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Nicotine in Vapor Cigarettes: The Real Story

Uncover the truth about nicotine that every smoker and electronic smoker ought to know about

Smoking is without a doubt one of the world's most urgent public health problems. The CDC estimates that each year, more than 443,000 people die from direct smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke, and another 8.6 million live with a smoking-related illness.

Within each drag of a tobacco cigarette are thousands of unwanted ingredients that can cause cancer, heart disease, lung disease and a myriad of other serious health issues. However, as many people might be surprised to learn, nicotine is not one of them.

Common Nicotine Myths

Over the last couple decades, the war on drugs has gradually turned its attention on nicotine and cigarettes. Nicotine is often compared to highly addictive drugs and stimulants, on par with alcohol, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines. However, despite these myths, the science behind nicotine tells the real story.

For starters, nicotine does not cause intoxication or produce any kind of "high."

Secondly, nicotine does not impair judgment, motor skills or concentration in any way. In fact, nicotine actually appears to have performance enhancing effects on fine motor skills, attention and memory. Furthermore, because of its therapeutic benefits, nicotine is now being considered as a possible treatment for such conditions as attention deficit disorder (ADD), Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Tourette syndrome, sleep apnea, obesity, ulcerative colitis and inflammatory skin disorders.

Thirdly, nicotine is not some dangerous, man-made chemical designed to get people "hooked" on smoking. Nicotine is an organic compound found in nature that everyone (both smokers and nonsmokers alike) consumes on a regular basis. All vegetables of the Solanaceae family, for instance—which includes tomatoes, potatoes and eggplants—contain small amounts of nicotine.

And finally, nicotine has not been shown to be carcinogenic. Although cigarettes contain thousands of proven cancer-causing chemicals, nicotine is simply a stimulant that, like caffeine, triggers the release of numerous chemical messengers like endorphins, the body's natural analgesic.

Ultimately, when you identify the cause of concern for nicotine in tobacco, the root issue is actually not the nicotine at all, but cigarette smoke.

As the FDA* reports:

"Repeated inhalation of smoke into the lungs is a very bad thing for the human body. By way of analogy, if most people obtained caffeine by smoking tea leaves the way most currently get nicotine by smoking tobacco leaves, it too would be an enormous cause of ill health."

Nicotine, Smoking and Electronic Vapor Smoking

While nicotine in small doses is not harmful—and has even been shown to be beneficial in treating certain conditions—it is important to note that the substance is indeed a powerful neurotoxin capable of causing serious illness or even death if ingested in large enough doses.

Fortunately, the amount of nicotine absorbed through electronic vapor smoking is so small that it is highly unlikely for a person to overdose on nicotine through use of traditional cigarettes or vapor cigarettes alone. Cautious estimates put the lower threshold of nicotine poisonings at 500-1000 milligrams of pure nicotine.

To put that in perspective, consider this: When you buy a 30 milliliter (ml) bottle of custom e-liquid from VaporFi, the strongest nicotine potency available is our Bold strength (3.6%). Even if you were to vape 1 ml of this fluid, and your body was able to absorb 100% of the nicotine (which it isn't), you would have only ingested 36 mg of nicotine—well below the limit.

Nicotine Liquid Safety

Although serious nicotine poisonings are extremely rare, it never hurts to be careful anyways, especially when an accident overdose can be prevented with just a few simple precautionary steps.

For one, when refilling your vapor cigarette or handling e-liquid, always be sure to put on latex gloves just in case you spill some. In the event that you do spill nicotine liquid on your skin, wash the affected area immediately with warm water and soap.

You will also want to be sure to keep your nicotine liquid and vaping supplies locked up and out of reach of children and pets at all times.

Check out the other articles in our Vapor Cigarette Learning Center for more tips on properly storing your nicotine liquid.

* VaporFi products are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") nor does the FDA endorse or deem these products to be safe for use by consumers.
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