Are we being lied to about nicotine?
Nicotine we are told is one of the most addictive substances on the planet. It is apparently worse than cocaine. But John Gaunt has written a very interesting blog post on his blog ‘ The “Lone Wolf” Graphic Arts Technologist’, that is peppered with references that point to, or indicate that nicotine may not be as addictive as we are told.
How many of you, like him, sometimes forget to vape? Or you can go for days without vaping and have no withdrawal symptoms at all?
John’s interest was piqued in this topic when precisely this happened to him. He forgot to vape and that got him thinking. He did a bit of digging and found several studies and comments by scientists investigating the addictiveness of nicotine.
For example Peter Killeen, emeritus professor of psychology, has said this: “Studies have shown that none of the nicotine replacement therapies — chewing gum, inhalers, patches — none of those are addictive,” he said. “Nicotine is not addictive. So what’s going on?”
A few of the clinical trials referenced by John were done on animals, not humans, but as with many laboratory test, the poor animals get it first. However, what two of the studies showed was that the animals were only really interested in self administering nicotine if it was mixed in with other chemicals.
The scientist from these two studies that were done in 2005 and 2009 stated, according to John – “ it’s almost impossible to get laboratory animals hooked on pure nicotine.”
John then goes on to list a further three studies re the non-addictiveness of nicotine, where one researcher states, “The conclusions were that non-nicotinic components have a role in tobacco dependence and that some tobacco products could have higher abuse liability, irrespective of nicotine levels.”
But it is John’s closing quote that nails it for me. John lets the FDA score an own goal with this one, where they mirror the statement of Peter Killeen, admitting, “although any nicotine-containing product is potentially addictive, decades of research and use have shown that NRT products sold OTC do not appear to have significant potential for abuse or dependence.”
And here is another that I have found, this book was published in 2002 – “A critique of nicotine addiction by Hanen Frenk PhD and Reuven Dar, PhD.”
In their conclusion they write:
“This book reviewed and evaluated the evidence for the Surgeon General’s influential declaration 665 (p. 9) that “ Cigarettes and other forms of tobacco are addicting, ” that “ Nicotine is the drug in tobacco that causes addiction, ” and that “ The pharmacologic and behavioral processes that determine tobacco addiction are similar to those that determine addiction to drugs such as heroin and cocaine. ” Although this assertion has been almost universally adopted by the scientific community, government agencies, the media and the public, we found that it is not sustained by empirical evidence. Instead, our analysis of the research to date indicates that if nicotine contributes to the persistence of smoking, it is not due to its purportedly gratifying psychoactive properties but rather to its contribution to the “taste” of inhaled smoke and perhaps to placebo effects and acquired (secondary) reinforcing properties in experienced smokers. Thus, nicotine’s role in maintaining the smoking habit bears no similarity to the role played by genuinely addictive drugs such as heroin, barbiturates, alcohol or other drugs to which nicotine is routinely compared.
Read John’s full post here, copy and paste the link. http://lwgat.blogspot.fr/2014/05/nicotine-not-addictive.html
Every body has a slightly different number of taste buds in their mouth, and some people have more sensitive taste than others. This individuality of taste will be one of the reasons why some flavours taste different to other people, and why you can get two completely different reviews about the same juice.
But when it comes to e liquid, there’s an added factor that depends upon what you eat.
This was discovered with a Gold Standard flavour.
One vaper posted that he loved Black Magic, that it was bob on, exactly as described – “ a black magical swirl of rich coffee, superior tobacco and dark dark chocolate.’
However, on the same thread another posted the complete opposite – they found it light and floral with sharp sweet notes, no hint of chocolate or coffee!
And this is the same flavour!
But it goes on….
Yet another could taste the tobacco and coffee, but not the chocolate. So is this simply a case of taste buds being different? Well no, not all of it. It’s also to do with what you eat and drink.
What was going on with the guys that couldn’t taste the coffee?
They were drinking buckets of the stuff. They stopped coffee for a few days and switched to tea, and lo and behold, they could taste the coffee flavour. And then bizarrely adding more or less sugar to their tea made a difference to the chocolate flavour!(?)
Another forum member posted that they adored liquorice and ate a fair amount, so were very excited when their GS liquorice fell through the letter box – the result – YUK! Nothing like liquorice they said. Why? Because they eat it all the time and their taste buds had adjusted.
So, next time you check out a flavour review and fancy buying a new flavour – just have a double think about what you eat and drink, and how it may or may not interfere with the taste of your vape.
We can all talk about our Dads if we want to, and with Father’s Day drawing close upon us, many of us are thinking about our Dad’s too.
But on here, we can’t say the ‘Quit’ word.
Our Dads love us, protect us, look out for us, teach us to ride bikes, kick a football around and help us with out maths homework.
But the ‘Quit’ word does none of these, is this why we’re not supposed to mention it here, on this blog?
Why are we allowed to shout out loud about some things but not others?
But mention the quit word and we risk being hauled over by the MHRA.
We’re not really allowed to even whisper the truth that if you try an e cig, chances are you won’t go back to smoking as much as you did, you might even stop completely. Instead we have to fudge and pretend and say no! No! We haven’t stopped, we’ve switched!!!!
Often said with a desperate cry in the attempt to not let them take our e cigarettes away.
Because if enough people believe it’s a medicine, then it is.
Isn’t this Flat earth thinking?
Shouldn’t there be some science behind it?
To suggest that if you buy your Dad an e cigarette for Fathers Day, and to suggest that he may, as a result stop smoking – well, in the eyes of the MHRA that’s a claim.
A medical claim that turns your recreation device into a medical device.
But your dad won’t have puffed on a medicine; he will just have tried an alternative to tobacco, something that has the happy by product of many people no longer liking the taste of burning tobacco.
I mean why fill your mouth with the taste of burnt ash when you could have apple, cherry, or caramel instead?
Thankfully 8 courts in the EU have said e cigs are not medicines, so maybe we can use the quit word after all?
But current Paradigms eh? There’s one in every generation, every century. Some are good some are bad. Remember when it was OK to burn Witches? Remember when we all though the earth really was flat?
How about when we all thought that flared trousers were the height of fashion?
Yet 2.1 million people in the UK have switched, either part or full time to e cigs. They’ve stopped smoking, this is the truth of it. But this doesn’t make an e cig a medicine. If you stop drinking alcohol does the beverage you replace it with become a medicine?
Is going cold turkey a medicine?
I thought it was simply a decision.
A Hug from my dad when I’m feeling tired or fed up makes me feel good, and according to research if he hugs me for 20 seconds or more, then I get psychological benefits from it. Is my Dad’s bear hug now a medicine?
I’m so tired of this lie.
Because E cigs are less harmful than cigarettes and people do stop smoking when they switch.
Everyone is saying this now. In the oak panelled rooms of the legislators, even ‘they’ are coming round to the idea that maybe e cigs are OK, and it’s OK if people stop smoking if they use them. There have even been a few studies to show that this is the case.
But it still doesn’t make them a medicine.
1. Take the Oxford Dictionary and quit means: To leave a place, usually permanently, to vacate, exit, depart, to resign, to pack in. to stop, cease, desist.
If you vape, and you’ve cut down or ‘switched,’ or ceased or desisted, then you know what I’m talking about.
You simply no longer use tobacco to get your nicotine.
So if you are stuck for an idea for a Father’s Day gift – (which you probably won’t be as every Tom, Dick and Harry now get’s ‘on message’ and advertises their products on Father’s day – and we are no different with this blog), but if your Dad smokes, and you want him to switch, or quit, or stop, or cease or desist that habit, or you just want him to try something different, as he may already vape, – check out our offers – It will be a present that might just change his life, and yours, for the better. At the very least he might get a new e cig out of it, which will mean he’ll give you a bear hug or a hand shake, or a smile, and that will make you feel good.
E cigarettes are in the most bizarre and schizophrenic fight for their existence right now.
All of us know this.
Often we utter, shout or write the phrase “it’s not about health – it’s about the money!” as we once again shake our heads with incredulity at the nonsense spouted by the regulators.
But lets take a deeper look at this phrase. Lets understand what these few words actually mean. Because I think you might be surprised.
First though, I want you to imagine a field of tobacco plants.
Imagine a circle around that field that has the people tending to it – the farmer and his labourers. Then add to the circle the tobacco auction houses that sell on to the tobacco firm, or to the company that will extract the nicotine.
The next circle outside of that one will be the people employed by the tobacco industry; the makers of machines for making and packing the cigarettes, the carton manufacturers, the people that make the ink for the cigarettes cartons, the truck drivers delivering the cigarettes, the sales people, the admin staff and so on. Then add another circle outside of that one, which has the same for the company extracting the nicotine, and one for cigar makers.
We need bigger circles now, but keep going….
The next circle is the consumer and the shopkeeper that sells the cigarettes – the supermarkets, petrol stations, corner shops, pubs etc.
I hope you are thinking on a global scale, but you can keep it just to the UK if you like.
After that we get the tax and excise circle, those people involved in controlling the revenue with the myriad of civil servants raking it in, sending it out, compiling data, millions of forms in triplicate.
And because of the tax and ill health that’s generated from this one plant, we have the next circle that contains the NHS, Nurses, Doctors, stop-smoking clinics, and still several billions to spare to be spent elsewhere. I suggest you imagine that as a line that feeds money to the Houses of Parliament.
Add another ring or circle and we have the pharmaceutical industry with their NRT and cancer charities, their research departments with all the scientists they employ, plus Universities benefitting via their PhD students.
And the circles continue.
Finally we have the regulators and fake charities making noises about how bad tobacco is.
By now you should be able to see all the lives and jobs and entire industries that are reliant – to one extent or another, on the humble tobacco plant.
So when the WHO coined the phrase ‘tobacco dependency syndrome’ they were bang on – but probably in a way they didn’t understand.
They saw – (or want us to ONLY see) the lone individual battling an addiction to tobacco. As far as they are concerned, that smoker is the only one with tobacco dependency syndrome.
Which is a made up disease by the way so regulators and chemists could get in on the act.
But in fact what the WHO and all those involved are doing is perpetuating a lie. A lie that we have been led unthinking to believe – that the smoker is the bad person here – the pariah.
Which is completely untrue.
Because look at the pantomime that has grown up around tobacco – look at all those people reliant upon the smoker to continue smoking.
Look at the hundreds if not thousands of people that profit.
Why has not one of them called for a ban on tobacco?
Why has not one of them stood up and said – this is a lie – NRT is a lie, de-normalisation is a lie, the tax revenues that the government gobble up is essentially a moral lie?
And we all go around as if this makes perfect sense. As if this is how it should be.
But then along comes the humble e cigarette and the façade of the lie starts to be lifted.
We know that the research is stacking up in our favour – that e cigs are a cause for good, and so what if people stop smoking… (Oh, but we know now why they don’t want this). We even have proof that the regulators abuse and twist the research – all to perpetuate the lie.
The lie that disempowers us and empowers them.
“It is about the money” – it’s also about the supporting players that profit from tobacco, the ones we are supposed to believe are there for ‘our’ good, but when you scratch the surface, they are there for their benefit.
If they really were there for our good they would ban tobacco and they would bring the entire house of cards down. But no politician has the balls to stand tall and call it how it is.
Yet we are as much to blame for not really looking at the bigger picture.
What rights do we have if someone else prescribes them for us? What rights do we have if we don’t call out the truth? Calling out the fake charities bemoaning tobacco but doing nothing of substance, the pharmaceutical industries making products that don’t work, the tax revenues no government can afford to lose; yet they beat you with a stick in order to get it.
The humble e cigarette is the product that has the ability to bring all this down.
Could this be the real reason the regulators are appearing to do their level best to squash it, and make it thoroughly impotent?
I would suggest they have the tobacco dependency syndrome, not us.
A sea change, a shift in attitude, positive noises, these are all phrases that have been attributed to the information that is suddenly coming out of Public Health England (PHE) in regards to their attitude towards e cigarettes.
But have things really changed, and if so what?
For one thing, the evidence is really starting to stack up. We’ve now more of it, and more people, especially the right people are finally sitting up and taking notice.
They are engaging and listening.
Just a shame that the TPD has already been rushed into being, behind closed doors and without the consultation it truly deserved.
PHE have written in a report they commissioned from Professor Robert West regarding electronic cigarettes:
“The emergence of electronic cigarettes and the likely arrival of more effective nicotine-containing devices currently in development provides a radical alternative to tobacco, and evidence to date suggests that smokers are willing to use these products in substantial numbers. Electronic cigarettes, and other nicotine devices, therefore offer vast potential health benefits, but maximising those benefits while minimising harms and risks to society requires appropriate regulation, careful monitoring, and risk management. However the opportunity to harness this potential into public health policy, complementing existing comprehensive tobacco control policies, should not be missed.” (Emphasis mine)
So, winds of change or are will still heading straight for the mother of all storms that will decimate e cigs in 2016/12017?
What we know is that people, (scientists, civil servants) that were wary of e cigarettes before, are now changing their opinions. ASH is a case in point. These previously cautious folk are now engaging with vapers. This was evident this month when vapers were invited to attend a symposium about e cigarettes on the 15th May. Their views were heard, acknowledged, and in several cases agreed with.
This recent engagement does make a change from the rest of Europe where e cigarettes are being banned from use in public places left right and centre. This very same ban has been muted for England, though PHE are denying it is an action they want to take at present, but it is under consideration currently in Wales.
But what’s the use of this sea change if the TPD is already done and dusted? Will the regulations be enforced despite of all the information that is now pouring out about e cigarettes not being a gateway product, not being attractive to the younger members of society, and that actually, nicotine is not the badass chemical it is made out to be?
I can’t answer that here, as I unfortunately don’t have a crystal ball – but what we do know is the guys and gals that help write the policy for the UK, and will be involved in implementing the TPD, now know more about e cigarettes than they ever have done, they are starting to understand them from the point of the user and the effects that the TPD will have on the market.
Plus, we still have another two years to go…. so who knows what will come out by then. Who knows how many long-term trials will have been completed, and who knows how many more myths will have been disabused. One can hope that it will become impossible for the powers that be to implement the TPD as currently is.
The main PHE concern currently stands around re normalisation and long-term use, i.e. what will the effects be on the health of the vaper ?
Yet there are still storm clouds. The re-normalisation theory as yet is unproven either way, and in a post written last week for PHE by Professor Kevin Fenton, Public Health England’s National Director for Health and Wellbeing, he wrote : “PHE supports the regulation by the MHRA of nicotine-containing products – including e-cigarettes – as medicines”.
So that card is still very much in play it would seem.
It seems there is still a way to go in persuading them that e cigs need only light touch regs’, but at least there are signs of understanding and a possible sea change….
I guess we have to cling to that hope.
Professor Fenton ends his post by saying “This is the beginning of an on going dialogue with a wide range of individuals and organisations as we develop our policy and action: I look forward to it”.
And he is keeping to his it word it seems – at least on his blog post – he has engaged, but what he said in response to a question re the MHRA and med regs’ was this: “ As a member state of the EU the UK must abide by TPD. Therefore the choice we face now is TPD plus medicines regulations, or TPD alone. I can assure you, PHE will be working hard to encourage a real choice of safe and effective products made widely available to meet the needs of people trying to cut down or quit.”
Looks like we need some stronger trade winds yet…