A very interesting study from way back
by, 04-18-2010 at 07:29 AM (826 Views)
(The following is a post I made to the forums that I think is quite interesting, so I've reproduced it here).
This study from 1976 monitors plasma nicotine between 9 AM and 4 PM. It compares smoking a cigarette hourly with chewing a 4 mg piece of nicotine gum hourly (back then, nicotine gum was not yet approved but it was the same principle used currently...nicotine bound to an ion exchange resin with a buffer).
The second page (page 1044 of the journal) shows a very interesting graph (table 1) comparing plasma nicotine concentration for the cigarette versus the gum.
We can see the rapid plasma nicotine spike after each cigarette is smoked, and the equally rapid plasma nicotine drop as the acute dosing ends after 5 minutes of smoking. The effect of what appears to be about a one hour (or less!) half-life is dramatically illustrated.
With the gum, plasma nicotine starts up slowly and just keeps rising through the day without the dramatic drop off seen with cigarettes. By the end of the day, the gum has built up a plasma nicotine level comparable to the cigarettes, but without the dramatic drop offs.
Simply looking at the data between 9 and 10 AM gives a deceptive picture. (I'll call it the "Eissenberg Fallacy", if I may be so snarky). The cigarette appears to beat the gum handily. But keep monitoring throughout the day, and the tortoise... I mean the gum... catches up with the hare... I mean the cigarettes... and provides a comparable peak plasma nicotine level, but without the deep dropoffs between doses.
I'm glad I found this study, it really illustrates what I've been trying to get at. I believe the behavior of ecigs would approximate the behavior of the gum as demonstrated in this study.
Bottom line, you can't just test for an hour and get the whole picture.