up in a 2 parent-smoking household was a big risk factor for my adult problems....I was in midwest/US too where long winters shut inside, I recall car trips sucked and I would always get sick as they smoked away back in the day and didnt worry about 2nd hand smoke.
 

Alesh

Senior Member
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Czech Republic, EU
I started to smoke after 6 years of being ill and I still regret it. Now I have been smoking for 6 years. Nicotine and harmala alkaloids are good for the brain biochemistry, better concentration and temporary alleviation of the brain fog but the constant chronic poisoning is certainly undesirable.
 

Sallysblooms

P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!
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I was always ill when around any cig. smoke out in public, even when very young. I would never be able to smoke. I can't be near it. I have heard so many other people with CFS that are sensitive to toxins. So many of them in cig. smoke. It is surprising that anyone with CFS or POTS can smoke. Usually you try to get all toxins away so the body can heal.
 

muffin

Senior Member
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Yes! The smoking does do "something" to help the CFS/FM in me

Muffin, that's what my ME(like) smoking family members say. Something in the cigarettes helps them to function better. I'm not a smoker but have this feeling that it goes deeper than the obvious addiction/pleasure stuff. All of them eat very healthily and don't abuse coffee, alcohol or other drugs.
I don't drink and only have a small cup of coffee. However, I do drink about 3 to 6 cans of Coke a day and that too is to stay awake and I just LOVE Coke. No other stimulants keep me awake. The doctor and I tried all the stimulants including the meds for ADD. Provigil knocked me out cold (narcolepsy drug). Concerta at 1/2 a pill knocked me out cold for three days! When I have tried to drink pitch black coffee from the pot (deseperate to stay awake and function) ithat huge amount of coffee knocked me out cold like a sleeping pill. But smoking and measured amounts of Coke seem to help somewhat.

I have tried everything to quit smoking and nothing works. I do wear the patches when I have to be in places where I can not smoke and that helps, but as soon as I can smoke, back goes that cig into the mouth. I have actually worn TWO full strength nicotine patches, smoked like a chimney and my BP stayed low/normal. This has happened a number of times and really irritates the nurses when I raise my shirt up to show the two patches on my arm and gloat that I also was smoking like a chimney before they took my BP. One patch has caused many people to have heart palpitations, heart attacks, etc. and there I am, with two nicotine patches on and smoking like a fiend and my BP is low/normal.
Go figure that one out since the nurses and dental staff get so mad at me -- and I just laugh and laugh. (OK. My lungs are not laughing, I admit that)
 

Levi

Senior Member
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Bleached cigarette paper contains dioxins

Particularly in the older cigarettes before it became a known issue:
http://tobaccodocuments.org/health_canada/02800509.p11-20.html?pattern=dioxin[a-z]*&#p19

There is adequate evidence to show that the production of bleached paper pulp leads to the formation of dioxins both in the product and in waste streams deriving from it.
Dioxin has been proven to damage the human immune system:
http://www.ejnet.org/rachel/rhwn270.htm

So inhaling dioxin tainted smoke is a possible contributory factor in the development of ME/CFS for some people. Interactions with retroviral infections like HIV indicate that with smoking there is increased the risk in progression to AIDs.
 

silicon

Senior Member
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i have never smoked a cigarette. My Mom smoked when she was younger, and quit a few years before I was born. I am very chemically sensitive to cigarette smoke.
 

xrayspex

Senior Member
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I smoked for awhile like age 16 to 20 or so on and off but after i quit was super sensitive to smoke, makes me sick
 

Dainty

Senior Member
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Never smoked, grew up in a smoke-free environment, now very chemically sensitive and have severe life-threatening reactions to cigarette smoke. You couldn't pay me to start it up.

That said, I don't doubt the nicotine could possibly turn out to be a drug helpful to CFS/ME.
 
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Never smoked. I also avoided second hand smoke. I am sensitive to smoke and other chemicals. I know I had some second hand smoke but much less than an average person and most of my exposure was in the past few years, well after getting sick.
 

Adlyfrost

Senior Member
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NJ
Always hated smoking but exposed heavily to second hand smoke from the womb. I do believe it could be the cause of my CFS/ME.
 

*GG*

senior member
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I have never been a smoker, although my father has for nearly 60 years now! My brothers also smoke, and I was exposed to plenty of 2nd hand smoke.

GG
 

golden

Senior Member
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20 years heavy exposure to passive indoor chain smoking. You need to include a question or poll on that.
yes,
20 years heavy exposure to passive indoor chain smoking. You need to include a question or poll on that.
Never smoked but couldnt answer poll

yes, grew up with two chain smoking parents, windows shut. Everything in thick smoke.

It had a very bad effect on me. My efforts to protect and nourish myself by keeping myself in my bedroom as much as possible were also negated and twisted by a medical person who decided i was 'isolating' myself.
 

u&iraok

Senior Member
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I am interested in the effects of second-hand smoke. My mother may have smoked while pregnant with me and smoked throughout my childhood. I've been in smoke filled rooms, cars and part of my adult-hood was spent in smoke-filled offices. I've never been able to bear the smell of cigarette smoke. It's worse now.

A hair test taken several years ago showed higher levels of lead, antimony, cadmium and arsenic. all associated with cigarettes.

Tobacco Smoke Exposure and Levels of Urinary Metals in the U.S. Youth and Adult Population: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999–2004
Patricia A. Richter,1,* Ellen E. Bishop,2 Jiantong Wang,2 and Monica H. Swahn3
1 Office of Smoking and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA
2 Chronic & Infectious Disease Research Program, RTI International. Atlanta, GA 30341, USA; E-Mails: gro.itr@pohsibe (E.B.); Email: gro.itr@gnaw (J.W.)
3 Institute of Public Health, College of Health and Human Sciences, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30302, USA; E-Mail: ude.usg@nhawsM
*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: vog.cdc@rethcirp; Tel.: +1-770-488-5825; Fax: +1-770-488-5848
Author information ► Article notes ► Copyright and License information ►
Received 2009 Apr 27; Accepted 2009 Jun 28.
Copyright © 2009 by the authors; licensee Molecular Diversity Preservation International, Basel, Switzerland.
This article is an open-access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.
Go to:
Abstract
We assessed 12 urine metals in tobacco smoke-exposed and not exposed National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey participants. Our analysis included age, race/ethnicity, and poverty status. Gender and racial/ethnic differences in cadmium and lead and creatinine-adjusted and unadjusted data for group comparisons are presented. Smokers’ had higher cadmium, lead, antimony, and barium levels than nonsmokers. Highest lead levels were in the youngest subjects. Lead levels among adults with high second-hand smoke exposure equaled smokers. Older smokers had cadmium levels signaling the potential for cadmium-related toxicity. Given the potential toxicity of metals, our findings complement existing research on exposure to chemicals in tobacco smoke.

Arsenic and cigarette smoke synergistically increase DNA oxidation in the lung.
Hays AM1, Srinivasan D, Witten ML, Carter DE, Lantz RC.
Author information
  • 1Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85724-5044, USA.
Abstract
Epidemiological evidence has indicated that arsenic and cigarette smoking exposure act synergistically to increase the incidence of lung cancer. Since oxidative damage of DNA has been linked to cancer, our hypothesis is that aerosolized arsenic and cigarette smoke work synergistically to increase oxidative stress and increase DNA oxidation in the lung. To test this hypothesis male Syrian golden hamsters were exposed to room air (control), aerosolized arsenic compounds (3.2 mg/m3 for 30 minutes), cigarette smoke (5 mg/m3 for 30 minutes), or both smoke and arsenic. Exposures were for 5 days/week for 5 or 28-days. Animals were sacrificed one day after the last exposure. In the 28-day group, glutathione levels and DNA oxidation (8-oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxo-dG)) were determined. Our results show that in the 28-day arsenic/smoke group there was a significant decrease in both the reduced and total glutathione levels compared with arsenic or smoke alone. This correlated with a 5-fold increase in DNA oxidation as shown by HPLC. Immunohistochemical localization of 8-oxo-dG showed increase staining in nuclei of airway epithelium and subadjacent interstitial cells. These results show that dual exposure of arsenic and cigarette smoke at environmentally relevant levels can act synergistically to cause DNA damage.
http://www.quitsmokingsupport.com/whatsinit.htm Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, including 43 known cancer-causing (carcinogenic) compounds and 400 other toxins. These include nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide, as well as formaldehyde, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, arsenic, and DDT.
 

u&iraok

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Quitsmokingsupport.com continued:

Along with blended tobacco and water, the 26-item L&M list includes high fructose corn syrup, sugar, natural and artificial licorice flavor, menthol, artificial milk chocolate and natural chocolate flavor, valerian root extract, molasses and vanilla extracts, and cedarwood oil. Less familiar additives include glycerol, propylene glycol, isovaleric acid, hexanoic acid and 3-methylpentanoic acid.

More:

Ammonia: Household cleaner
Angelica root extract: Known to cause cancer in animals
Arsenic: Used in rat poisons
Benzene: Used in making dyes, synthetic rubber
Butane: Gas; used in lighter fluid
Carbon monoxide: Poisonous gas
Cadmium: Used in batteries
Cyanide: Deadly poison
DDT: A banned insecticide
Ethyl Furoate: Causes liver damage in animals
Lead: Poisonous in high doses
Formaldehiyde: Used to preserve dead specimens
Methoprene: Insecticide
Megastigmatrienone: Chemical naturally found in grapefruit juice
Maltitol: Sweetener for diabetics
Napthalene: Ingredient in mothballs
Methyl isocyanate: Its accidental release killed 2000 people in Bhopal, India in 1984
Polonium: Cancer-causing radioactive element
 

Marco

Grrrrrrr!
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I was a very happy ex-smoker (and the worst kind of anti-smoking convert) until after onset. One day I just seemed to need a cigarette and apart from a break for one year I've been smoking ever since (30 years).
 

Adlyfrost

Senior Member
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I have often wondered if I could have picked up the habit if I would have been healthier cuz I know a lot of people who get sickly after they quit.

I was being exposed to 2nd hand from conception and through adulthood hood - and then finally getting out of that awful house at 27 yrs old- when I got the sickest, may have been like withdrawal.

But I can't even tolerate gluten, rice, lysol or scented laundry detergent- I could never smoke anymore than I could run the Boston marathon lol.
 

Forbin

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Does growing up in Southern California in the 1960's count? Where the smog was often so bad that it hurt just to breathe on the short walk home from school?