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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Nicotine - Not Addictive

So I have been vaping nicotine professionally for sometime (over six months, in fact).

I haven't had a single issue of addiction - no desire to vape compulsively, no urges to pick up the vape, nothing.

So I started to wonder why I was not falling victim to the "great satan nicotine."  After all, at least according to the NY Times (see this) and Wikipedia, nicotine is more addictive than cocaine or heroin.

I've seen the consequences of these other drugs - not much fun.

But no addiction - no withdrawal when I leave the vape home, even for days.


So what's up with this?

First off I found this link at Discover Magazine. (EDIT: I have contacted the author for specific references to these studies.)

Its kind of an interesting article where you find things like this "In 2005, for instance, researchers at the University of California, Irvine, found that animals self-administer a combination of nicotine and acetaldehyde, an organic chemical found in tobacco, significantly more often than either chemical alone. In 2009, a French team found that combining nicotine with a cocktail of five other chemicals found in tobacco — anabasine, nornicotine, anatabine, cotinine and myosmine — significantly increased rats’ hyperactivity and self-administration of the mix compared with nicotine alone. "

And "’s almost impossible to get laboratory animals hooked on pure nicotine..."

So alone (and its alone in your vape because anabasine and friends are not present there) the nicotine your vape probably produces no addictive effect unless mixed with other chemicals.

This is not the only article.

Another, here,  which says “Studies have shown that none of the nicotine replacement therapies — chewing gum, inhalers, patches — none of those are addictive.”

What?  No addiction?

In fact, the professor who the article was about “I presented this position to 20 of the world’s experts,” he said. “And though some were shocked and insulted, no one could argue that my case was untrue.”

How interesting is this?  Sounds like the same crap the discoverers of H. Pylori (the bacetria the create stomach uclers) when through.  No one believed that the bacteria could live in the stomach of a human, much less cause ulcers.

As I recall and perhaps have written about in one of my posts, they had to resort to infecting themselves with H. Pylori to cause themselves to get ulcers and then curing themselves because no one would believe them.

Ultimately, in 2005, they won the Nobel Prize for their discovery.

Sounds like the same bogus science model - start with a forgone conclusion, e.g., nicotine is addictive, and conduct a study that shows you are correct.

ADDITIONAL STUDIES:  Here is a Nation Institute of Health document with many detailed references to studies showing that its not nicotine alone (as found in vaping relative to other whole tobacco alkaloids) that is addictive.

Another study from Israel (Dr. Reuven Dar) showing that smoking is a habit and not a nicotine-related addiction (Reference here.).

An earlier study from 2005 by Dr. Dar showing similar results.

Another study from New Zealand implicating whole tobacco alkaloids as an important element when combined with nicotine: "The conclusions were that non-nicotinic components have a role in tobacco dependence and that some tobacco products could have higher abuse liability, irrespective of nicotine levels."

UPDATE: The FDA says here, regarding its approved patches and gums, that "although any nicotine-containing product is potentially addictive, decades of research and use have shown that NRT products sold OTC do not appear to have significant potential for abuse or dependence."

1 comment:

  1. In the addiction world we separate "addiction" (persistent use despite negative consequences) from "dependence" (substance use that produces withdrawal symptoms. You can be addicted to a substance without being dependent on it (e.g. meth, marijuana) and vice versa. NIcotine, like caffeine, produces dependence, but not necessarily addiction. Smoking would be an addiction, but since there are no real negative consequences, vaping would not. .