The Real Problems Behind Nicotine


Nicotine is a chemical compound placed in vaping cartridges, cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and other mock-tobacco products. It is the leading cause of addiction in teens and adults, and can lead to severe physical and mental changes that can bring about many different kinds of death, ranging from heart attacks to lung cancer. Without nicotine, vaping and smoking would be much less dangerous. People would suffer from addiction and withdrawal
much less, which in turn would lead to many people quitting smoking before any permanent, truly dangerous damage was done. Sure, nicotine sounds like a bad chemical, but what it does to you is just the start of its problems. Here is a quick history of nicotine in smoking.

Nicotine is one of the organic compounds found in tobacco, which accounts for about five percent of its weight, and it is now possible to extract the nicotine into its purest form – a colorless, odorless, brown and oily liquid. Smoking tobacco has been around for millennia, but the practice really picked up in the 16th century when the Europeans crossed the Atlantic, arriving in the lands of the Native Americans. They came to find gold, and found tobacco instead. Since then, tobacco has been mass-produced, farmed, shipped, and consumed by everyday citizens. In the 21st century, its most concentrated form has been placed into vaping pens and cartridges, for the primary reason of breaking previous “traditional” smoking habits. However, these pens and cartridges have become very popular on their own.

Nicotine’s main effects depend on how much you consume. When inhaled in short drags, it has a stimulant effect, and when taken in on a long drag, it has a calming effect. This effect can lessen stress and block harmful stimuli, and is one of the chief reasons people smoke. Nicotine in and of itself is not dangerous when smoked, were it possible to smoke the liquid – it only produces a mild psychedelic effect of calm or energy, which is also a reason that some people use to back their claims that smoking can relieve stress. Nicotine is an addictive chemical, and inhaling smoke or vape clouds is awful for a person’s health. Cigarettes contain substances such as battery acid (concentrated sulfuric acid), carcino genics, and tar. Vaping liquids contain carcinogens and other unknown substances that may have caused mysterious illnesses in recent months. Smoking and vaping combined are the leading cause of lung cancer, and also lead to increased risk for heart disease, among many other chronic illnesses. Nicotine provides the urge to continue using the products, no matter how much a user want to stop. Essentially, nicotine is the most powerful ingredient to keep people hooked on smoking or vaping, leaving them on thin ice until you’ve smoked or vaped so much they’ve developed an incurable disease.

In addition to its effects on the brain and body, nicotine is a pawn for monetary exploitation. Big words. Cigarette and vaping product companies, in short, do not care about your health. If they did, they would be doing more to stop addiction and deaths in their consumer base. But they don’t. Why? Because nicotine allows them to exploit consumers into buying more of their product, because said consumers will otherwise go through withdrawal symptoms. They don’t want to remove nicotine because it allows them to profit enormously. And one other reason that nicotine hasn’t been removed from smoking and mock-smoke products is that the tobacco industry has a close relationship with politics and government. They actively work with senators, representatives, cabinet members, mostly right-wing and health-department-related, to make sure that any policy that may hurt their business goes down in flames. It’s a ruthless business tactic that has worked for years – even today – with our health department executives and even our vice-president. This is especially effective against lower-income addicts; typically, these people have less access to helpful resources and traditional healthcare, which fuels their consistent smoking habits. But the companies still don’t seem to care.

Nicotine has affected Americ socio-economically, politically, physically, and mentally. Although action has been taken over the years to combat nicotine addiction, and fewer people smoke cigarettes today than in previous years, our country’s dependence on this chemical remains a problem. More action should be taken at all levels to end this cycle of addiction and exploitation.