• Amy Aspey

Nicotine: A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

Updated: Feb 26, 2019

Tobacco is a plant from which nicotine is extracted. Nicotine is a clear liquid, has a unique odor and is highly addictive. The US Surgeon General determined nicotine to be “as addictive as cocaine or heroin” in 2010. It is, quite literally, a poison. In fact, prior to January 1, 2014, it was used as an insecticide in pesticides until it was banned in the US by the Environmental Protection Agency because it was “too harmful to mammals”. Farmers can suffer “Green Tobacco Sickness” simply from mishandling the tobacco leaves during harvesting.* (1)


Nearly 1 in 5 adults have some sort of smoking habit today.*(2) People love how nicotine stimulates the reward center by elevating their mood and sharpening their cognitive function. Over time they get desensitized and require more and more nicotine to reproduce the effect, eventually becoming enslaved by their cravings. Nicotine reduces fasting blood glucose levels, helping decrease weight. Unfortunately, nicotine also causes increased cell division which “causes increased cancer proliferation….and…accelerates tumor growth.” Nicotine is also known to cause a resistance to chemotherapy, exacerbating an already big problem.


Nicotine has been linked to:

Pancreatic Cancer

Breast Cancer

Cardiovascular problems

Plaque formation

Bronchoconstriction

Respiratory problems

Emphysema

Chronic Bronchitis; COPD

Gastrointestinal problems

GERD

Peptic Ulcer Disease

Immunological problems

Reduced T-cell production

Impaired antigen response

Impaired receptor response

Delayed wound healing

Increase risk of infection

Ocular system problems

Mascular degeneration

Cataract formation

Renal system problems

Chronic kidney disease

Renal artery stenosis

Reproductive system problems

Erectile dysfunction

Decreased testosterone levels

Irregular menstrual cycles

Impaired fertilization

Stillbirth

Miscarriages

Pediatric asthma

Mental retardation


This is by no means a conclusive list.


Citations:

(1) Aseem Mishra, Pankaj Chaturvedi, Sourav Datta, Snita Sinukumar, Poonam Joshi, and Apurva Garg. “Harmful effects of nicotine.” Wolters Kluwer -- Medknow Publications. Indian J Med Paediatr Oncol. 2015 Jan-Mar; 36(1): 24–31. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4363846/


(2) Peters, Steven. “States With the Most Smokers.” 247wallst.Com, 24/7 Wall St., 14 June 2016, 247wallst.com/special-report/2016/06/14/states-with-the-most-smokers/.


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