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An overview of the cigarette dangers and the harmful use of nicotine

By far, the most popular way of consuming nicotine is by smoking cigarettes. Smoking leads to over 480,000 deaths in the country per year, and over 16 million people in the U. More people die as a result of smoking than all deaths due to HIVvehicle accidents, murder, suicide, alcohol abuse, and drug abuse combined. Are e-cigarettes and vaporizers safe? In recent years, liquid nicotine has been touted as a less risky replacement for smoking cigarettes.

This can be delivered to the system in an electronic cigarette or vaporizer. These are known as electronic nicotine delivery systems ENDS. These battery-operated 'e-cigs' and 'vapes' atomize the liquid nicotine by applying heat but without the harmful, oxidative effects of burning.

Liquids are available in a range of strengths and flavors. Current evidence suggests that using liquid nicotine is a safer alternative to inhaling tobacco smoke, as nicotine in itself is not classified as carcinogenicor cancer-causing, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

It may also help people that are trying to quit smoking mimic some of the addictive behaviors of cigarette use, such as raising the hand to the mouth or seeing smoke inhaled, that other types of nicotine replacement therapy NRT cannot imitate. Liquid nicotine can help replicate these behaviors without the harmful effects of tobacco use. Any form of nicotine is highly addictive, so e-cigarettes and vaporizers remain unsuitable for young people and those who do not already smoke.

Liquid nicotine can act as a gateway to cigarettes for those not already regularly taking in nicotine. The use of e-cigarettes rose from 1. There are also other chemicals present in e-cigarette and vaporizer liquid that could be harmfuland these chemicals will be different in various brands, products, devices, and uses.

Some products that are available online may also contain dangerous concentrations of nicotine.

Health topics

While nicotine does not itself cause cancersome of the other substances in liquid nicotine may well contribute to it. For example, a flavoring called diacetyl, used in some e-liquids, is also associated with severe respiratory problems seen in workers at a factory that produces microwaveable popcorn, known as "popcorn lung.

However, as a relatively new technology, the full effects of liquid nicotine are not known, and caution is advised. Treatment The treatment of nicotine dependency is known as smoking cessation therapy. It aims to reduce the urges to consume nicotine as well as the associated risks and health problems.

Medications Drug treatment options for nicotine dependency include: Nicotine replacement therapy NRT: This is available in skin patches, nasal sprays, inhalers, and solutions that can be rubbed into the gums.

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These replace part of the nicotine normally supplemented by smoking cigarettes and reduce the severity of urges and cravings. While NRT does not completely prevent withdrawal symptoms, a 2008 review advises that it can double the chances of quitting smoking long-term. No single NRT product has been demonstrated as more effective than another. This was used in the first instance as anti-depressant medication. However, it was then found to be useful in reducing nicotine cravings.

It has a similar rate of effectiveness to NRT. The way it works is not yet understood. It can cause insomnia as a side effect in 30 to 40 percent of patients. Bupropion carries an FDA "black-box" warning, as some anti-depressant drugs have been linked to suicidal thoughts and behavior.

Everything you need to know about nicotine

Varenicline, sold as Chantix: This medication partially triggers a certain receptor in the brain that usually responds only to nicotine. It then blocks the receptor, preventing nicotine from doing the same. This reduces the urges a person experiences while quitting smoking. It may also reduce the satisfaction an individual gets from smoking, which in turn decreases the risk of a relapse.

Harmful effects of nicotine

It can cause mostly mild nausea in around 30 percent of people who pursue this course of treatment, but varenicline is normally well tolerated.

It has also demonstrated a stronger effect on nicotine dependency than bupropion. Treatments that are used when these first-line treatments are not successful, as they are more likely to cause severe side effects, include: This can range from counseling as simple as advice from a primary care physician to stop smoking to individual, telephone, and group therapy.

These interventions can help people with nicotine dependency overcome the psychological aspects of withdrawal, such as low mood and irritability, while the medications help tackle the chemical side of dependency.

News Research is ongoing into the best ways to manage nicotine dependency, and news regularly comes to light about treatments and tobacco industry regulations. A new study into varenicline, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicinehas shown that it may increase the risk of a cardiac event, including stroke, heart attackanginaor an irregular heartbeat.

Meanwhile, recent research on mice demonstrated that exercise may help with smoking cessation. Mice who were exercising on a wheel after 14 days of being treated with nicotine showed significantly fewer withdrawal symptoms than those who were not. Researchers writing in the European Respiratory Journal found that tomatoes could help repair lung damage caused by smoking and slow the decline in respiratory health that normally follows a long period of inhaling cigarette smoke.