We all know how dangerous smoking is, but what about Nicotine?
Nicotine is used in numerous quit smoking/alternative smoking products such as patches, gums and electronic cigarettes, but it’s only one of the 4000+ chemicals that are present in traditional cigarettes. This post is designed to dispel any myths about nicotine and reveal the facts.
Is Nicotine addictive?
In short yes. When a smoker inhales nicotine, it is delivered into the lungs and it reaches the brain within seconds. The brain then produces dopamine’s that control the smoker’s emotions and feelings of pleasure, producing the so called ‘nicotine hit’.
How does nicotine affect us?
Nicotine is a stimulant and it is often associated with Caffeine, another well known stimulant that is present in coffee and energy drinks. The use of nicotine or caffeine stimulates memory and alertness, boosts mood and it has even been linked to relieving mild depression.
Nicotine and Cancer
Nicotine is one of many ingredients used in cigarettes, but by association alone, there is a big misconception that because smoking gives you cancer, nicotine does too. This is not true or at least there is no evidence to suggest it does. There are more than 4000 chemicals used in cigarettes and cancer is caused by inhaling tobacco smoke and a whole host of toxins such as tar and carbon monoxide.
Nicotine and other health related diseases
According to the World Health Organization, tobacco kills up to half of its users, that’s a whopping six million people each year (at time of writing). Apart from being a well-known cause of cancer, cigarettes cause many cardiovascular and respiratory diseases including chronic lung disease, emphysema, coronary heart disease and other disorders. It is the countless toxins in tobacco smoke, rather than the nicotine content that is mostly responsible. The main adverse effect nicotine has when used in conjunction with tobacco products is addiction, ensuring the user keeps going back for more.
Nicotine products replace one addiction with another
The addictive nature of nicotine is largely due to the dose delivered when smoking traditional cigarettes. Nicotine substitutes deliver the user with lower doses of nicotine, which can be used in a controlled way where the user can reduce their intake over time.
Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal
Common symptoms include anxiety, tension, restlessness, frustration, impatience, difficulty concentrating, headaches, increased appetite, irritability or depression and drowsiness or trouble sleeping. A milder form of nicotine withdrawal can occur when a smoker gradually reduces their nicotine intake.
Are nicotine substitutes safer than traditional cigarettes?
The benefit of using nicotine substitutes far outweighs the risks of smoking. Nicotine is just one of the 4000+ chemicals used in traditional cigarettes and it is these chemicals, rather than nicotine content, that are largely responsible for the harmful effects.