Nicotine is one of the most discussed chemicals in cigarettes. Given smoking’s deadly effects on human bodies, it’s only natural that people would look down on nicotine as well. Some believe that nicotine is just as strongly linked to lung cancer like cigarettes, but that isn’t correct. Continue reading to learn whether there is a connection between nicotine and cancer.
Does Nicotine Itself Cause Cancer?
The fact that combustible cigarettes cause cancer is no secret. The backlash has spilled over to nicotine, the addictive stimulant in cigarettes that millions of smokers are addicted to, sparked by the prevalent concerns about smoking.
Many individuals link nicotine to cancer as a result. Nicotine, on the other hand, is often blamed. Tar and carbon monoxide are the actual deadly poisons in cigarettes. The former is a dark sticky residue that might cover and damage our lungs’ cilia. The latter is a poisonous gas that binds to oxygen in our blood. Carbon monoxide in large doses could cause shock since it always takes up too much area of oxygen in our blood.
Medical institutions have fought the myth and stigma of smoking for decades. Consider the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer as an example. Nicotine is addictive, according to the WHO, but there is no apparent connection between nicotine and cancer. It also endorses Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) as a helpful medical approach for people who want to quit smoking.
“Nicotine is a common chemical compound found in tobacco plants, and its effect is to make tobacco addictive rather than to cause cancer directly.”
—International Agency for Research on Cancer
As nicotine is addictive, it makes quitting smoking even more challenging. NRT can suppress withdrawal symptoms without people having to give up on their smoke breaks (IARC 2012). Nicotine in itself is not dangerous; in fact, the harmful effects of tobacco are caused by tar and carbon monoxide in cigarettes. The latter gas creates toxic fumes that bind to red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the human body.
It would be nearly impossible for scientists to prove whether nicotine without cigarettes is harmful. Scientists must compare smokers with vapers who use e-cigarettes instead of combustible cigarettes to reach any research conclusion. With all other variables equalized—such as the amount of nicotine consumed, duration of smoking/vaping, and the use of other drugs—researchers could then determine whether nicotine alone causes cancer.
The latter conclusion is not yet possible. However, scientists have looked at nicotine inhalers to study the effects of nicotine itself on blood pressure and heart rate. Evidence suggests that inhaling nicotine does not cause any significant changes to both systems. In other words, nicotine inhalers could be a safe alternative to smoking because nicotine itself does not cause cancer (Okamoto 2005).
As you might have discovered, NRT has gained much traction in hospitals. That’s another irrefutable evidence of nicotine’s safety—doctors are willing to prescribe it. NRT is available in various forms, including gums, patches, and spray. It aids tremendously in reducing smokers’ cravings and replacing their desire for cigarettes.
What are the Side Effects of Nicotine?
While not being carcinogenic, nicotine has several harmful effects, and its addictiveness is the most notable among them. That’s why smokers are always trapped in painful nicotine withdrawal after quitting smoking. Nicotine addiction keeps smokers from quitting and exposes them to deadly poisons every time they smoke.
Nicotine is also harmful in high doses. Alternatively, it becomes fatally toxic when a roughly 150-pound adult consumes 60mg or more of nicotine in one day. We have no cause for excessive worry despite the deadly hazards posed by nicotine overdosing. The average amount of nicotine consumed by a smoker or vaper each day is well below 60mg.
Nicotine harms children’s developing brains, and the damage may last into their twenties. In this context, youngsters should be prevented from using any nicotine product. Minors should also be kept away from vapes, whether or not they contain nicotine. According to a finding published in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), kids who use nicotine delivery products in their youth are more likely to smoke in the future.
How Long Does Nicotine Withdrawal Last?
The typical duration of nicotine withdrawal is four weeks. Suppose you go cold turkey on your nicotine initially. In that case, the symptoms, such as headaches and tiredness, might be severe in the first three days. The third week is when things start to improve.
It’s really up to you how you wean yourself off cigarettes. You can, of course, use NRT or vapes to help you gradually reduce the amount of nicotine in your e-liquid until you can vape without it.
There are plenty of great ways to vape without nicotine. For a selection of the best nicotine-free vapes check out https://vapingvibe.com/best-nicotine-free-vapes.
In conclusion, nicotine does not cause cancer. Instead, it increases the risk of cancer, especially in people who have been exposed to carcinogens from smoking cigarettes.
Nicotine is an addictive substance, and withdrawal symptoms are severe if one tries to quit abruptly. Nicotine stimulates the release of dopamine, which makes smokers feel comfortable and sound throughout the day. Smoking kills many people every year, and it’s one habit that must be broken for a healthier life.
Maybe you have recently given up smoking. Congratulations! But perhaps you are still smoking occasionally, or maybe you are vaping.
It is incredibly vital to know that nicotine does not cause cancer. Tobacco, other than nicotine, poses several health risks. Vaping is a much better option for people who have been addicted to cigarettes and want to quit smoking without experiencing withdrawal symptoms. If you use NRT products, it’s time to replace the nicotine with vaping.
If you are a smoker, then try not to smoke any longer because cigarettes contain thousands of harmful ingredients that will damage your body. Stand up and make a change today! Once you give up smoking altogether, there’s no going back!