Fantastic Lad sends us to Wired for a story on the upside of nicotine.
Researchers are developing drugs based on nicotine that may prove
beneficial for brains, bowels, blood vessels and immune systems.
"Nicotine acts on the acetylcholine receptors in the brain, stimulating
and regulating the release of a slew of brain chemicals, including
seratonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. Now drugs derived from nicotine
and the research on nicotine receptors are in clinical trials for
everything from helping to heal wounds, to depression, schizophrenia,
Alzheimer's, Tourette Syndrome, ADHD, anger management and anxiety." A
separate story talks about nicotine warding off Parkinson's disease.
source -- slashdot