Tobacco expert: ‘People smoke for nicotine, but they die from tar’
The anti-tobacco lobby often confuses vaping with smoking even though there are volumes of scientific evidence to the contrary. Their argument stems from the assumption that since both combustible cigarettes and e-liquids contain nicotine, then they must be equally harmful to one’s health.
However, most doctors will agree that nicotine’s effects on the human body most closely resemble those of caffeine. Furthermore, nicotine, by itself, is not addictive. This is partially why the FDA allows nicotine to be sold in over-the-counter smoking cessation products.
Nicotine is a naturally occurring substance found in many ordinary foods, including eggplant, tomatoes, and potatoes. It is classified as a stimulant, has been shown to decrease hunger and stress, and can even improve the attention span. Nicotine is also thought to be a potential treatment for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease by improving their cognitive memory capabilities.
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Rolling Stone Magazine recently ran an article endorsing vaping as a much safer alternative to smoking. The journalist gave high praise to Great Britain for its efforts in supporting vaping as a tobacco reduction tool while also crediting its scientific community for leading the way in reputable studies supporting these claims. The article also quotes a rather well-known scientist from South Africa named Michael Russell who is considered to be the “godfather of tobacco control.” As far back as 1976, Russell made the following and, at the time, rather controversial statement that is still largely ignored by American public health officials.
‘People smoke for nicotine, but they die from tar.’
The nicotine in combustible cigarettes is not what kills. It’s the tar and thousands of toxic chemicals that will. And while the ingestion of large quantities of nicotine can cause headaches, nausea, and other uncomfortable symptoms, the miniscule levels found in either tobacco cigarettes or vape juices poses no significant risk.
The major difference between the two is that e-liquids do not contain the nasty tar and chemicals – chemicals that are specially selected by Big Tobacco to keep smokers hooked. In fact, there are multiple studies that show vaping is far less addictive than smoking based on this premise. A good example from an American Academia would be Penn State study entitled E-cigarettes less addictive than cigarettes, which is available via Science Daily.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb also seems too see the apparent distortion of facts being heaped upon the American public. In a recent press conference, he announced that his agency is considering the regulation of nicotine in combustible cigarettes. While this notion left many vaping advocates scratching their heads, Gottlieb was also careful to mension that nicotine is not the real threat facing smokers.
“Nicotine is by no means a completely safe and benign compound. But a family and population-focused approach to reducing tobacco-caused disease and death must start from the premise that, as far as nicotine is concerned, the problem isn’t just the nicotine. The bigger problem is the delivery mechanism -- how the nicotine gets delivered. Attach it to smoke particles created by burning cigarettes and the mechanism is deadly.”
It is the last sentence in Gottlieb’s statement that reckons back to the 1976 statement my Michael Russell. “People smoke for nicotine, but they die from tar.” Vapers understand this simple fact. Why can’t the American public health officials and the anti-tobacco lobby?