Thursday, October 6, 2011

Nicotine--not a cause of relapse to smoking

Many folks believe that if a smoker switches to a different source of nicotine, it is inevitable that he or she will start smoking again. But is that true? 

It's true that people who use the pharmaceutical nicotine products like the patch, gum, lozenges and prescription inhalers are likely to start smoking again. But nicotine isn't the cause of these relapses. It's the absence of nicotine. These products come with directions to stop using them after 12 weeks. This is not because GlaxoSmithKline knows of any danger involved in using the products longer. It's because that's how long the testing lasted to obtain FDA approval. In real life, when treatment stops, relapse begins.  

Smokers who switch to e-cigarettes (or some other smoke-free source of nicotine) are unlikely to take up smoking again. In the largest population survey of e-cigarette users published, Etter and Bullen noted that 77% of daily user don't smoke at all, and those who are (currently) continuing to smoke have cut their consumption from 25 cigarettes per day to 15. It took me 20 years to reduce from 50 cigarettes per day to 10, and it only took a few days with an e-cigarette to eliminate those last 10 cigarettes. That was 2-1/2 years ago!  The number of e-cigarette consumers reaching 1 year, 2 years, and even 3 years of smoke-free living is growing exponentially. 

Sweden has the lowest smoking rate in the European Union (14%) and the lowest lung cancer rate. But Sweden doesn't have the lowest rate of tobacco use. Many of those former smokers switched to snus, a type of spit-free moist snuff. Swedish smokers who switch to snus tend to stick with it, because they are not inundated with false information telling them that snus is just as harmful as smoking. The facts are that smokers who switch to snus eliminate the elements that cause lung disease because they no longer inhale smoke, and their rates of cancer and heart disease are no higher than ex-smokers who don't use any form of nicotine. 

In the U.S., smokeless tobacco products carry warning labels stating, "This product is not a safe alternative to cigarettes" which 85% of the populace thinks means that using the product is no safer than smoking. So in essence, our warning labels are saying "You might as well smoke." Thus, the biggest roadblock to reducing smoking prevalence may well be the false information disseminated by the tobacco control community. How ironic...and sad!


  1. Having tried e-cigarettes, and having done the research, I have to point out that it isn't JUST nicotine that smokers smoke to get. This explains why smokers who take up e-cigs quite often still smoke regular cigarettes, though in smaller amounts.

    The other thing smokers get from cigarettes is what nicotine turns into when it's fully oxydized -- i.e., burned, which happens when oned actually PUFFS the cigarette -- and that is a chemical called Nicotinic Acid. Nicotinic Acid, a.k.a. Niacin and Vitamin B3, is one of the very few chemicals known to man that causes human nerve cells to regenerate. 'Tis also an odd fact that smokers, while prone to more respiratory diseases than non-smokers, also tend to have lower rates of Alzhneimers and Parkinsons -- and that can be laid at the doorstep of Nicotinic Acid.

    So ya pays yer money and ya takes yer choice.

    --Leslie <;)))><

  2. I tried the 'other' nicotine replacement 'therapies' and found them of no use whatsoever. What was lacking was the inhaling of smoke, or now vapor, and the habit of the hand/mouth 'smoking' that to me was just as strong as nicotine (if not a stronger habit to break). Trading smoking for vaping was the easiest thing I've ever done - and I was certain that after over 40 years I'd surely go to my grave a smoker. I'd say that anyone who took my ecig from me would be playing with my very life, and such an action by any government would be akin to mass murder. (After over a year on the ecig I have thought about lowering my nicotine mg, but I don't believe nicotine is a harmful substance (unless smoked).

  3. I have to disagree with this article. Nicotine and smoking all go hand and hand. The best resolution is to pass the word along to stop smoking. If you can't kick the habit by yourself I would say to you get products from Cigarrest to help kick the habit.

  4. Well, Cigarrest Reviews, I must share with you that Cigarrest was just one of the many products I tried during the 45 years that I smoked that did not work for me. I have not smoked for the past 2 years and 8 months, having replaced smoking with smoke-free alternative sources of nicotine.

    Prior to that time, the longest I ever went without smoking was six of the most painful, dysfunction months of my life when I took the recommended route and gave up all nicotine. The fact that you get along fine without nicotine is NOT proof that everyone can get along fine without it. Chances are that you don't need to take Synthroid every day. I do. I don't need to take insulin, but some people do. No two people are identical and there is an extremely wide range of biological and neurochemical differences.

    At the end of my six months of nicotine abstinence, I told the doctor that I was about to lose my job and asked her for help in returning my brain to normal. She explained that for some people the cognitive problems are permanent. They can't be fixed. They can only be controlled (just as hypothyroidism and diabetes can't be fixed--they can only be controlled.) She had nothing to offer me, and so I made a conscious decision to start smoking again.

    Nicotine works for me to keep these problems manageable, but smoking as a delivery device was ruining my lungs.

    The fact that so many e-cigarette users have been abstinent from smoking for a year, 2 years, and even 3 years shows you that using nicotine does not guarantee a relapse to smoking. During the six months I was off nicotine, I craved a cigarette every day. Now, I don't even think about lighting up. In fact, I can stand in the middle of a smoking section and feel no urges whatsoever. I have seen countless reports from other e-cig users that they, too, have no cravings.

    Furthermore, there are millions of former smokers in Sweden who got that way by switching to a spit-free, low-nitrosamine type of smokeless tobacco product called snus. Since snus has been around many more years than e-cigarettes, there are snus switchers who have remained smoke-free for decades.

    So you see, there is evidence that contradicts the notion that nicotine and smoking must go hand-in-hand. The thing that causes the most relapses is stress. When things get tough, the urge to light up gets bad. That's true for those who become nicotine abtinent. However, if I were going to relapse due to stress, it certainly would have happed during these past 2 years and 8 months. I was my mother's primary caregiver, and watched her slowly lose her mobility and her sanity. She died last Fall. As the only child, I had to take care of all her affairs. Furthermore, my husband has been treated for two types of cancer during this time. Also, I retired. So my life has been far from stress-free. Yet, I remain a former smoker--quite happily.

  5. Cigarest won't even work if you believe what they tell you and are gullible. As long as you don't look for anything more than what they are saying you might quit with "Cigarest" but I'm betting you won't! They have a class action lawsuit against them in Ca. numerous complaints for fraud and scamming plus unauthorized billing. You would do well to stay away from these charlatans.

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