Members Club Exclusive Early Magazine VAPOUROUND-MAGAZINE-ISSUE-22-WEB-compressed - Page 79

The director said: “We don’t think people should smoke cigarettes and young people shouldn’t be using nicotine but what we are finding in our preliminary research is that there are all kinds of potential health benefits for older people or people with mental illnesses.” The team will travel the world and meet researchers investigating whether the vilified stimulant could be used to treat devastating cognitive illnesses such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, as well as PTSD and ADHD. He added: “A group in Seattle did a study looking at nicotine in our food. One thing that people often overlook is that they use nicotine. [It] is found in tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, peppers. The study showed that people who ate nicotine-rich foods were able to reduce their Parkinson’s rates significantly.” Biebert has been touring the US to find out what the general public know about the substance. So far, very few respondents have been able to separate nicotine from cigarettes and many erroneously believe it to be carcinogenic. “Smoking and nicotine are being conflated but nicotine on its own needs to be separate in order for us to research it.” Population studies have shown that smokers are at a much lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease than non-smokers. Research supported by the Michael J Fox Foundation investigated whether a 28-milligram nicotine patch each day could reduce the progression of the disease. While the patches proved ineffective, Biebert believes the subject warrants further research, saying, “This is just one study with a low-level patch. What research is showing is the more nicotine you took, the more it affected it.” Dr Paul Newhouse of Vanderbilt University is conducting the largest ever study into how nicotine helps with the precursor to Alzheimer’s, but unfortunately the team have struggled to find volunteers despite the fact that nobody developed a nicotine addiction during the first study. This area of research hits particularly close to home for the director. “Our family has had loved ones forgetting names of family members and then dying. That sort of thing changes you forever when you’ve had a loved one forget your name. “We’re now seeing the rates of Alzheimer’s and other brain illnesses is going up and they don’t have a solution to this problem. And along comes a plant that could help with this but we’re not researching it.” Biebert also cited a case where a child’s night-time seizures stopped after she was administered nicotine patches. He also spoke to an army veteran who smoked while in military and now uses clean nicotine to help with symptoms of PTSD. There are currently at least 41 studies demonstrating how nicotine may help with cognitive processes, he said. Aaron hopes his film will encourage funding for further research. “We’re going to have it done this year and then we’re submitting it to big film festivals and hoping for a really big splash in winter of next year. About a year from now is when we’ll start making the big waves.” “SMOKING AND NICOTINE ARE BEING CONFLATED BUT NICOTINE ON ITS OWN NEEDS TO BE SEPARATE IN ORDER FOR US TO RESEARCH IT.” VM22 | 79