Did you know that nicotine is naturally present in tobacco leaves?
And despite being a substance typical of this plant, we must not forget that it is responsible for the smoking habit. It produces a rapid action on the nervous system that, added to other factors such as the taste or the smoking ritual itself, make it one of the reasons why people smoke. But what really is nicotine? It is an organic compound that occurs only in the tobacco plant, especially in the leaves, which is present in the smoke of traditional cigarettes and causes addiction. What effects does it produce? It has pharmacological effects that include increased heart rate and blood pressure, therefore, as soon as it is absorbed, it reaches the brain where it triggers the release of dopamine and other neurotransmitters. Although its absorption is carried out mainly at the pulmonary level, it can also be done through the oral mucosa and the skin. It is important to remember that the best option is not to start smoking. And for adults who have already acquired the smoking habit, the preferable decision will be to quit. Something that deserves special attention if it comes to people with heart disease, severe high blood pressure or diabetes, and pregnant or breastfeeding women, and of course minors, a group of society that should not use or have access tobacco or any product containing nicotine. The reason? The continued presence of this element produces a temporary and reversible narrowing of the blood vessels, higher blood pressure and an increase in heart rate2. Nicotine and smokeless alternatives After repeated consumption of nicotine, the brain adapts to the presence of this substance and the stimulation it produces, a process that is reversible when a person stops using products that contain this element.
Although it is addictive and its use carries health risks, nicotine is not the main cause of smoking-related illnesses. The source of these health problems is primarily to be found in other harmful and potentially harmful chemicals that are activated when tobacco burns and produces smoke. This is indicated by a study carried out by NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, which indicates that “it is mainly the toxins and carcinogens of tobacco smoke, not nicotine, that cause illness and death”3. For this reason, those smokers who are going to maintain this habit should be aware of the possibility and implications of CombustiOFF, choosing better alternatives that, although they contain nicotine, are smoke-free. Information and Innovation: a balanced perspective
There is a widespread belief about nicotine that is wrong and refers to the role that this substance plays as the main cause of diseases related to smoking. In this sense, there are more than 50 studies that have shown that people’s perception of this component varies, and often they are not correct. For example, in countries such as the United Kingdom or the United States, they see smokeless products that contain nicotine as an alternative to cigarettes. This is indicated by institutions such as Public Health England (PHE) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA). In the case of the British institute, it has analyzed the perception that the population of this country has regarding this substance. They point out that “there is a widespread misunderstanding about nicotine (about 10% of adults understand that most health damage from smoking is not caused by nicotine)”4. On the contrary, in countries like Australia they have formulated more severe restrictions on this element. Under Australian Commonwealth law, consumables containing this component are classified as prescription drug products (with the exception of nicotine patches, gum or spray) or hazardous substances (with the exception of use in therapy or cigarettes). It is important that continuing adult smokers be provided with the necessary and accurate information to be able to choose potentially less harmful alternatives to smoking tobacco products. Even though the best decision for your health is to quit smoking, smoke-free products, backed by science, can play a role in making the change for just those people. What is nicotine? What is the main cause of diseases associated with smoking? 2“Pharmacology of Nicotine: Addiction, Smoking-Induced Disease, and Therapeutics” 2009 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2946180/
3 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, “Smoking: Harm Reduction”, June 2013, https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ph45/chapter/Introduction-scopeand-purpose-of-this-guidance
4 Public Health England, “PHE publishes independent expert e-cigarettes evidence review”, 2018, https://www.gov.uk/government/news/phe-publishes-independent-expert-e-cigarettes-evidence-review