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War On Nicotine

There cannot be any doubt that vaping had completely revolutionized the broader tobacco industry. Within just a few years time, e-cigarette sales went from $20 million annually in 2008, to nearly $2.9 billion in 2015. Yet vaping enthusiasts, or “vapers”, account for a very small portion of smokers in the United States, which numbers around forty-five million. Vapers, on the other hand, are only three million strong. The numbers are equivalent in the United Kingdom as well.

This actually means that all the money, subculture, and the marketing machinery is centered around less than 7% of smoking consumers. It’s an incredible statistic if you think about it. Just imagine if only 7% of drivers drove past the posted speed limit. If you thought you have serious traffic problems with your commute to work, imagine how devastatingly frustrating every trip would be being forced to drive 55 (or whatever speed the law dictates)?

However, this is precisely what’s happening within the tobacco industry. Whereas a vast majority of smokers use the traditional platform, however, vapers simply can’t understand why. Because regular cigarettes don’t make use of the technologies which are used in e-devices. Cigarettes are not self-sustaining platforms. They require a catalyst such as a lighter or match to work. But the most important thing to remember is that they’re unhealthy due to one significant ingredient… nicotine. Although nicotine “hits” are highly desired, vaping creates healthier alternatives.

Yep, I said it, nicotine. If ever there was a universally maligned chemical, it would be nicotine. Over several decades, health and wellness companies ran advertisements and commercials promoting products which included nicotine. Products like the nicotine patch and the nicotine gum to help smokers quit smoking. Although well-meaning consumers have flocked to the promises of these products, not enough of them had good results.

Several years ago, Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Massachusetts in Boston conducted a study on the effectiveness of these different nicotine replacement therapies, or NRTs. The study followed 787 adult smokers who had recently quit smoking. It was discovered that nearly one-third of study participants had relapsed. According to CBS News, the relapse rate “was the same for those who used nicotine therapies for more than six weeks and those who didn’t, with or without professional counseling.” Also, it might surprise you to know that whether the participants were heavy or light smokers made no difference either.

NRTs and other nicotine-related products are not an indefinite solution. They are designed to help reduce withdrawal symptoms, which can occur from the initial time of quitting until about six months out. (sometimes longer) NRTs are then no longer used once the withdrawals go away. However, and this is important to keep in mind, temptation and other factors are not addressed by physical nicotine therapies.

Therefore, to competently attack the threat of nicotine, anti-smoking advocates have pushed for broader based solutions. Previously this involved using legal means, such as no smoking rules that spread rapidly across America and the United Kingdom. Tobacco price increases was probably the most impactful, simply because it hits smokers where no one wants to be hit…in the wallet. I hear that!

Today, however, the most prominent offense against nicotine is mainstream media. No longer limited to goofy “Butt It Out” campaigns aimed at young kids, today’s anti-smoking message is meaner, grittier, more relevant. Organizations that are fighting to stop the smoking practice have put everyone on notice. If we didn’t know it before, we know now that nicotine is bad, and the powers that be are not going to tolerate its existence.

What exactly is Nicotine?

If you’re like me, you’re asking yourself, “what is this chemical nicotine?” How can the vaping industry provide an avenue that smokers can continue to enjoy their liberties while not offending the general public?

If you’re like me, the first thing you’ll do is check the dictionary. MediLexicon defines nicotine as a “poisonous volatile alkaloid derived from tobacco and responsible for many of the effects of tobacco; it first stimulates (small doses), then depresses (large doses) at autonomic ganglia and myoneural junctions. Its principal urinary metabolite is cotinine. Nicotine is an important tool in physiologic and pharmacologic investigation, is used as an insecticide and fumigant, and forms salts with most acids.” Well, that cleared it right up!

Seriously, from the very beginning, we can see that nicotine is poisonous. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to be able to understand that eliminating a poison from one’s daily activity or diet would be beneficial to your health and overall wellbeing. Here’s where we see that contradicts anti-smoking zealots who like to claim that vaping is just as dangerous as nicotine-based smoking. It isn’t!

Because manufacturers such as Medusa Juice understand that one of the best attributes to this culture is diversity and choice, vapers have access to a variety of flavors offered. In fact, nicotine e-juice is just one of hundreds of base-level options. With the Big Tobacco companies, the choice is made for you, so nicotine is part and parcel of cigarettes. With vaping, the choice remains with the vaper. This is one of the things that makes vaping so phenomenal, should he or she decide not to include nicotine in their e-devices, it’s their choice, simple as that. Trust me, there are many ways to enjoy vaping without using nicotine.

Now when it comes to combustion, this is a risk factor with vaping. It is however, more often than not, to do with end-user abuse or negligence. Even so, there are many vaping companies who have reduced the accessible capacity of their portable vaporizers’ temperature control system. This is to prevent consumers from overcooking their devices. As manufacturers, they can only do so much. When it comes right down to it, vapers are dealing with electrical power sources, and electricity can bite if not handled properly. So, be aware and diligent, please.

There are arguments against any health benefits from vaping. This is especially true when it relates to the nicotine issue. These arguments only work if you overlook the fact that the magnitude of risk in vaping is entirely left to the vaper. This is simply because nicotine or any other harmful chemicals are not native to vaping, unlike with cigarettes. Therefore, it just silly to attack vaping for its claims of a more healthful experience than smoking. Because those claims are accurate. Cigarettes, and by extension, the tobacco executives continue to coerce nicotine into their products. Vaping, in direct contrast, is not only a choice, but an artistic, individual expression. Say that three times fast, I dare you.

Nicotine is not nearly as dangerous as mustard gas, but there is a legitimate reason why so many vapers refuse to use nicotine e-juice, even though the option is there, should they wish to.. More than likely, it has to do with nicotine’s native health hazards. As previously defined, nicotine is a poison, also, let’s not forget that nicotine is incredibly addictive.

Risks Associated with Nicotine

A review of data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows us that most cigarette smokers end up becoming hooked on the chemical. In addition, more “people in the United States are addicted to nicotine than to any other drug. Research suggests that nicotine may be as addictive as heroin, cocaine, or alcohol.” Speaking for myself, I would say I agree with that. But it is my on opinion I’m stating here.

Due to the addictive properties of nicotine, and to the direct benefit of the pharmaceutical companies who offer NRTs, quitting is not guaranteed. The CDC warns that quitting “smoking is hard and may require several attempts. People who stop smoking often start again because of withdrawal symptoms, stress, and weight gain.”

All too true. Plus quitting nicotine is quite expensive. Brand name nicotine patches can start from $20 and beyond, while off-brand names are still going to be in the double-digit range. Agai, these prices are comparable in the United Kingdom as well. As we mentioned before, the NRTs only deal with withdrawal symptoms. Which is bad enough, but they do nothing to fight the psychological component of nicotine addiction. And that, my friends may be worse. It certainly is for some people, who like myself, struggled. It could be said that pharmaceuticals have a conflict of interest in NRTs, which could be viewed as replacing one addiction for another.

As with most things, the lower-income smokers are the hardest hit, especially if they want to kick the nicotine habit. These people are often hit with a double-whammy during their journey to quit. There is some progress being made, for instance, on the legal front, several taxation
policies have continued driving up the price of cigarettes. Whereas, the aforementioned NRTs are extremely expensive. So, low-income smokers often have to tough it out and face the withdrawal symptoms head-on. None of which are pleasant and can include things like irritability, trouble thinking clearly, horrible cravings for nicotine products, and a pronounced appetite increase. Then, this too leads to the stress and weight gain that many smokers trying to quit experience on a consistent basis. So you can see why so many don’t make it.

Nicotine isn’t just harmful due to its withdrawal symptoms. This chemical produces a wide range of fundamental impacts against the human body. They are broken down into pharmacologic and psychodynamic effects. For instance, with Pharmacologic changes, we see increases in the heart rate, as well as heart muscle oxygen consumption rate, and heart stroke volume. The Psychodynamic effects can include raised alertness and feelings of euphoria, as well as a relaxing sensation. Which is what we are all seduced by.

It’s not difficult to see that if used nicotine appropriately and under watchful medical care, the attributes of nicotine could potentially be useful. Things such as reviving a patient. The real problem is that there is no reason why a chemical which is capable of raising the heart rate should ever be distributed in a retail market. Just considering nicotine’s addictive properties, the risk factor is morally unacceptable.

But never fear, because Medusa Juice is here and we have hundreds of products which are nicotine free and safe for everyone. If, you do want a liquid with nicotine, you can buy one where it’s included in different ratios, or you can purchase a separate nicotine shot and add it to your own specific needs.

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