Our thoughts on nicotine
We at eSmokes do not encourage the use of nicotine as well as any other stimulant. What we support is the use of nicotine in e-cigarettes as an alternative to nicotine via cigarettes (which contains a variety of other dangerous substances). Many of our customers have to make that choice. We do not recommend anyone who does not smoke to start using nicotine. However, quitting smoking using another source of nicotine has proven to be the most effective way. In that field, e-cigarettes have proven to be the most effective method, superior to nicotine gum, nicotine spray, nicotine patches and similar methods.
Our mission is to help people stop smoking cigarettes. All products we sell are approved for marketing in Sweden. We do not sell to anyone under the age of 18.
What is nicotine?
Nicotine can be extracted in two ways and one way is the traditional way, from a tobacco plant. Nicotine can also be produced synthetically, which is becoming more common in our industry. Nicotine is also found in other plants (potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant), but the nicotine content is so low that the substance has no effect. In the medical community, the general belief is that nicotine carries few health risks. The International Agency for Cancer Research has shown that nicotine, for example, does not cause cancer, as many believe. This is an outdated notion based on ignorance and belief that the dangerousness in a cigarette is the nicotine, an assumption which is false.
Rather, tar, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, arsenic and the over 8,000 other substances in tobacco smoke are the real danger. Of the 8,000 substances, where around 250 are known to be directly harmful to the smoker as well as the people who are in its vicinity. Furthermore, out of those 250 substances it's scientifically proven that nearly 60 of them are carcinogenic. Thus, there are 60 (SEXTIO) substances in a cigarette that can cause cancer and kill you. There are also 60 substances that can develop cancer not only in you, but also in your children, your partner and other people you hold dear.
Misunderstandings about nicotine
The misconception we often encounter is that nicotine is perceived as synonymous with tobacco, and is therefore very dangerous. Since the harmful effects of nicotine are a common misconception, it's important that we talk about nicotine. What is worth mentioning is that nicotine never contains tobacco, neither in e-cigarettes nor other nicotine products for smoking cessation.
The other common misconception about nicotine used in e-cigarettes is that just that nicotine has not been tested enough, and is at least as bad as nicotine from regular cigarettes. And that's wrong, simply because e-juice used in e-cigarettes contains Propylene Glycol and Vegetable Glycerin, flavor concentrates and nicotine. While a cigarette contains thousands of chemicals tar, arsenic and other subjects that will kill you.
When it comes to the harmfulness of cigarettes, the combustion (with fire) is what is really harmful, at that point the really dangerous chemicals are being released. To solve this the tobacco industry have developed hybrids of e-cigarettes where a real cigarette is used in conjunction with a battery that evaporates (rather than burns) the tobacco. The smoker then gets vapor from the cigarette instead of smoke. In this case, since combustion does not occur, it's significantly safer than smoking a regular cigarette, even though a real cigarette is used. When it comes to the use of nicotine, users of e-cigarettes, unlike smokers, have the opportunity to reduce their use of nicotine. A common method of switching from cigarettes to e-cigarettes is the use of high nicotine potency, which is gradually stepped down over a period of time. In an e-cigarette no combustion takes place.
The third and final misconception is that nicotine causes cancer. Since regular cigarettes contain many carcinogens (see above), it's a common general belief that nicotine is also carcinogenic. Research has shown that it's 100% false, nicotine does not cause cancer.
How does nicotine affect your body?
The nicotine itself is an addictive poison that affects the brain so you feel a craving for it. Nicotine provides a physiological addiction that causes you to have withdrawal symptoms if your body lacks the substance, it's nicotine that makes you want to take a cigarette. By switching to nicotine patches, e-cigarettes or similar, the cravings for a cigarette will go away. The nicotine is absorbed into the blood through the mucous membranes of the mouth, the respiratory tract and the nose and then reaches the blood vessels. Important here is to point out that nicotine goes past the placenta, and everything that goes by there is absorbed into the fetal blood. Do not smoke when you are pregnant, or for that matter do not use any other product with nicotine.
Nicotine can cause vomiting and cramps if a very large dose is taken. A smoker consumes about 1mg of nicotine on a cigarette, a weighing horse about the same while a snuff contains around 10mg (however only 10-20% is absorbed through the mucous membranes in the mouth). In order for nicotine to be fatal, approximately 60mg should be taken, which may not be impossible but very, very difficult. The consequences of the supply of nicotine in the body are mainly the dependence, the body's reward system kicks in and the dopamine is distributed in the body. Hello nicotine kick my old friend. Another consequence is that the blood vessels in the skin contracts, the blood vessels in the muscles dilate and the pulse and blood pressure rise.
Are nicotine and caffeine equal?
The most important effect of caffeine is on adenosine receptors and nicotine affects acetylcholine receptors in the brain. Nicotine causes relaxation while caffeine makes you alert. Although caffeine and nicotine are stimulants, they are not the same. They can be explained as equal, but they can also be explained as very different. Regardless of anyones belief, this argument should never be used to convince people to start using nicotine because it is harmless. In our work, we have heard arguments for comparing nicotine with caffeine. This can be considered both correct but also incorrect, depending on how far in the subject you involve yourself. There are obvious similarities - both nicotine and caffeine are stimulants. Both speed up the heart rate and increase cognitive function. Both are addictive.
Are e-cigarettes as dangerous as cigarettes?
E-cigarettes are not harmless. But they are much better than the alternative, as much as 95% better according to England's equivalent of our Swedish Medicines Agency called Public Health England. Read their report which also talks about how half of the English population still think e-cigarettes are as dangerous as cigarettes. The point that we continue to raise is that e-cigarettes, to be sure, are a much healthier alternative compared to regular cigarettes.
We will always emphasize the benefit of nicotine when it comes to quitting smoking regular cigarettes. Whether it can be nicotine patches, nicotine gum or e-cigarette. We have customers who smoke 2 pack of cigarettes a day and have tried to stop smoking for 10 years with all available products. Nothing has worked. But the very second they take their first puff on an e-cigarette, with nicotine, they stopped smoking. They manage to quit smoking because an e-cigarette replaces the need and habit while stilling nicotine cravings while the body begins to clear out all the crap the cigarette has pulled in.
Nicotine or not, the decision is yours. Read more about it, don't take anyone's word for it. Not even ours. Do your own research if you feel skeptical. However, you can take our word for it - stop smoking. You will feel better. We can guarantee that. Contact us if you have any questions about nicotine that you have not received an answer to in this article.
For further reading:
- 1177: Rökning och snusning (Swedish)
- New England Journal of Medicine: A Randomized Trial of E-Cigarettes versus Nicotine-Replacement Therapy (English)
- Svenska Dagbladet: Studie - E-cigaretter bättre än plåster och tuggummi (Swedish, regarding above mentioned studie)
- Cancer Research UK: E-cigarette safety (English)
- Treatobacco: Nicotine vs tobacco smoke (English)
Sincerely, Niklas Sandin