Nicotine And Cancer: Are You Among The Misinformed?

By Soko Directory Team / Published January 27, 2021 | 3:09 pm




KEY POINTS

There are 4,000 chemicals in every cigarette, people smoke because they are addicted to the nicotine, but they are getting 3,999 other chemicals.




By Joseph Magero. Chair: Campaign for Safer Alternatives

The biggest misconception is policymakers and smokers believe that nicotine is the cancer-causing culprit in cigarettes. A south African-born Professor by the name of Michael Russell once said, “people smoke for the nicotine but die from the tar”.

This sentiment needs to be echoed more in today’s society where there’s a gross misunderstanding when it comes to nicotine. Nicotine is an alkaloid found in the nightshade family of plants, predominantly in tobacco, and in lower quantities in tomato, potato, eggplant, and green pepper.

You’ll be surprised to know that Nicotine doesn’t cause smoking-related diseases, such as cancers and heart disease, but it is addictive. Cigarette smoking and the many chemicals it exposes a person to, not nicotine itself, present the highest risk.

According to Cancer Research UK, nicotine is addictive but does not cause cancer. Most damage to health caused by smoking is due to tar. Researchers from the U.K.

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) stated that “…it is primarily the toxins and carcinogens in tobacco smoke — not the nicotine — that cause illness and death.” In fact, other chemicals in smoke, such as benzo[a]pyrene, tobacco-specific nitrosamines, and benzene, are the primary causes of smoking-related diseases.

It’s the burning that causes harm. There are 4,000 chemicals in every cigarette, people smoke because they are addicted to the nicotine, but they are getting 3,999 other chemicals, too. Two hundred of those chemicals are poisonous and 43 are known carcinogens.

Consuming nicotine without any burning is the same as getting a caffeine rush from drinking hot coffee. Most research points to cigarette smoke, not nicotine, as being the primary contributor to cancer among smokers. The W.H.O understands this, so much so that they recommend nicotine patches for smokers looking to quit smoking.

A lot of people assume that since combustible cigarettes, nicotine pouches and e-cigarettes contain nicotine, then they must be equally harmful to one’s health. This is, however, is not the case. A World Health Organization (WHO) analysis of previous research argues that snus is unlikely to cause oral or gastric cancer. As a result of this research, the WHO suggests that snus may be an important method of harm reduction.

If policymakers and regulators understood these facts, it would go along way in ensuring safer nicotine products are regulated accordingly. The potential for safer nicotine products to reduce the burden of smoking-related disease is very large, and these products could be among the most significant health innovations of the 21st century, perhaps saving hundreds of thousands of lives in Africa.

It is imperative for our governments to rapidly adopt a systematic public health approach for large, high volume, and low threshold tobacco harm reduction programs to mitigate the growing deaths from cigarette smoking within the continent. Policymakers may not be aware that safer nicotine products have great benefits, both economically and for health; this lack of information, in turn, hinders a reduction in smoking prevalence in the region.

READ: Nicotine Pouches Can Play A Significant Role In Ending Smoking





About Soko Directory Team

Soko Directory is a Financial and Markets digital portal that tracks brands, listed firms on the NSE, SMEs and trend setters in the markets eco-system.Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/SokoDirectory and on Twitter: twitter.com/SokoDirectory

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