Nicotine is made in tobacco plants as a natural pesticide. Even though naturally occurring, it has ultimately been commercialised to be used as a plantation crop insecticide, as its toxicity is regarded as very deadly. This use-case is frequently mentioned as a massive negative for nicotine use by people, but in fact the levels of nicotine in commercially made insecticide are so significantly more than the quantity absorbed from cigarette smoking or vaping as to be virtually immaterial.
So why is it ‘addictive’? The best known scientific data shows that due to nicotine's chemical likeness to acetylcholine, it’s an incredibly powerful dopamine stimulant.
It’s this connection between nicotine and dopamine that is the primary focus of nicotine ‘addiction’. Dopamine is commonly thought to be the "pleasure chemical" in the human brain. Dopamine pathways are the main control mechanism providing the reward aspect for our survival, encouraging us to eat, drink, and socialise. Variable levels of dopamine are construed as our desires and cravings, and dopamine is a complicated and significant component of our body's chemical balances in almost everything involving our existence.
Dopamine is also extensively featured in recreational substance abuse, along with other neurotransmitters like serotonin. In a nutshell, if there is more dopamine going around the brain, we come to feel better, more content, and more optimistic.
Therefore, once the connection between nicotine and dopamine is made, it is arguable that the dependency is really to dopamine and the enjoyment it provides. And it is a true addiction, just like alcohol dependency or illegal drugs. Counselors and experts concur that for somebody hooked on nicotine, there is no option but continuation or total cessation. Nevertheless, many of these hypotheses have been established over a long time in accordance with the physical harm brought on by the nicotine delivery system, formerly incinerated tobacco. By separating nicotine from the damage the cigarette smoking does, we will be stepping into completely new and probably unfamiliar ground.
Except it can be verified that stimulating dopamine in the human brain leads to significant long-term harm, which would tend to contradict the prevalence of antidepressant medications, then it is difficult to see that there is a lot of harm in the regular use of non-tobacco delivered nicotine stimulation. The usual profile of a nicotine "addict" is that they are not able to visualize their long-term existence devoid of the drug. This makes clear the reason why successful quitters are in the minority.
We have a cultural concern right here, that will take several decades to do away with. Presently, almost 20 times more individuals in the western world are killed by tobacco than by all illegal drugs put together. It isn't the nicotine that is destroying these people, but the nicotine is driving them to continue to take in the harmful substances found in cigarette smoke.
So it's correct! Nicotine creates substance dependence. Numerous studies demonstrate that nicotine dependence is not unlike caffeine addiction, and although there exists a lot of folklore about caffeine, no one is stepping in to make an effort to prohibit coffee, or Costa would be bankrupt next week!
Although it is a fact that people smoke cigarettes primarily due to nicotine, nicotine consumers die primarily due to the smoke!
Just like caffeine, lots of people claim benefits from nicotine, like elevated concentration and focus, increased work productivity, and a decrease in attention deficit issues. Other people experience respite from tension, nervousness, or panic, although the chances are these problems tend to be more mental than physical, where the action of smoking (should it be a proper cigarette or an e-cigarette) is the reward itself, and that the user is mentally trained to think that this can decrease their nervousness or tension. It would be disingenuous to point out that anyone should take up nicotine as a lifestyle choice, but there's little doubt that in many users these performance-enhancing features make a positive impact on their existence.
There is a well-known debate making the rounds in a few (primarily regulatory) communities that smoke free nicotine may be viewed as a gateway drug to tobacco use. This is entirely speculation and is immaterial to harm reduction, particularly when we're considering individuals who already smoke cigarettes and who might change to e-cigarettes. There is absolutely no reason to suggest that somebody who is satisfied or even hooked on nicotine by E-Cig consumption might actually substitute cigarettes to get a bigger or superior high! This is particularly true as the e-cigarettes user is capable of taking in far more nicotine daily than might be realistic from using tobacco.
A study of the current research proves that although there might be unidentified harms coming down the line from nicotine replacement, the vast order of magnitude of safety in comparison with using tobacco renders the medical, cultural, or physical perils of non-smoking nicotine ingestion practically negligible. It would be also disingenuous to state unconditionally that nicotine dependency does not cause damage, but it's very difficult to get any proof of a life threatening problem.
There is no obvious answer to whether nicotine dependency is dangerous, however one incredibly prestigious academia-based group www.tobaccoharmreduction.org makes the following statement:
“Some supporters often believe that addiction is a dreadful illness itself (regardless of them not even having a good classification for it). If you are hooked on a thing, these folks believe you need to give it up, even when it is doing you more good than harm. They evidently would have you endure the anguish of giving up, and perhaps continuing unpleasantness of desiring something you cannot have simply because you are "addicted". We believe this is ridiculous, as well as utterly mean. We recognize that when somebody is obsessive about a thing and neglects the rest of their life, or is compelled to do something that damages them, then helping them give up is a worthwhile objective. However when somebody has a habit that is not damaging them a lot, then why must we make their lives unpleasant and demand that they quit.
Obviously, cigarette smoking does damage people a great deal, but nicotine does not have to. It is depressing and irritating that many people are so obsessive about finishing dependence on nicotine, instead of decreasing the health impact of using nicotine, that they tell all cigarette users that they have to quit completely, and if they do not give up, they might as well light up and die from it.
As well as making it mandatory that people enjoy the unpleasantness of giving up, this has dreadful health consequences. Because so many individuals who make an effort to give up smoking are unsuccessful, this mindset dooms huge numbers of people to pass away needlessly from their nicotine habit.