Nicotine – the Truth

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Nicotine – the Truth

Friday 22nd October 2021


Is the nicotine present in tobacco smoke deadly? A recent study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicines may have the answer and it's very worrying.

Let's start with a simple fact. Nicotine is the highly addictive chemical in tobacco, however most disease caused by tobacco use is not directly caused by nicotine but by the thousands of other chemicals present. Far too many American doctors do not understand this simple fact...


The Study

(Nicotine Risk Misperception Among US Physicians conducted by Michael B. Steinberg MD MPH, Michelle T. Bover Manderski PhD MPH, Olivia A. Wachowski PhD MPH, Binu Singh PHD & Andrew A. Strasser PHD at Rutgers University and the University Pennsylvania)

  • 1,020 Doctors specialising in family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics, oncology and pulmonary disciplines were surveyed.

  • The participants were asked about their understanding of tobacco treatment practises, harm reduction beliefs and tobacco & e-cigarette use

  • Authors of the study state only nicotine during pregnancy linked to birth defects carries any reasonable amount of evidence. They say that there is very limited evidence linking nicotine to the development of cancer and CVD (cardiovascular disease). Also stating there is next to no evidence to support the hypothesis linking nicotine to COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).


The Results.

  • Nicotine causes cardiovascular disease – 83.3% strongly agree

  • Nicotine causes cancer – 80.5% strongly agree

  • Nicotine causes COPD – 80.9% strongly agree

  • Oncologists performed better than other disciplines BUT 77.2% still believed nicotine causes cancer

  • Family medicine Doctors were the most ignorant with 88.6% believing nicotine causes CVD, 87.1% think it causes cancer and 87.6% believe it causes COPD.


The Conclusion.

  • It's worrying how many health care professionals do not understand the simple facts about harm reduction and nicotine.

  • We should quite rightly question question the organisations these Doctors obtained the certificates required to practise medicine.

  • This issue needs to be addressed immediately and given priority by the FDA's nicotine and harm reduction policies.

  • Doctor's must be able to accurately explain the risks of nicotine and harm reduction options in order to offer the correct advise (and prescription NRT where necessary) to their patients wishing to quit smoking.


What about the Channel Islands, Europe and the UK?

  • Whilst this study seems to be the first of its kind and conducted in the US, it clearly highlights the misconceptions surrounding nicotine and harm reduction in health professionals as well as the general public.

  • As the misinformation in the media following the deaths in the US that were caused by black market THC eliquid use (and not by regulated eliquid) proved, news (factual or otherwise) travels fast and has vast reach far beyond where it originates.

  • We need to be very careful with which information in the media and on social media we take to heart, check the facts and not just the headlines.

  • Harm reduction is paramount whilst working towards reducing tobacco related illnesses and fatalities, Vaping rightly continues to play an important role here.

  • Governments, health professionals and health organisations have a duty to use the unbiased science readily available to them rather than dubious “studies” originating from universities or the like that have clearly been influenced by unfounded Government agenda & by funding from Big Pharma, Big Tobacco or wealthy individuals with ideas way above their station and yet no evidence to back up (Stanton Glantz or Michael Bloomberg for example, look them up – they are terrible human beings).

  • Millions of smokers die each year; this study emphasises the massive gap in health professionals knowledge, the damage they are doing and the lives they are costing.

  • We have a right to the best advise available from our health practitioners and if they're unable to give us accurate advise about smoking, nicotine and harm reductions alternatives, they should not be practising.

Stay informed, stay safe.


© 2021 JJ Allen.








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