The use and misuse of e-cigarettes is increasing, with some scientists caution that the potential impacts on the body are not as clear as once thought.
But, new research suggests that nicotine might affect mood triggered by moderate amounts of alcohol consumption.
The analysis by Dr Daniel Horst of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s Viennese Center for Scientific Research, suggests that e-cigarettes may affect mood and the emotions associated with pleasant events, such as watching TV shows or playing games.
He writes in an article in the journal Addiction Biology, that people who use e-cigarettes may be more sensitive and more likely to suffer symptoms of depression than those who haven’t.
Dr Horst says mood has long been linked to chemical exposure, also primarily due to alcohol.
In modern society, scientists come to accept more and more that the effects of dopamine, or the pleasure-circuit, which controls motivation and emotion, is reduced in disease or addiction. This process is known as the dopaminergic system, and alcohol is a key neurotransmitter.
The process is analogous to how the motor nerves controlling the hands and wrists tell the brain to move the arm of someone holding the hand.
Because of the dopaminergic system, people feeling happy often have difficulty achieving motivated, pleasurable action behavior in their normal free time, Dr Horst writes. During the period of intoxication, for example, their attention is drawn to situations or stimuli associated with dopamine, which may become less active.”