Nicotine is one of the last great taboos in the Western world, and as a result, has some powerful misconceptions associated with it. When we look more closely, we discover that there are strong commercial, institutional, and ideological incentives pushing us to believe these things; consequently, science is neglected.
The power of persuasion is limitless, and no fact is immune to distortion by propaganda. Provided the resources are available, any lie may be successful.
As an illustration of this, few people would be shocked – or even amazed – to learn that there is no clinical study on nicotine’s potential for addiction, a remarkable fact, given the almost-vitriolic criticism of its “addictive” qualities.
There have been several requests to perform a trial; however, despite the high interest in this subject and the simplicity with which it may be studied, there has yet to be one.
It’s only natural to ask why such proof has not been published, whether for or against.
It doesn’t imply that nicotine isn’t reinforcing for a minuscule, albeit statistically insignificant number of people; it just means that someone who claims to be knowledgeable on the subject but claims nicotine to be “extremely addictive” or similar without any evidence can hardly be considered a credible source. Probably so.
What the research says
- We understand that smoking may lead to a strong dependence, which can justifiably be termed addiction because there is a significant increase in danger (addiction in contemporary usage implies dependence plus harm).
- We understand that smokers can become reliant on nicotine as a result of smoking.
- No clinical trial has ever uncovered any potential for nicotine dependence in non-smokers.
- Nicotine does not seem to have the potential for addiction on its own. That is, pure nicotine given to never-smokers or never-users of cigarettes in clinical tests has not been shown to cause dependence.
- It’s been demonstrated that vapers tend to decrease the amount of nicotine consumed (low-nicotine vapes) as well as the strength used, implying that nicotine does not lead to tolerance, which is a key indicator for addiction-inducing substances.
- Vapers have a significantly reduced risk of tobacco addiction compared to smokers. Some may cease their usage over time if desired for any reason.
The Four Common Myths About Nicotine
Four nicotine misconceptions persist in modern society, although they have no basis in reality. They are:
- Nicotine is dangerous
- Nicotine’s toxicity
- Nicotine’s potential for addiction
- Nicotine’s potential for harm
Is Nicotine a Poisonous, Foreign Substance?
Hardly. Consider this:
- Nicotine is a natural component of most diets.
- It is found in everyone’s diet.
- It is present in all of us.
- In any of the big-scale clinical trials that looked for nicotine in the general population, no one has ever been found to be free of nicotine.
- There has never been any documented case of people being harmed by dietary nicotine.
It is highly probable to be beneficial and quite probably a nutrient, since it is so closely linked with the B vitamin family, has several well-documented health benefits, many of which are similar to its sister compound nicotinic acid (vitamin B3), and about 20% of the population appear to benefit from supplementing their diet with it.
Nicotinic acid deficiency has been linked with several auto-immune diseases, and it is sometimes studied as an ingredient in medicines for such ailments as Alzheimer’s disease.
It is highly probable that nicotine, in any form, is a functional dietary component with specific application to persons at risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases, auto-immune diseases, and inflammatory illnesses (the latter three classes of illness are closely linked), as well as successful therapies for those illnesses and some cognitive function disorders.
It has a variety of uses, including help with anxiety and depression. For those who suffer from anxiety or depression, it also aids in mood normalization and stress reduction. When tired, it aids in alertness and task completion for most people. This is not an exhaustive list of nicotine’s advantages and benefits, which may depend on the individual’s genetic make-up.
It’s found in all Solanaceae vegetables, including tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants. It’s present in many foods, including tea: you’re getting five active alkaloids and nicotine when you drink tea. That’s why tea works; after all, that’s why it is effective.
Nicotine and nicotinic acid are frequently found in the same fruits and vegetables, as nicotine is closely linked with nicotinic acid, a near relative that may be a metabolite of nicotine in some species. Vitamin B3 is commonly known as niacin or vitamin B3.
Vitamin B3 is required in the diet, and a shortage might produce physical and psychiatric symptoms, the most serious of which being pellagra (a severe skin ailment causing exaggerated skin malformations).
Nicotinamide, B3 (Nicotine), and nicotinic acid improve cognitive function, memory, work capacity, alertness and stress relief. As a result of this, it has been suggested that nicotine be assigned a B vitamin number at some point in the future when the stigma against it is reduced.
Nicotine is a commonly used and safe nutritional component. Some individuals may require extra nicotine since it is like any other active dietary element.
Nicotine, unlike alcohol or coffee (caffeine), which are both not part of the regular diet and do not belong to a vitamin group, is as natural to consume as vitamin B. Active dietary components, particularly those that are beneficial, cannot reasonably be branded as harmful or poisonous.
Nicotine’s Potential for Harm
The narrative surrounding nicotine is more complicated than it might initially appear. While nicotine is often labelled as toxic and addictive, scientific evidence suggests that it is less addictive than commonly perceived, and it might even offer some health benefits.
Nicotine is a natural part of our diets and has connections to the B vitamin family, hinting at its potential as a nutrient. Its potential role in managing neurodegenerative and auto-immune diseases is an area that warrants further exploration.
Understanding nicotine in its pure form, separate from its association with smoking, is key to dispelling its negative image. An interesting aspect of this exploration is the emergence of new ways to consume nicotine, such as through vaping.
For those interested in exploring the world of nicotine further, particularly in the context of vaping, our next article “Demystifying Nicotine Vape Juice: What You Need to Know” is a must-read.
This piece dives into the specifics of nicotine vape juice, discussing its formulation, the various strengths available, and the different flavours you can try. It also covers the potential benefits and risks associated with its use. Remember, knowledge is power, and understanding the intricacies of nicotine vape juice can help you make informed decisions about your health and well-being.