Happy vapers, smokers wanting to get rid of their nasty habits, as well as major health organizations – seems like everyone is talking about nicotine these days. Most people know that nicotine is a quite harmful substance, and, although it’s not very far from the truth, it’s not all bad and evil. There are plenty of nicotine myths wandering around, and who knew that this substance can also be found in your average tomato?
Although we’re not going to get too much into the science here, let’s take a look at some quite surprising facts and shatter a few myths about nicotine.
5 Interesting Facts About Nicotine
1. Nicotine Is No More Harmful than Caffeine
According to a recent research in the UK, the actual harm of nicotine could be greatly overestimated. Officials of the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), stressing the danger of chemicals found in traditional tobacco cigarettes, stated that nicotine itself, however, is not the real enemy, and the addiction to it is not too dissimilar to caffeine addiction. And, look, here comes vaping as a certainly better alternative of nicotine delivery than smoking cigarettes – without inhaling thousands of those truly harmful chemicals.
2. Nicotine Is Found in Many Plants
The most common source of nicotine is the tobacco plant – a plant of the nightshade family. However, the substance is also present in many other plants. In trace amounts, it can be found in such widely used and well-known plants as tomatoes, potatoes, pepper and even the highly appreciated goji berries. If you’re running low on your e-juice, you could theoretically also resort to eating eggplants. Lots of eggplants, actually, because 20lbs of them contain 1mg of nicotine.
Although this is one of the most often heard facts about nicotine, no one usually bothers to explain why this substance is found in plants. The truth is that they produce nicotine to protect themselves from predators.
3. Nicotine Affects the Perception of Time
One of the nicotine withdrawal effects is its impact to the perception of time. In other words, when it leaves your system, it simply causes you to feel as if time passes more slowly. Although that’s quite an interesting side effect, it surely plays its part into making the process of quitting smoking unbearable for many people. Therefore, if you’re making your switch from cigarettes to vaping, we recommend you to choose e-liquids with a comparable nicotine strength to the cigarettes you smoked before – and that is around 18-24mg/ml for heavy, at least pack-a-day smokers, 12-18mg/ml for lovers of regular strength cigarettes and 8-12 for occasional smokers who prefer lights and ultralights.
4. Vapers Absorb Nicotine Differently than Smokers
One might think: my e-liquid contains nicotine, so I’m taking it in the same way as smoking a tobacco cigarette. Turns out that is not how it works. In an interesting study funded by American E-Liquid Manufacturing Standards Association, scientists compared the absorption of nicotine between smoking, using the so-called first generation e-cigarettes, and vaping on the ‘new-gen’ personal vaporizers. They quickly found out that the nicotine levels in human bloodstream depend on the delivery method and came to conclusions that ‘new-gen’ e-cigarettes are more effective in delivering nicotine than ‘first-gen’ devices. However, they also found out that both types of e-cigarettes are significantly less effective means of nicotine delivery compared to traditional tobacco cigarettes. This means that the nicotine levels in e-liquids should be much higher to allow a vaper achieve the same nicotine absorption as from smoking cigarettes. And it also means that vaping is safer when it comes to delivering nicotine because, in this way, it is actually harder to intake more of it.
5. Nicotine Can Go Bad
As a substance, nicotine is prone to heat, light and oxygen, so it can actually go bad. Therefore, if you’re thinking about ordering nicotine base for your own DIY e-liquids, you must also make sure that you’ll store it properly. Many e-juice mixing enthusiasts have gone through the phase when their nicotine loses its strength or acquires a harsh, peppery and almost unbearable taste. All of these factors can indicate that the nicotine has been stored improperly. Although the oxidation doesn’t happen immediately, it’s a good idea to keep your nicotine in the refrigerator or simply in a colder place away from direct sunlight.