Learn the science behind nicotine



Nicotine is widely known but highly misunderstood. It is addictive and not risk free, and one of the reasons why people smoke together with taste, ritual, and sensorial experience. But it’s not the primary cause of smoking-related diseases. This is actually the high levels of harmful chemicals found in cigarette smoke.

A burning cigarette releases over 6,000 chemicals, many are harmful. It’s the high levels of these harmful chemicals present in cigarette smoke that are the primary cause of smoking-related diseases.

When you remove burning, it’s possible to significantly reduce exposure to these harmful chemicals. Alternatives to continued smoking that don’t burn exist—such as e-cigarettes, heated tobacco products and oral smokeless products.​ These alternatives are not risk-free and provide nicotine, which is addictive.​

Smoke-free alternatives such as e-cigarettes, heated tobacco products and oral smokeless products


Consider for a minute some facts that science has now proven to be fiction. 

Like lightning never striking in the same place twice. 

Swallowed chewing gum staying in the body for seven years. 

Or thinking thet the earth is flat – which we all, now know not to be the case. 

Nicotine has also been misunderstood. while it is addictive, and not risk-free, nicotine is not the primary cause of smoking-related diseases.

These are principally caused by the chemicals released when tobacco is burned.

Nicotine is a naturally occuring substance found in tobacco leaves. 

Once it enters the bloodstream, it is metabolized by the liver and is constantly cleared by the body.

Nicotine is one of the reasons people smoke, along with other factors, such as taste and ritual.

For adult smokers to switch from cigarettes to smoke-free alternatives, these products need to contain nicotine.

The best choice for any smoker is to quit cigarettes and nicotine use altogether.

Smoke-free alternatives are only for  adults who would otherwise continue smoking.


Smoke-free alternatives such as heated tobacco products, e-cigarettes and oral smokeless products are a better alternative to continued smoking for adult smokers who don’t quit. This is because they do not burn, and therefore the levels of harmful chemicals generated can be reduced compared with cigarettes.

The best choice for any smoker is to quit tobacco and nicotine products altogether. But for those adults who don’t, they should consider switching to a smoke-free alternative. One of the key criteria for adult smokers who would otherwise continue smoking to switch completely from cigarettes to smoke-free alternatives is if they act as a satisfactory alternative, and for most smokers this includes the presence of nicotine. That’s why nicotine is present in most smoke-free alternatives.

Nicotine-containing products should not be used by people who have or are at risk of heart disease, are diabetic, are epileptic, or are experiencing seizures and should not be used by pregnant and breastfeeding women. Minors should not use or have access to any tobacco or nicotine-containing products. Adult smokers who don’t quit however deserve accurate and non-misleading information to be able to make an informed decision about smoking and smoke-free alternatives for the benefit of public health. 


Nicotine occurs naturally in the tobacco plant. When nicotine is inhaled, it is absorbed through the lungs straight into the bloodstream where it travels through the body into tissues and organs, including the brain in 10-20 seconds in the brain. When absorbed through the skin via a patch or through the mouth, nicotine is absorbed more slowly and takes longer to reach the brain.

Nicotine triggers the release of dopamine which can stimulate and ultimately affect short-term brain function and memory but could also cause reward-seeking behavior.

The action of nicotine in the brain can also trigger physiological effects outside the brain. For example, leads to temporary narrowing of blood vessels, higher blood pressure, and increased heart rate.

When used repeatedly, the brain adapts to its presence which is reversible when a person stops using nicotine-containing products. This process of nicotine stimulation can ultimately lead to difficulty quitting.



A tobacco plant
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