When the new FDA e-cig regulations were first announced in early May 2016, many people were shocked to learn that the agency classifies tobacco and nicotine as the very same thing. While some electronic cigarettes do indeed contain nicotine, they are essentially 100% tobacco-free. Meanwhile, lots of foods contain nicotine, including bell peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and even cauliflower. Yet the FDA never demonizes these products. So what makes e-cigs and vaping devices do different in the eyes of the FDA?
Scientists have known for decades that nicotine is not the reason for smoke-related illnesses. Nicotine does not cause lung cancer, is not a carcinogen, and has an almost undetectable effect on the cardiovascular system. In fact, scientists are discovering every day some rather amazingly positive health benefits that nicotine can provide.
Nicotine and Alzheimer’s
As early as July of 2008, Kings College in London, England, released a medical study that indicated a direct connection between nicotine therapies and a delaying of the onset of symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) followed up by conducting a 6-month double-blind study on the same issue which provided even more insight into the secret health benefits of nicotine.
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Nicotine and Cognitive Memory
The AAN study also discovered that nicotine can help improve cognitive memory, short-term memory, and working memory. People undergoing nicotine therapy not only recall more facts, figures, and memories, but they recall them more quickly and clearly, as well. By late 2013, the magazine Scientific American published an article by Professor Jennifer Rusted, experimental psychologist at Sussex University in Great Britain. Rusted gained the attention of the worldwide scientific community by stating, “To my knowledge, nicotine is the most reliable cognitive enhancer that we currently have, bizarrely.”
Nicotine and Obesity
Ask any current or former smoker about the possible negative side effects of quitting smoking, and they almost always claim that weight gain is one of the most common problems. Smokers learn quickly that one of the things that they miss most about smoking is the oral gratification, or the placing of the cigarette to the lips several times throughout the day. To compensate, those trying to quit smoking often tend to substitute food for cigarettes to fulfill this subconscious addiction, which is largely believed to be the reason for the increase in body weight.
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However, Professor Marina Picciotto of Yale University conducted a scientific study in 2011 indicating that mice treated with nicotine reduced their food intake by almost 50% and lost up to 20% of their body fat. While mice are not human beings, the related data proved rather promising and has led to numerous other studies that are attempting to link nicotine therapy as a viable method of fighting obesity for both smokers and non-smokers alike.
Other Secret Health Benefits of Nicotine
As scientists experiment with nicotine therapies more and more, they are uncovering lots of amazing health benefits along the way, most of which the FDA and the CDC are already well-aware. In additional to improved memory, reduced body fat, and the possible delayed onset of Alzheimer’s disease, nicotine has shown to be an effective treatment for Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Tourette Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), schizophrenia, chronic depression, high blood pressure, ulcerative colitis, and even some forms of arthritis.
The FDA and the CDC are not the only people who are aware of the secret health benefits of nicotine. Back in the 1990’s, drug companies like Pfizer and Bristol-Meyers Squibb discovered that electronic vaping devices are a cheap way for patients to ingest certain medications. They also help the patient feel the effects of the drugs almost instantly. So why would Big Pharma, the CDC, and the FDA be attempting to paint e-cigs and vaping devices as “tobacco products” instead of “nicotine products?” To answer that question, all we need to do is follow the money.