Some Quick Facts about Nicotine

May 23, 2023

Some Quick Facts about Nicotine

Nicotine is a chemical compound that is found naturally in the tobacco leaf. When nicotine is mentioned, you are bound to subconsciously link it to tobacco products. And understandably so. But did you know it is also present in pepper, eggplant, potato and tomato plants? That’s right, it is part of the alkaloids found in these plants that belong to the nightshade family. It is this alkaloid content that may cause sensitive individuals to experience heartburn and stomach upsets when they eat these foods. However, the psychotropic toxin is not as potent as it is in tobacco.

Is Nicotine Addictive?

When someone says something is addictive, they could mean either of two things. One, the physical addiction (or physical dependence) where your body relies on a particular substance for its physical wellbeing. Second, it could also imply a psychological addiction. This means the addicted person will experience the craving, but they won’t get to a point of dealing with the physical withdrawal symptoms. Nicotine addiction can be grouped under the former. So would alcohol, if you’re curious. Psychological addiction is the one associated with say, gambling habits or other high-risk endeavours such as skydiving or bungee jumping. As one of the most addictive substances known to man, nicotine is the reason people find it hard to quit smoking. It is the reason you feel so testy when you miss a hit in the morning. It is the reason you feel so crappy when you try to kick the habit. It is the reason you miss smoking years after you successfully quit. But as you probably are aware, smoking does not mean you are addicted to smoking per se. Rather, it is the nicotine you are hooked to.

Is Nicotine the only Harmful Part of Cigarettes?

Nicotine may be looked upon in a negative light, but it is not the only bad culprit in combustible cigarettes. According to expert opinion, tobacco smoke is loaded with dangerous toxins that number in the thousands. At least 4,000 chemicals have been confirmed, most of which are poisonous. Things get uglier particularly when you burn the tar (yup, cigarettes have tar). Effects of tar include emphysema, bronchial diseases, and other dangerous illnesses. Other familiar harmful by-products present in cigarettes include carbon monoxide – which has been singled out as the main culprit of the high risk of heart disease amongst smokers. Others are acetaldehyde and nitrosamines.

How is Nicotine used for Smoking Cessation?

Before electronic cigarettes and the vaping culture became popular, a lot of smokers had tried to quit smoking with little levels of success. Vaping has been found to be the most effective method to quit smoking. And while we are not claiming vaping is entirely safe, Public Health England reported in a ground-breaking study a few years back that vaping is 95% safer than tobacco cigarettes. The fact that vaping mimics smoking in some key ways is said to have a positive psychological effect that contributes to its efficacy as a smoking alternative. More than that, vaping also allows one to gradually scale down on their nicotine levels to the point they are able to get to vape zero nicotine e-liquid, if that is the desired goal. No one says kicking out nicotine is easy. But with vaping, the journey just got easier. 

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