Explore some of the myths about nicotine and reveal the facts as provided on the Nicorette Fact Page.
Fact: Nicotine is not proven to cause cancer. There are more than 4,000 other chemicals in cigarette smoke, many of which are known to cause cancer. In particular it is the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and nitrosamines that are the probable causative agents for lung and other cancers. The risks associated with NRT to aid stop smoking are significantly outweighed by the risks of smoking.
Fact: Cigarettes are a well-known cause of cancer, chronic lung disease, heart disease, and other disorders. It is the myriad of toxins in cigarette smoke, rather than the nicotine content, that is responsible for the majority of the harmful effects. In other words, it is the delivery system, not the addictive drug, which is responsible for the vast majority of tobacco-related diseases.
Fact: The main adverse effect of nicotine in tobacco products is addiction, which sustains tobacco use. Because most smokers are nicotine-dependent, they continue to expose themselves to toxins from cigarettes. It is the other chemicals in cigarettes, not nicotine, which are responsible for most of the adverse health effects related to smoking.
Fact: It is not the nicotine in cigarettes, but the tar that causes the unsightly yellow-brown stains on fingers and teeth.
Fact: Nicotine is an addictive drug. When smoked, it is delivered into the lungs and is rapidly absorbed by the blood, reaching the brain within approximately ten seconds. At this point, smokers experience a nicotine "hit" - causing the brain to produce dopamines, a neurotransmitter that regulates emotion and feelings of pleasure. The brain soon comes to expect regular doses of nicotine and suffers withdrawal symptoms when the supply is interrupted. The addictive nature of nicotine is largely due to its dose and rapid delivery to the brain when smoking cigarettes. Compared to cigarette smoking, NRT provides lower doses of nicotine, which are delivered more slowly, in a controlled way, and over a shorter period of time with the dose being stepped down.
Fact: The benefit of NRT used to help give up cigarettes far outweighs the risks of smoking. The nicotine that is in NRT is manufactured through regulated pharmaceutical methods, as opposed to that in cigarettes, which is unregulated. Cigarettes contain more than 4,000 other chemicals compared to NRT, and it is these, rather than the nicotine content, that is responsible for the majority of the harmful effects.