A lot of smokers trying to give up the harmful habit have turned to nicotine gum, which many people and doctors alike agree to be true. According to scientists, cigarettes represent 90 percent of the health risks caused by the habit of smoking.
But even so, there is a growing dispute inside the medical community debating the possibility of people being addicted to nicotine without having to deal with its lethal effect.
Nobody says that nicotine isn’t strongly addictive, but some have started wondering whether a daily dose of non-cigarette nicotine could be as harmless as the habit of drinking coffee each morning.
As electronic cigarettes grow in popularity, the nicotine debate has become increasingly controversial. These devices are tobacco-free that produce nicotine-laced vapor; many people claim switching to e-cigarettes has helped them quit smoking.
Both doctors and media are having a hard time accepting the idea of nicotine being somewhat benign, mostly because of the negative image it has built during the past decades. We automatically accept that smoking is an undisputed health threat.
However, there are some tobacco-addiction specialists and leading psychologists who believe it is time to make a clear distinction between nicotine and smoking. All the evidence points to the fact that smoking kills, and not nicotine.
Ann McNeill, a professor of tobacco-addiction who has dedicated her career to finding ways to help people quit smoking, says nicotine could catch a break right about now. She wants people to understand the difference between the risks cause by smoking and those that may lie in consuming nicotine.
Smokers who don’t see the difference might avoid seeking help in order to stopping smoking, or try to limit their nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). And both of these situations are obstacles in quitting.
Previous research shows that nicotine addiction could have positive effects. Just like caffeine, it can act as stimulant, raising the heart rate and sharpening the mind. Some other potential benefits are accelerated information processing and less body tension.
Because further research is needed in order to settle the debate, the scientific and political community is divided. Some argue that encouraging people to take a regular dose of nicotine could lead to abuse, and pure nicotine can kill you in larger quantities.
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