Uncover the truth about nicotine that every tobacco smoker and vaper ought to know
Smoking is without a doubt one of the world's most urgent public health problems. The CDC estimates that each year, more than 443,000 people die from direct smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke, and millions more live with a smoking-related illness.
With each drag of a tobacco cigarette comes thousands of unwanted ingredients that can cause cancer, heart disease, lung disease and a myriad of other serious health issues. However, as many people might be surprised to learn, nicotine is not one of these toxic chemicals.
Over the last couple of decades, the war on drugs has gradually turned its attention to nicotine and cigarettes. Nicotine is often compared to highly addictive drugs and stimulants, on par with alcohol, heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamines. However, the science behind nicotine tells the real story.
For starters, nicotine does not cause intoxication or produce any kind of "high."
Secondly, nicotine does not impair judgment, motor skills or concentration in any way. In fact, nicotine has been found to have potential performance-enhancing effects on fine motor skills, attention, and memory. Furthermore, because of its therapeutic benefits, nicotine is now being considered as a possible treatment for such conditions as attention deficit disorder (ADD), Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Tourette syndrome, sleep apnea, obesity, ulcerative colitis and inflammatory skin disorders.
Thirdly, nicotine is not a dangerous, man-made chemical engineered in a mysterious laboratory. Actually, nicotine is an organic compound found in nature that everyone (both smokers and nonsmokers alike) consume on a regular basis. All vegetables of the Solanaceae family, for instance—which includes tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants—contain small amounts of nicotine.
And finally, nicotine has not been shown to be carcinogenic. Although cigarettes contain thousands of proven cancer-causing chemicals, nicotine is simply a stimulant that, like caffeine, triggers the release of numerous chemical messengers like endorphins, the body's natural analgesic.
Ultimately, when you identify the cause of concern for nicotine in tobacco, the root issue is not the nicotine at all, but cigarette smoke.
As the FDA* reports:
"Repeated inhalation of smoke into the lungs is a very bad thing for the human body. By way of analogy, if most people obtained caffeine by smoking tea leaves the way most currently get nicotine by smoking tobacco leaves, it too would be an enormous cause of ill health."
While nicotine in small doses is not harmful—and has even been shown to be beneficial in treating certain conditions—it is important to note that the substance is indeed a powerful neurotoxin capable of causing serious illness or even death if ingested in large enough doses.
Fortunately, the amount of nicotine absorbed through vaping is so small that it is highly unlikely to cause an overdose. Cautious estimates put the lower threshold of nicotine poisonings at 500-1000 milligrams of pure nicotine.
To put that in perspective, consider this: When you buy a 30 milliliter (ml) bottle of custom e-liquid from VaporFi, the strongest nicotine potency available is our Bold strength (3.6%). Even if you were to vape 1 ml of this fluid, and your body was able to absorb 100% of the nicotine (which it isn't), you would have only ingested 36 mg of nicotine—well below the limit.
Although severe nicotine poisonings are extremely rare, it never hurts to be careful, especially when an accidental overdose can be prevented with just a few simple precautionary steps.