There is a journal called Mediators of Inflammation. It doesn’t sound particularly exciting, but an article in the 2014 edition is fascinating:  “Smoking is Associated with Reduced Leptin and Neuropeptife Y Levels and Higher Pain Experience in Patients with Fibromyalgia” (Bokarewa, et al).  I know, sounds pretty dry, and it is.  However, the bottom line is important.  Smoking increases pain from fibromyalgia.  If you have fibromyalgia, smoking will not decrease the pain, won’t relax you, won’t benefit at all.  Nicotine is the offending chemical, suppressing natural opioids in the body which suppress pain.  Here’s my question:

The article says that “prolonged exposure to low levels of nicotine” triggers the mechanisms that reduce pain inhibition.  How low do these levels have to be?  How prolonged?  There are studies that indicate that third-hand smoke (smoke on clothing and in hair, furniture, etc) is as toxic (to children at least) as second-hand smoke.  Can continuous exposure to third-hand smoke cause these mechanisms to kick into gear?  Can passive smoking cause fibromyalgia pain to increase?  It’s a question…

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