After 40 years of scientific research on the effects of nicotine, researchers now say that they have sound scientific proof that smoking and nicotine have a significant positive effect on human brain performance.
The brain works better when it gets nicotine – almost like an optimized computer. Nicotine is a “work-drug” that enables its consumers to focus better and think faster. The brain also becomes more enduring, especially in smokers: Nicotine experiments show that smokers in prolonged working situations are able to maintain concentration for many hours longer than non-smokers.
– The positive effect on the brain may explain why many of history’s greatest scientists have been avid smokers – for example Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein, both of whom praised the effect of tobacco on their scientific thinking.Furthermore, it is known that many athletes, creative people, stage performers, writers, musicians and artists through time have been smokers. The nicotine in cigarettes appears to have been particularly important for people who need to produce something unique or competitive in their work.
– Top footballers, in particular, have often surprised the media when it emerged that they were avid smokers, while they were at the peak of their careers. For example, the puritanical British media people couldn’t imagine that a top player like Wayne Rooney would be able to deliver top performances for his team, when they revealed it as a scandal, that Rooney is a smoker (5).
– The truth is however, that some of the world’s most creative stars – like Zinedine Zidane, Diego Maradona, Johan Cruyff, Ronaldo, Dimitar Berbatov and many other players from the highest levels of football – were avid smokers while they were at the top of their careers – including the Danish 80’s hero, Preben Elkjaer.