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Scientist David O'Reilly, who works for the tobacco industry, said nicotine makes your brain work better
A scientist employed by one of the biggest cigarette manufacturers today said nicotine is good for your health.
Group scientific director for British American Tobacco, which makes Benson & Hedges, Dunhill and Lucky Strikes, David O'Reilly has been branded 'irresponsible' and accused of telling just part of the story.
He told the Sunday Times Magazine smoking helps a person's brain work more effectively, adding: 'It helps with cognition, stimulation and relaxes.'
His controversial claim came just a week after New York University researchers warned smokers of ecigarettes could inhale more nicotine than those who smoke regular cigarettes.
Mr O'Reilly said likened taking a puff from an ecigarette to drinking a cup of coffee, as he claimed the practise was safe.
But the senior molecular biologist has come under fire from health experts, who have accused him of trying to help 'sell as many cigarettes as possible'.
Professor John Britton, chairman of the Royal College of Physicians tobacco advisory group and professor of epidemiology at the University of Nottingham, said one hit of nicotine can have positive effects on the brain.