A Caution about Modeling Analog Addiction - Blogs - E-Cigarette Forum
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A Caution about Modeling Analog Addiction

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by , 06-02-2011 at 09:19 PM (3501 Views)
Some time ago, I created a model where I theorized two things:

1. Some folks have a high predisposition to nicotine addition and others a low predisposition.

2. Some folks have a high predisposition to tobacco MAOI addiction and others a low predisposition.

Another way to put this is to suggest that some folks who smoke do it because the nicotine calms them, and others smoke because the non-nicotine MAOI's calms them.

I then crossed these two theoretical scales as if on a sheet of graph paper to create four quadrants surrounding the origin (0,0).

The x-axis was defined as predisposition to nicotine addiction/nicotine's "feel good" ability. To the left of the origin (negative x-axis values), one is less and less affected by nicotine. To the right of the origin (positive x-axis values), one is more and more affected by nicotine.

Similarly, The y-axis was defined as predisposition to tobacco MAOI addiction/tobacco MAIO "feel good" ability. Down from the origin (negative y-axis values), one is less and less affected by tobacco MAOI's. Up from the origin (positive y-axis values), one is more and more affected by tobacco MAOIs.

Numbering the quadrants thus created from 1 to 4 (starting at the lower left and numbering in a counter-clockwise manner, we get the follow quadrants:

4 | 3
1 | 2

In quadrant 1, low nicotine predisposition/medicative potential meets low MAOI predisposition/medicative potential. You don't really desire or need either one.

In quadrant 2, high nicotine predisposition/medicative potential meets low MAOI predisposition/medicative potential. You really like your nicotine, and it gives you relief. You really don't care all that much about tobacco MAOIs, they hold little appear for you and they hold little sway over you.

In quadrant 3, high nicotine predisposition/medicative potential meets high MAOI predisposition/medicative potential. You like everything about smoking except the smoking. You get strong relief from both nicotine and tobacco MAIO's.

In quadrant 4, low nicotine predisposition/medicative potential meets high MAOI predisposition/medicative potential. You really aren't smoking for the nicotine, you're smoking for all the tobacco MAOI's that are making you feel better of whatever ails you.

I'll say it again since it's taken on a life of it's own since I first posted it:


If it helps you to understand your addiction to analogs or if it helps you to understand why regular nicotine only e-cigs work well or poorly for you, great!! If it helps you to understand why snus does such a good job for you, great!! But there's not any reality to saying, "I'm in quadrant 1", or "I'm in quadrant 3", outside of understanding this as a subjective model.

Once could argue for or against the basic premises of the model, 1) that there's variable addition/efficacy profiles in individuals to nicotine and tobacco MAOI's, and 2) that crossing these arguable scales to create quadrants results in data that has any real meaning.

It's just a tool.
cigarbabe and ~Sue~Feb2012 like this.


  1. tescela's Avatar
    So you are saying that this is gospel, and that challenging it in any way is heresy???
  2. Tetsab's Avatar
    Guilty as charged, your honour. I have used the tool. And I would argue strongly in favour of the validity of your premises and the utility of such a concise manner of expressing a wide range of human experience.

    I have described myself as probably falling into your 3rd quartile/quadrant on a few occasions, including most recently the "Nicotine, are we getting it..." thread. I simply felt it was a useful shorthand within the confines of ECF to describe my own experience; which is that vaping, while enormously useful to me, does fail to provide me with everything which I used to expect to obtain from smoking tobacco. If I was feeling particularly pedantic I might even say that I believe I probably fall somewhere in the 3rd quadrant, likely [I]close[/I] to the 4th.

    As it goes, I was already aware that tobacco smoke included MAOIs and as a long term/multiple episode depression sufferer ([I]not[/I] self-diagnosed) had quite independently concluded that this very possibly at least partially explained all my previous abject failures to separate myself from the dread weed. I'd stumbled across the information quite a few years ago and mentally filed it under the "Hmmm... interesting" category. I was not aware that these MAOIs (or indeed nicotine) were alkaloids although I did know that many other psychoactive (and sometimes addictive) plant components were, and am grateful to you for extending my general knowledge to include this.

    C'mon, DVap - if you didn't feel there was some value in the model why on earth did you take the trouble to describe it in the first place? Let alone spend all the many, many hours involved in producing and then trialling WTA? Take credit where it is due! Yes, it is just a model, just a tool - but it is a USEFUL tool.

    The model certainly struck an immediate chord with me as something which I promptly added in to my personal "Hmmm... Useful. Makes Sense" category. Most of us, whether consciously or unconsciously, synthesize our own personal world view from such nuggets of information which we come across and find relevant within the context of our own personal experiences.

    I fully appreciate that addiction is a highly complex field; but equally, what is actually 'known' about it must always have been researched in a scientific sense following on from observation of the behaviour of, and personal reporting by, those who have been classified as addicts. Thus it is a field which is and always has been dependent on anecdotal evidence in the first instance - which is almost certainly true of many, many medical advances.

    I do actually have a bit of an issue with the way that some elements within the medical and scientific communities sometimes display a bizarre readiness to dismiss anecdotal evidence. Simply because evidence is anecdotal does not of necessity render it either invalid or inaccurate, arbitrarily excluding it might even constitute bias when the topic at hand is how something subjectively affects individuals.

    In addition, while addiction may not be your own specialist field of expertise, this does not of necessity invalidate your ability to make perfectly good observations and formulate theories which may be just as likely to be correct as someone who has specialised in addiction. Scientific skepticism undoubtedly has it's place but I don't think you should allow this to inhibit your entitlement to hold an opinion which others may share if they find it meshes so well with their own experience.

    ECF members in general are actually a fairly new and unique societal group and their observations regarding their experiences with nicotine represent a data resource which has never previously existed and could not therefore have been evaluated by any 'expert' parties at any time in the past.

    I believe the time and effort you have freely given to the vaping community in developing the whole WTA concept through to tangible reality and even informal trials is both appreciated and valued greatly by many, including myself. Thankyou.

    If I have offended by making use of your tool in public, I apologise without reservation.
  3. JW50's Avatar
    It seems as if some of the links I leave in posts end up at the same "unfound" location. But I will try again with this one: [url=http://medicalxpress.com/news/2011-05-reining-nicotine-midbrain-habenula-region.html]Reining in nicotine use: Midbrain habenula region plays key role in nicotine dependence[/url]
    I am not sure I fully appreciate research like that mentioned at this link. But with some jest in mind, it may be that aversion to drinking water containing nicotine might be a sure sign for a 2 or 3 category individual.
  4. Ronda's Avatar
    Great information, great link. I'd guess I'm in Cat 4, and I'd sure love to get some WTA juice to test my supposition.

    Sure, they are theories not "Laws" and so they are subject to scrutiny and testing. Isn't that the value of the scientific method? The danger, as Dvap points out, is when we treat theories like laws, and forget they are just a way to begin to make sense out of information we are gathering. Too many times, laymen, as many of us here are, forget this very important distinction, and get tied up in defending a theory we've become fond of, rather than examining the data and testing the theory to get to an even better, more accurate and useful model. Heck, plenty of trained scientist fall victim to this! Great reminder!
  5. DVap's Avatar
    I guess I had to kinda warn others and myself that sometimes we can begin to think we know what we're talking about. At times such as these, we need to take a step back and laugh at ourselves!
  6. Pathfinder's Avatar
    Well I don't know much about AMOI's. But I do know I quit analogs only when I upped the nicotine level of my juice to 30mg's and started to feel a bit queasy. I gradually reduced the levels though and am now vaping at around 14 mg's. Very interesting about the AMOI's though. Also found the video by the Vapeteam (Episode 25) interviewing a Doctor who has done testing on vapers and analog users quite interesting as he confirmed the beneficial effects of vaping vs. analogs.