Nicotine Does Not Equal Tobacco 11th November 2015 – Posted in: News – Tags: ,

Smoking has been viewed for years as a very unhealthy habit, and for good reasons. Tobacco cigarettes shorten your life, dull your sense of taste, yellow your teeth and infect you and everything around you with that stale reek. When you think about cigarette addiction, it’s true that the cause is nicotine. We also all know that smoking is bad for your health, and can cause all sorts of problems in the short and long-term. But the problem isn’t the nicotine; it’s actually the tobacco.

What Is Nicotine?

 Actually, the effects of nicotine are very similar to those of one of the most popular substances on the planet – caffeine. It’s a stimulant. That rush when you have your first cup of coffee of the day, or that can of coca-cola at lunch. It’s true that nicotine is a highly addictive substance, but so is caffeine. Both cause a short-term increase in blood pressure and pulse rate as well as that jolt of energy we often crave, and both should be avoided during pregnancy as they affect fatal development. When users of caffeine or nicotine decide to stop using it completely, they will often experience the same side effects: cravings, anxiety, depression, irritability, inattentiveness and a sense of emptiness. In fact, some people actually say nicotine has a positive effect on their lives – helping them to concentrate and overcome attention deficit type problems, and even acting as a form of stress relief.

So why is the addiction to caffeine socially accepted and even encouraged, but the addiction to nicotine demonised? The key difference is that nicotine is demonised as being the cause of many illnesses. This is often because smoking and nicotine are often portrayed as being the same thing, and this simply isn’t the case. While it is true that people smoke mostly because of the nicotine, nicotine users mostly die because of the smoke, not the nicotine.

So What’s So Bad About Tobacco? 

To put it simply, tobacco smoke is made up of over 7000 chemicals added to the tobacco leaves to improve taste and smoking experience. 70 of these chemicals are known carcinogens, which cause several forms of cancer. Other chemicals added include cyanide (a potent poison), formaldehyde (typically used to preserve dead bodies) and acetylene (the fuel used in welding torches). Tobacco cigarettes also contain tar and poisonous gasses like carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide. So while the product started out as natural tobacco leaves, the amount of toxic chemicals added to it for the sake of flavour has rendered it a highly toxic compound when exposed to over long periods of time. Not only that, but tobacco is the cause of a multitude of side effects on your body and your health, some of which can be seen almost instantly, some take months or years to develop, and some are even fatal.

Here are a just a few of the side effects smoking cigarettes can have on your entire body – all of which are caused by the tobacco and not the nicotine.

  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Stained teeth and gives you bad breath
  • Ruined taste buds, meaning you can’t taste food as well
  • Bleeding gums, gum disease and cancers of the mouth and throat
  • Increases risk of heart attacks and heart disease
  • Weakens heart muscles, making it harder to keep up with exercise routines
  • Trouble breathing through damaged lungs filled with tar
  • Coughing fits with phlegm present
  • Emphysema and lung cancer
  • Dry, yellowed and wrinkled skin
  • Aching muscles caused by lack of blood flow and oxygen

Overall, tobacco is a horrible substance that isn’t really enjoyed on it’s own anymore, but it has left millions of people with a life long nicotine addiction. It’s not always easy to just quit, and so scientists developed products like e-cigarettes, which still deliver the nicotine that users crave, without the harmful effects of tobacco smoke. So you tell us, when faced with a choice between a traditional cigarette and a e-cig, which would you rather to smoke?