This is information I have discovered by over a year and a half of research into cigarettes, nicotine and addiction. I believe the science is sound via my research although I am not a FDA Big Pharmaceutical Company approved "Medical Doctor".
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.
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. I will provide links to sources soon as I do not have them all on hand at the moment.
"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."
I find this statement erroneous. As someone who has a noticeable caffeine addiction, if I don't get a soda or something on my days off I will easily be sleepy earlier in the day and will usually have a headache after two days in a row without a coffee or soda.
Between this, some other large claims you've made, and the fact that it's been 7 months without you producing your sources, I find this article to be quite suspect.
Could be smoking satisfies an oral fixation (addictive behavior)
Pre-rolled cigs go back to at least the 1920's. Tobacco companies were big then, I'm sure, because smoking was so popular, but they weren't Big like today. A hundred years ago, most of the chemicals used today, and the science that made "free basing" nicotine possible, weren't around. Yet by the 1950's (and probably earlier) people knew cigarettes killed: emphysema, cancer of the throat, vocal chords and mouth, were all known to be caused by cigs, long before science and chemical tampering brought the changes in modern cigs. Prior to the 1920's, pre-rolled cigs were rare and costly, and very few women smoked. By the 1950's, the first generation of heavy smokers had been smoking for anywhere from 25-40 years...and they started getting sick and dying. So tobacco companies put filters on cigs. But smokers, many anyway, didn't enjoy the filtered cigs and stuck to non-filters or tore filters off. Could be that the advent of filtered cigs led to Big Tobacco (big by then anyway) tinkering with tobacco in the first place. No doubt the chemicals are the worst part of cigs; then the oxygen deprivation each time smoke's inhaled; least, but not innocuous, is the nicotine, which must be filtered out by the liver, primarily, adding one more toxin for the poor things to filter out on top of the toxic crud we intake each day just from our environment and diets (smog, heavy metals in our water, chemicals in processed foods, and massive consumption of highly concentrated fructose sugar all filter via the liver...fructose is metabolized same as alcohol in the liver--sugar is alcohol w/out the buzz as far as our livers are concerned). So while nicotine may not cause cancer directly it may help push an over-taxed liver into cancer.
This is a very good and informative article about the nicotine addiction, at first I was like, how it is possible? Now, I think that I need to find out more before going to any conclusion. Thanks for taking our attention towards this.
I've been Smoking 2 packs of cigs for the past 35 years and am now quitting using a e cig and you are correct there is something missing and that is the chemicals that make cigarettes addictive the nicotine (small addictive is being covered by e cig) but the chemical withdrawals are what are very hard the good thing is because I`ve been smoking so long I`m doing it with Doctors care and he tells me that the chemical addiction withdraws only last about 10 days. so I only have about 3 or 4 more days of feeling like im going to die.
Your statement that nicotine does not cause addiction is simply not true. I found a 2012 journal immediately using the journal database CINAHL called "Uncovering the Basis of Nicotine Addiction" by Mark Greener published in Nurse Prescribing that explains how nicotine itself (not just smoking) affects the brain to cause addiction. Your post does not list any sources at all but your post's view count is high, and this is extremely concerning. You are posting your non-evidenced-based beliefs as facts. That is dangerous to your readers. It muddles the waters when they are trying to figure out if they should really be worried about their nicotine use or roll their eyes at medical advice meant to protect them from harm.
Nicotine by itself is not as addictive as cigarettes. It's the potpourri of chemicals alongside nicotine that cause the addiction to be extremely strong. Everyone is looking for sources. OK, studies show that other nicotine delivery products are not as addictive as cigarettes. Chapter 21,"crack nicotine" from the book golden holocaust talks about what tobacco companies do to make cigarettes the most addictive thing out there.