There was a time when it was cool to smoke cigarettes. But even then smokers under a certain age had to hide under the bleachers to get a puff. All grown up, now they huddle outside of buildings, having been banished from the office place and held in slightly higher regard than heroin addicts.
Among the things that nicotine does to the body is impair the immune system. And cigarette smoking requires the user to suck smoke and tar into his/her lungs. Throw those things together, and the high incidence of smoking related cancers shouldn't be that surprising.
However, there are some conditions affecting some of us that are caused by an over active immune system. Something triggers the immune system to go on the war path, and failing to find the offender, it attacks the host. I couldn't name all of those conditions, but people with them know what they are.
Physicians prescribe all sorts of drugs to alleviate the symptoms. And some physicians want to prescribe the powerful drugs that are supposed to prevent transplant recipients' immune systems from destroying their new organs.
A perfectly functioning immune system is in delicate balance. So obviously, it's a tricky thing to fine tune.
Along comes a new delivery system for nicotine: e-cigs. Electronic cigarettes were unheard of by most non-smokers until just recently. Now they're everywhere. What-are-they and how-to videos are all over YouTube. And search engine results are filled with products and reviews.
They're a blessing to smokers. But for non-smokers who suffer from some condition caused by an out-of-balance immune system, they're a miracle drug. If only the FDA doesn't regulate them out of existence.
Related: Nicotine, the Wonder Drug? Subhead: This notorious stimulant may enhance learning and help treat Parkinson's, schizophrenia and other neurological diseases.