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Nicotine Myth Busted - Nicotine does not cause adiction IMO

Discussion in 'Nicotine' started by John Phoenix, Apr 16, 2012.

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  1. John Phoenix

    John Phoenix Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 12, 2011
    New Orleans
    This is information I have discovered by over a year and a half of research into cigarettes, nicotine and addiction.

    There is a Nicotine Addiction Myth floating around that says Nicotine is the active ingredient in tobacco that keeps you addicted to smoking cigarettes.

    Everyone believes and likes to repeat it. This is a LIE.

    The truth is the effects of nicotine are only a very small part of what causes you to be addicted to cigarette smoking.

    Scientifically, Nicotine by itself is only a mild central system stimulant similar to caffeine and has very mild addictive properties also much like caffeine. Nicotine is also a vascular constrictor, also like caffeine.

    If it were for nicotine alone, no one would be addicted to smoking cigarettes. Do you see people chronically addicted to drinking coffee where they must have many cups a day to keep chasing the buzz? Of course not. There are some chain coffee drinkers but this is largely by choice, not by strong caffeine addiction. It's the same way with nicotine in tobacco.

    So why then are we addicted to smoking cigarettes?

    Many users of tobacco products that are natural or use a pure form of nicotine without the smoke, do not suffer from nicotine addiction. These are users of electronic cigarettes, Swedish snus, and locally farm grown natural tobacco.

    How can this be?

    Big tobacco processed cigarette smoke contains over 4000 chemicals. 69 of these chemicals are known to the state of California to cause cancer. Nicotine is Not one of these chemicals. The scientific community has not even identified all of these 4000 chemicals nor can they tell you what effect they have on the human body !!

    People who switch from Big Tobacco cigarette smoking to a more natural form of tobacco as mentioned above will tell you, they do feel the nicotine effect But there is something missing. This feeling of something missing is what people addicted to smoking crave and are really addicted to. It is also what causes many quit smoking programs that use alternative smoking substances to fail.

    People simply are obviously addicted to something else in the cigarette smoke than nicotine alone.

    You may have experienced this yourself trying to quit smoking using the Nicotine Parches, Gums, Lozenges etc. Those products all have very low success rates.

    Why? They don't satisfy the smokers appetite for the cigarette smoke they are meant to replace.

    If it isn't Nicotine that has a strong hold on the smoker then, what is it?

    Frankly, we don't know the whole story yet. We do know that the Big Tobacco Industry uses 599 extra added chemicals in the processing of tobacco. Chemicals that have way stronger addictive properties than nicotine in it's natural form.

    We also know that the Big Tobacco Industry uses Ammonia to create a free based non natural form of nicotine to make the mildly addictive nicotine, much, much stronger. Think of this like nicotine crack.

    Nicotine in it's natural form also does not kill from smoking cigarettes, much like no one ever dies from drinking coffee.

    Nicotine does not cause cancer, does not cause heart disease, does not cause lung disease. Experts say nicotine in it's natural form have only about the same health risks associated with it's use as coffee drinkers.

    Why then has Nicotine gotten such a bad rap?

    There are two reasons. 1) Most every study you see that says nicotine is bad for you is a study on cigarette smoke. They do not separate the nicotine and the smoke.

    Those studies are all flawed. It's the smoke that causes illness and death. Smoke itself is full of deadly carcinogens - it doesn't need nicotine to make you ill and eventually kill you.

    2) Since knowledge of the Big Tobacco Industry had withheld studies on the harmful effects of nicotine (the free based crack like nicotine they created in the lab)found it's way to the public, they have been vigilant to keep any other studies of the other 4000 chemicals found in cigarette smoke well hidden from public view.

    Many now believe it is some of these 4000 chemicals in conjunction with the free based form of nicotine that creates a chemical cocktail that has very strong addictive properties.

    In conclusion

    Nicotine is taking the blame for something it hasn't done. Public perception, the media and lack of study and understanding the issues are what continues to allow this lie to propagate. Nicotine alone in it's pure or natural form is not responsible for cigarette smoking addiction nor is it a killer. The truth can be found when you look at these issues in the proper context as a whole.

    Clearly more hard core scientific research into these issues needs to be studied in an unbiased controlled manner. Sadly, this has not been done yet by the scientific community.

    Thank you for reading my post.

    John Phoenix
  2. John1952

    John1952 Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 27, 2012
    United States
    All I have is anecdotal evidence from a sample of one: me.

    When I started vaping, I had absolutely no withdrawal symptoms from my 40-year cigarette addiction. Chemically, the only thing that cigs and vaping have in common is the nicotine. Therefore, I would conclude that I was/am addicted to nicotine. But cigs and vaping share other other behavioral aspects, of course. And that's what made is so easy for me.

    Clearly, people vary a lot in their response to stopping smoking. But to claim that nicotine is not addictive is stretching it, IMHO.
  3. John Phoenix

    John Phoenix Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 12, 2011
    New Orleans
    I don't think I'm stretching anything at all. I even sited the scientists contention that nicotine can be mildly addictive. On the contrary, what I debunk is the notion that nicotine is " The main active ingredient, in tobacco smoke that is responsible for addiction".

    I believe this is clearly false and has not been proven as a truth or a fact that can be backed up by the observable evidence.

    You say you had no withdrawal symptoms. Have you tried going for any long period of time without an e-cig and did you find yourself climbing the walls like you did when you smoked? If you tried this and didn't climb the walls this shows that the addiction's pull is not there like it was with cigarette smoking. This is many peoples experience.

    Yes, vaping I believe helped lessen the withdrawals so much so, that many people don't experience them, but I believe the body detoxed from the chemicals in tobacco smoke that were the most addictive. This is why many people find it so easy to cut down their nicotine intake with e-cigs. ( so easy in fact they could never do that with cigarettes) The nicotine we have in e-cigs by itself, simply doesn't have strong addictive properties, showing it must be something more causing addiction than nicotine alone.
  4. redbucket

    redbucket Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 18, 2011
    I think it is the tinfoil in the packages.
  5. Gingerzeronic

    Gingerzeronic Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 18, 2012
    I think nicotine is very mildly addictive. It's the millions of habitual cues that are the problem. With other drugs, you take them in fairly limited environments. Maybe you stand at the kitchen counter to take a pain pill or maybe you slip into a crack house to smoke or maybe you use X at a rave. All those drugs are much more addictive than nicotine but you aren't really doing them all the time. With analogs, you smoke when you get up, when you read, drive, or take a break, after you eat, before you go to a non-smoking venue, etc.

    When I started to break myself of the habit (Carr's book was very helpful), I was surprised at how little bothered I was by not smoking. Thinking about not smoking and fearing the process was much, much worse than doing it. Vaping got me started but I don't need it now and I dropped down to zero nic very quickly - like in a week.

    If nicotine was the real culprit, I couldn't have done it that fast.

    We've all been terrorized and brainwashed by the government, the drug companies, the cig companies, the health care people, and our friends. They tell us smoking is just as bad of an addiction as ...... but I'm here to say that no puking, shaking, or sweating is involved with stopping cigs or nic.
  6. VaporPhreak

    VaporPhreak Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 30, 2009
    Indianapolis, IN
    I cannot say with any scientific authority that what has been presented by the OP is or is not correct. However, let me tell my story and you can take from it what you will.

    I started smoking with a pipe and some organically grown pipe tobacco which had natural cherry and vanilla flavoring added during the curing process. I smoked 1 maybe 2 servings a day and occasionally went without for a day or two depending on where i was and finances (the tobacco was really expensive.) After a year, due to finances, I switched to a national (big tobacco) brand, and realized before long I was smoking 4 - 5 servings a day. Eventually, within a year of the switch, I swapped to cigarettes mostly to get my fix faster and again for financial reasons. I smoked around a pack a day for 7 more years of whatever brand I could afford at the time. If I was at a party or otherwise drinking I could easily turn that 1 pack into 2 - 2.5. For those 7 years I felt like crap, almost always. If I wasnt smoking I was down, not clinically depressed down, but not 100% either. But when I got the chance to smoke, i felt better... for a while... After those 7 years I switched to American Spirit branded cigs, which are organically grown with no additives. At first i felt something was missing. I was down, but I had a carton of the things so I was damned well gonna smoke them. By the end of that carton, I no longer felt down. In fact I was great the majority of the time and I found that the amount I smoked went down. I dropped down to half to 3/4 of a pack a day depending on what I was doing without any intention what so ever. Then after 2 more years, I heard about vaping and decided to make the switch. I felt something was missing when i switched, but not nearly as much as when I switched to American Spirit from other cigs. Within 3 days I no longer had this feeling, and have been vaping happily ever since. That was almost 3 years ago now, and I find myself easily able to go a day or more without vaping with no withdrawal effects. I have also been able to greatly reduce my nic intake. I went from using 24mg in my first few months of vaping to 10mg. I could easily go lower, but i enjoy the throat hit at the 10mg mark.

    This is just my story, take it for what you will. However, i am inclined to agree with several points from the OP. Nicotine is certainly mildly addictive, but only mildly. No more than caffeine surely. There are studies that show that BT uses many different additives in the tobacco for various reasons: to preserve, to flavor, to allow the paper to go out if its not toked on, etc. Some of those are surely adding to the addiction factor. Whether by design or by coincidence, I cannot concretely say as I didnt order them to be put in there. But I do not personally believe in coincidence. Happy Vaping!
  7. Startle

    Startle Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 31, 2012
    NY, NY
    Great read and very informative piece John Phoenix!

    While anything (substance, activity, ect...) can become physically or psychologically addictive to a person for whatever reason, I concur that there are definitely physically addicting substances being added to processed tobacco.

    It's all comes down to desire for profit before human well being unfortunately. And no doubt if the big tobacco companies become involved in the vape industry guess what will be in the juice...

    Best course of action is to at least familiarize yourself with DIY pertaining to both juice and hardware IMO. It may come in handy someday...

    Vape On!
  8. tinajfreeman

    tinajfreeman Super Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 27, 2010
    Jacksonville, FL
    Nicotine is definitely mildly addictive, but I tend to agree with OP that my addiction was much worse when I was on cigs. I started out vaping 18-24 mg like a madwoman breaking away from cigs, but soon naturally transitioned to 6-12 mg, and now can go long periods of time without vaping without going crazy. I still vape heavily, but it seems like it is more because I WANT to (I love vaping), not because I have to.

    I sometimes switch to 0 nic, but keep coming back to 6-12 because the throat hit is better with some nicotine. Plus the stimulant effect on my brain seems to clear my head.

    But I don't get "nic fits" like I did when I was smoking. There was something else in those cigs that made my cravings worse than they are now.
  9. Gingerzeronic

    Gingerzeronic Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 18, 2012
    It's mostly in the mind. For those who love vaping and are happy with it - great!

    For those who are looking at vaping as a way for quitting - it's easier than you think. You don't have to spend months stepping down if you don't want to. In fact, that's just expensive and kind of tortuous. Step it down fast and you'll be surprised at how easy it is.

    It's the fear that nothing will be the same or as good that's eating at you. Everything you enjoyed before is still enjoyable. At the worst, you may have to tell people, "I need a break" if you have been using cig breaks to distance yourself from unwanted communication. Just walk away from them for 15 minutes.

    You'll be fine.;)
  10. Forkeh

    Forkeh Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 16, 2012
    I think the nicotine-crack produced by the chemical reaction of ammonia and combustion is absolutely as addictive as they say. Natural nicotine? I'm not so sure. Also, something to think about, when you stop smoking analogs, your body has to detox from all the nasty chemicals and garbage cigs put into it. Detox feels bloody awful. Continuing to smoke avoids the detox. I think that's one of the reasons that smokers feel so "down" when they try and quit, or have to go without. I don't think it's entirely due to the nicotine; I think it's also the nature of the detox process. Whether a smoker realizes it or not, I truly believe that avoiding the very unpleasant process of eliminating those chemicals and toxins plays a big part of addiction.
  11. bodrell

    bodrell Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 15, 2010
    That was an impassioned OP, but with not a single cite or reference, I don't find it persuasive at all. (Except the part about BT manipulating nic levels in cigarettes to make them more addictive, which is certainly true.) John Phoenix, you make a whole lot of claims and definitive statements in your post - do you have reputable cites for each one of them? You say you "sited" scientists, but you didn't. A cite is a link or reference to a peer-reviewed study, paper or analysis that proves, or at least indicates, that the writer isn't pulling facts out of thin air, or making them up.

    Pure nicotine isn't a benign substance. It's so toxic to mammals that its use as an insecticide has been banned in several countries, including the USA. ml for ml, it is more toxic than ........ It's a very potent poison and affects most systems of the body. One of my 30 ml juice bottles, were I to drink it, may well kill me. It's a very potent chemical - and interestingly enough, although toxic, also has some beneficial phamacological uses. (Each of the preceding statements is cited in the link below.) :)

    I did a little googling around and the easiest link I have for a cite is wikipedia - which might not always be 100% accurate but always has a long list of cites at the bottom of each article so readers can reference and follow links and learn more.
    Nicotine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Now, do I believe vaping is less harmful than smoking? HECK yes! My own purely anecdotal (and thus scientifically invalid LOL) experience tells me this alone - I am breathing better, smelling better, and not coughing at all now! I'm not drawing smoke laden with burning nicotine plus countless added chemicals into my body several hundred times per day. I LOVE vaping. But I'm not fooling myself that it's 100% benign...drawing anything but clean air into one's lungs probably isn't optimal, health-wise.

    BTW - for 37 years, I've hand-rolled my cigarettes using imported European/Turkish shag tobacco blends, which to the best of my knowledge contain few if any additives. I think a little VG to keep them moist in some brands - I smoked mostly Bali Shag or Drum. No filters, and I use French cigarette papers, which have no saltpeter added (this keeps tailor-made cigarettes burning; RYO smokes frequently go out because the papers aren't impregnated with stuff....I think that changed recently when the FDA made manufacturers of tailor-mades add something to make them go out to be less of a fire hazard) so in terms of smoking, I was a pretty "clean" smoker. All my non-smoking friends over the years have told me I didn't really smell like a smoker; I think because of what I smoked. But on a 1-10 scale of addictedness, I was (am) about a 20.

    tl;dr: Vaping is fantastic and almost certainly much less harmful than smoking. But nicotine is not a benign substance.
  12. zapped

    zapped Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Good job on the OP but there are several half-truths used to support your argument.Mainly that nicotine isnt all that addictive or even harmful.I happen to agree with you about the 20000 other chemicals found in cigarettes in respect to their addictive qualities and harmful effects but it undermines your argument when you say that nicotine isnt addictive.Ounce for ounce its more addictive than morphine or .......Its so dangerous thats its measured in milligrams, less than a half a gram of nicotine is enough to kill a horse.
  13. cricque

    cricque Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 2, 2011
    Leuven, Belgium
    Well for me it's not the nicotine, I used to need a smoke after a meeting/or during a break etc. Now when we have a break during a meeting or the meeting is done ... I am like, shall I vape or not. I do not need it anymore. I used to light an analog the split second after I started my car ... Now I perhaps vape like when I am already driving 5 minutes

    I do not need it anymore ... I use the nicotine to get the throat hit. Because 0mg, I am missing the throat hit, but currently with my DIY using 8/9mg or so. If I can find anything that would give me the same throat hit without the nicotine, i'll use that
  14. jamentertainment

    jamentertainment Super Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 4, 2011
    rhode island
    I have to say that its the nicotine for me and the routine of smoking/vaping...But they have to be together because the patch or gum would not cut it either, I tried the blu and there was not enough to satisfy, I tried the original ego and the foam burnt taste was gross, but when the ego t came out and i could get a constant 24mg vape with flavor and TH..I never went back to analogs..
  15. Shining Wit

    Shining Wit Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Oct 11, 2008
    North of England UK
    Your comment about the throat-hit is the most interesting to me. I am embarking on a project to assist an EU University with cognitive trials, particularly using a zero-nicotine liquid that gives a throat-hit, to further research into the efficacy of electronic cigarettes in harm reduction. I have done informal blind tests and found that most users are satisfied if they get the throat-hit, irrespective of nicotine content. Being able to do this as part of a structured, scientific trial should provide more valuable information. I'll keep you informed of how the trials progress.

    Best wishes

  16. Stubby

    Stubby Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 22, 2009
    Madison, WI USA
    I smoked the same type of RYO as you and can say without a doubt it is every bit as addictive as more processed Camels or Marlboros. I now use snus as my main source of nicotine and can say without a doubt that it is certainly addictive. The only difference between the two is that smokeless tobacco hits slower then smoking, which took me a few months to adjust to.

    It is a common myth that tobacco companies are manipulating cigarettes to be more addictive. This was started by the ANTZ and is little more then propaganda with little to no facts to back it up. Tobacco is addictive and needs little to no help from tobacco companies to make it more so. Many vapors, including the OP have found it convenient to play along with the myth of big bad tobacco companies manipulating cigarettes to make them more addictive. It's bogus.

    Tobacco companies manipulate cigarettes, not to make them more addictive, as it really doesn't need any help with that, but for flavor and consistency. Smoking a cigarette gives an almost instant hit of nicotine to the brain. There is little that BT could do to improve on it. Some percentage of people who vape have found it possible to cut down on nicotine, but others have not cut down and find it is not reasonable to do so. Others like me have found that the straight nicotine in e-liquid to be very unsatisfying and needed to go to snus and WTA to get off of cigarettes.

    Peoples reaction to tobacco/nicotine is very individual with a lot of variance. You cannot use your own situation and draw large conclusions. It simple doesn't hold up.
  17. LuV2SkRaTcH

    LuV2SkRaTcH Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    May 17, 2012
    Mountain House, CA
    In my opinion, both nicotine and caffeine are addictive. People don't often notice their addiction to caffeine because it's not taken like nicotine, typically. Some people take caffeine pills, and they would feel the addiction much more than coffee or soda/tea. Being digested by drinking it gives a slower spike of stimulation and destimulation. Smoking gives a rapid stimulation and thus creating a rapid destimulation, so the urge to get that level of stimulation is higher. For example, ......... (not condoning it or anything): people who smoke ......... get high faster, and the high doesn't last as long as if you were to eat the edible form of the drug. I only used ......... as an example because it's much more noticeable than the "buzz" from nicotine.
  18. denali_41

    denali_41 Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 7, 2011
    Over Der
    the ammonia gets the nic in your system very fast,nic causes a mild euphoric condition,,hence the desire\addiction for nic
  19. kwalka

    kwalka Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Jan 23, 2012
    Clearwater, Florida
    I did not read all the posts just the OP. I went from 2+PAD to exclusive vaping overnight, with little to no withdrawls. It took chain vaping 24 mg to get r done. Now when I tried to lower my nic intake I started to have some serious withdrawls. I lowered it too much too fast. I am now down to mostly 0nic with some 6+8 every now and then. Point is I had a lot more trouble lowering strait nic vs switching altogether. Case study, test subject kwalka......... :2c:
  20. Golitopia

    Golitopia Full Member

    Jun 7, 2012
    Deeside, Wales, UK
    Very interesting thread, but like a few of the other comments, I think the OP has been a little to liberal in their use of TinFoil! ;)

    Nicotine is addictive. Its proved by the way vaping has been so successful in changing people over from cigarettes. If we were all so convinced that we were happy to just puff out water vapour, there wouldn't be a quiting industry!

    Caffeine is addictive - its why I get headaches if I haven't had enough coffee - and the same is true for loads of other natural products. We just notice nicotine because its taxed!

    One point about the dangerous things put into tobacco is that it isn't all done on purpose. For instance, the Polonium210 that get highlighted by many anti smoking types actually comes from the fertilizer used to grow the tobacco. They don't use it in Turkey, hence the reason Turkish tobacco is seen as purer!

    Anyway - thought I would add my 2 units of currency! ;)
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