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What is Nicotine and is it as Harmful as Everyone Thinks?

January 26, 2021 3 min read

e cigarette to quit smoking

Using E Cigarettes To Quit Smoking


It is unfortunate that there is a myth that nicotine causes cancer, with the rising popularity of Vaping, more people are now searching for the best e cigarette to quit smoking. However, with e-cigarettes becoming more popular, they are viewed as a menace, due to most containing nicotine.

It has been previously argued that nicotine causes heart problems, harms the brains of teenagers, is highly addictive and more.

There are many countries that have banned the use of electric cigarettes due to some containing nicotine such as Brazil, Mexico, Thailand and more. Have a look at the countries that have banned vaping.

It is easy to understand why this presumption has been made, nicotine is the most notorious chemical in the tobacco plant. However, people don’t do the necessary research which is why people and some governments think it is dangerous.


What is Nicotine:

As we all know, nicotine is the most well-known chemical found in the tobacco plant. Being an alkaloid, it means that it contains nitrogen and is chemically similar to caffeine and cocaine. Not only in the tobacco plant, it is found in potatoes, aubergines and tomatoes but in very small amount.

In 1g of tobacco there is 20mg of nicotine. In 1g of an aubergine there is 0.0001mg of nicotine. The aubergine is the vegetable with the highest nicotine content. Nicotine content in a tomato and potato are even lower. A cigarette contains on average 10mg of nicotine, when smoking, you do not inhale every milligram of nicotine. You inhale around 1.1 – 1.8mg of nicotine per cigarette, which means that pack of 20 cigarettes, you inhale between 22 – 36mg of nicotine.


Nicotine is absorbed to the body differently in cigarettes and e-cigarettes.

Traditional cigarettes: Nicotine passes through the lung’s membranes and then into your bloodstream. After reaching your bloodstream, it makes its way to your heart which transfers to your arteries and up to the brain. (this process takes around 10 – 20 seconds).

E-cigarettes: Nicotine is absorbed by your mouth and upper throat, this still reaches the bloodstream but less quickly. This is why e-cigarettes are less addictive that traditional cigarettes and known to now be the best way to stop smoking. Read ‘Vapes more effective to quit smoking than gum or patch, review finds‘.


Is nicotine harmful?

We know that nicotine is a stimulant which creates a pleasurable feeling. It also raises heart rates, improves the ability to pay attention and boosts memory when you consume nicotine. Nicotine might be the most well-known chemical in a cigarette, but is it actually responsible for all the negative effects? There are many more chemicals in cigarettes that are far worse such as tar. “smoke for the nicotine but die for the tar”.

The lethal dose of nicotine is between 500 – 1000mg and maybe even more. When smoking or vaping, you cannot be exposed to this much of nicotine.


We can see from the above that nicotine is not really that harmful and if it is then in small amount. This is why nicotine is often compared to caffeine.

Both caffeine and nicotine have small short-term effects on the body, both are not addictive, but some people can get addicted to them.

We strongly advise that if you do not smoke, please do not start vaping. However, if you do smoke then you should try to make the switch. Out of all the risks of smoking, nicotine should be among the least of your concerns.

If you have any questions about Nicotine or you are searching for an e cigarette to quit smoking you can live chat with our team to make sure all your questions are answered.


https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/projects/outputs/nicotine-without-smoke-tobacco-harm-reduction (report page 84, PDF page 98)



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