A simple poll on the smoking experience

Apr 13 2010 Published by under Drug Abuse Science, Nicotine

Today's question comes from a reader and occasional commenter.

Does smoking a cigarette get you high?Market Research

I have the sneaking suspicion there will be a lot of people wanting to add caveats and modifications to these simple choices....have at it in the comments here because for some reason the polldaddy doesn't seem to make the 'other' comments easily viewable.

26 responses so far

  • becca says:

    I am offended by this poll, since I cannot reasonably vote.

  • Kilgore Trout says:

    no, smoking weed does

  • pinus says:

    you should do one for coffee next week.

  • jon says:

    Yes, but only because I smoke about 2-3 cigarettes a week. If I smoked every day, I wouldn't get a buzz at all.

  • queenrandom says:

    It did when I first started smoking (well, high is strong - there was a slight euphoric buzz for less than 5 minutes). However when I smoked more frequently, that went away.

  • jon says:

    Yes, but only because I smoke about 2-3 cigarettes a week. If I smoked every day, I wouldn't get a buzz at all.

  • Sharon Astyk says:

    I personally wouldn't describe it has a high - I found it very pleasant and very calming, actually. I was always an occasional social smoker, though, and haven't been any kind of smoker since I was in my mid-20s.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    To keep things rolling, this poll is somewhat related to a post up over at White Coat Underground today.
    http://scienceblogs.com/whitecoatunderground/2010/04/substance_abuse.php

  • I've never smoked a single cigarette in my life, and that's not ever gonna change. (I tried a cigar in Cuba, but didn't get past the second puff). But I have to admit that when I see the nicotine gum and patches at the drug store checkout, I do sometimes contemplate buying some just to see what it's like... I can't drink coffee any more, and sometimes tea just isn't a strong enough stimulant when editing grants.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    Other responses so far:
    Only when I haven't had one in days.
    it keeps me alert when alcohol would otherwise make me drowsy
    How would I know? I don't smoke.
    never smoked
    It did when I first started but that went away.
    light headed at times
    I'm unable to actually inhale the smoke, so it mostly gets me choke-y.
    Something but not "high"
    no, smoking weed does

  • D. C. Sessions says:

    To keep things rolling, this poll is somewhat related to a post up over at White Coat Underground today.

    Bit of a stretch, that.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    Bit of a stretch, that.
    All will be revealed in good time, my friend...

  • FUG says:

    I said yes, but I had to hemm and haw on it a bit. Under the assumption that "high" is a more general description of positive feelings from drugs, then yes it does. That's why I love to smoke. Sometimes I chain smoke because I love smoking so much. I would describe the "chain-smoke" high is different from the "first cig in the morning" high as different from the "cig after a meal" high. Mhm! Gawd, smoking is great. Now I just have to quit so I don't die a horrible death with dependents.

  • Eff Gwazdor says:

    There are substances that change your emotional state, that affect your energy, that change your consciousness, etc. The metaphor of being "high" assumes there is only one axis along which we can measure a subject's response to a chemical - clearly an oversimplification.I suggest a more multi-dimensional rubric - perhaps adopting metaphors from popular slang, i.e. cigarettes get me high, but not wasted or hammered, only mildly juiced, and deeply F-ed up (at least in the long term).

  • I smoke at most a half-dozen cigarettes per year (always while intoxicated with EtOH), and when I do, I get a massive head rush.

  • SurgPA says:

    @11
    Not much of a stretch, actually. This started with an email from PalMD asking why doctors react much more negatively to narcotics abusers than alcohol or nicotine abusers. I hypothesized that most people view acute use of the various drugs differently. Specifically I suspected that most doctors' gut reactions when seeing someone light a cigarette are qualitatively (and vastly) different from seeing someone shoot heroin (or snort crushed oxycontin). In short that we don't see the act of smoking as an acute intoxication by a neuroactive substance, even if we understand it intellectually. DM was kind enough to post the poll, and so far his readers are posting a roughly even split. I'm not sure this fully explains the difference; the conversation is ongoing over at WCU.

  • WMDKitty says:

    It depends on what's IN the cigarette. Tobacco, no. Cannabis, yes. And tobacco seems to increase the high from cannabis, though that may just be lack of oxygen.

  • DK says:

    Answered no. But if I don't smoke for the long time, then the first cigarette gives quite a buzz. Also, smoking is like coffee for me - helps to focus thoughts. That's why I quit smoking so many times - break down and restart every time I have to write a paper. OTOH, I've only done cannabis/hashish few times and it did absolutely nothing for me.

  • csrster says:

    I used to get unpleasantly dizzy from my first ciggie of the day, but I never experienced any kind of identifiable buzz.

  • skeptifem says:

    It depends on what you mean by 'high'. I felt rewarded. That was the only thing really, and that is so minor that I don't think it counts. It was more about preventing unpleasant feelings than causing any sort of high.

  • Dr. Zeek says:

    I am a "hard-sore" smoker (around a pack a day--horrible, I know). Yes, I get "high" when I smoke (Maybe not the "buzz" I get from the first smoke of the morning where I feel all light-headed and a little loopy) But I can definitely feel the calming effects, the jitters go away, my anxiety levels seemingly drop. While maybe not the same high as smoking weed or doing excasty, I still get a high. Maybe, more similar to a caffeine high? Either way, I voted a definite yes. If we (smoker's the hard core ones anyways) didn't get high or a buzz from smoking, if we weren't addicted to the nicotine and the feeling our brains transmit from said nicotine, then really why would it be so goddamn hard to quit?

  • Dr. Zeek says:

    That should be "hard-core" smoker...sorry caffeine hasn't kicked in yet.

  • DuWayne says:

    I put down yes, though it is more complicated than that. Not every cigarette I light up makes me feel high, but sometimes the first of the day does. Or if instead of lighting up one of my roll-ups that have nothing added, I light up a manufactured smoke that has chemicals added I get a buzz. And now that I am down to five or less a day, I often get at least a little buzz if I merely smoke an entire cigarette at once.
    WMDkitty -
    That is not just lack of oxygen. Smoking cannabis opens up capillaries, allowing more of the chemicals in tobacco to absorb into your bloodstream.

  • DocHoliday says:

    DM, you know this, hardcore smokers like me don't smoke 20-30 cig a day for the buzz, it's for keeping or returning to feeling "ok". It's avoiding the withdrawal that is key, a 'buzz' is only felt after a long break, such as an overseas flight, but it was more than 20 years since I got a 'kick' out of it.
    But it can be so good, after a nice dinner steak and 2 glasses of red wine, smoking is a true pleasure. But it is the other 200 cigs every week that kill me...

  • anonymous for this discussion says:

    I said yes though I'd characterize it as more of a buzz than a high. I've never smoked more than half a pack of unfiltered cigarettes/day -- 0-3 is more typical (and 0 more often than not nowadays). Filtered cigarettes never give me a really good buzz, ever; when I've had to smoke them I've gone way over a pack a day and hated every single one. Plus I hate the litter. The most difficult one to give up has been the one after a run/ride/workout, which seems kind of perverse, but there it is. I don't know if it's worth noting that I didn't start smoking until I was in my mid thirties; I had a 30 mile commute and an undiagnosed sleep disorder. Since that has been diagnosed and medicated, smoking seems less useful than it used to be.

  • Ema Nymton says:

    Yup, definite effect when smoking, though like many have stated, I smoke very infrequently, generally months in between cigarettes.

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