Nicotine - Is It As Bad As People Who Have No Clue What They Are Talking About Would Have You Believe?

A lot has been written about the dangers of vaping and most articles I read seem to concentrate on nicotine as the main danger. So, let's examine nicotine and sort out the facts from the misinformation.

What is Nicotine?

Nicotine is an alkaloid produced by members of the nightshade family of plants, such as the tobacco plant. Other members of the nightshade family of plants include potatoes, tomatoes, goji berries, peppers and chilis.

The effect of nicotine on the human body is to act as both a stimulant and an anxiolytic (it reduces anxiety), there is also some evidence to show that it acts as a mild analgesic.


False claim number 1 - Nicotine is carcinogenic:

No it isn't


False claim number 2 - Nicotine causes heart disease:

No it doesn't


False claim number 3 - Nicotine causes Brain damage:

No it doesn't. There have been several studies into the effect of nicotine on synapse development in adolescents. It has no effect what-so-ever, other than chemically on post-adolescent brains. It certainly doesn't cause brain damage and adolescents shouldn't be vaping, period!


Is nicotine not used as a pesticide?

Yes and no. Nicotine and other tobacco derived alkaloids have been used for centuries in concentrated doses as pesticides and from the later part of the 20th century neonicotinoids (alkaloids derived from nicotine) have been produced commercially for agriculture and in tick and flea preparations for your cats & dogs.


Surely that means Nicotine isn't safe for humans?

No it doesn't. These derivatives and neonicotinoids are used in high concentrations in flea and tick applications for pets (400mg doses) to achieve the desired effect on creatures that weigh less than 1mg. An average British man weighs 85kg, that is 85 MILLION fleas. Getting off track, the real fact to take from that is you'll put 400mg of a substance that has been chemically engineered to be more deadly than nicotine on your moggy or pooches skin and it will have no ill-effects whatsoever.


Public Health England themselves stated (before TDP regulations came into effect) that "E-liquid normally comes in 10ml bottles containing up to 360mg of nicotine. This poses no risk to vapers if used as intended.", that was when e-liquids were allowed to be twice as strong as they are now. If you want some context, in the USA (the most litigious nation on the planet) they can have e-liquids up to 6% (60mg/ml), that's three times the strength you can legally buy in the UK.


I hate that I have to use the following examples, but the fact of the matter is there has been no proper scientific study to find the toxicity of nicotine in humans. Public Health England also noted an attempted suicide "Where adults drank up to 1,500mg of nicotine in e-liquid, the result was vomiting and recovery within a few hours" and "One fatal outcome was recorded with 3,950mg of nicotine found in gastric content. The victim seems to have drunk three vials of e-liquid totalling over 10,000mg of nicotine".


That is 7.5 x 10ml bottles of 20mg strength were drunk and the result was vomiting and the other, more unfortunate case, was 6,050mg of nicotine (the other 3,950mg was undigested), which is just over 30 x 10ml bottles of 20mg strength e-liquid and the result is death.


You might be thinking to yourself "what is his point?". OK, I'll get to it. Nicotine is, from what I can see, perfectly safe. OK, so it chemically changes your mood, but so does chocolate (contains theobromine, which is lethal at high enough doses), Alcohol and Caffeine. All good in moderation.



There was apparently a "scientific" study by 2 brothers in the 1850s, to determine the toxic effects of nicotine. One drank 1,500mg and felt nothing and the other drank 3,000mg and was nauseated. Neither felt any other ill-effects. The EU in drafting their TDP regulations didn't consult any scientific studies into the effects of nicotine in humans. Not even that one. Make up your own mind.


In writing this article I scoured the internet looking for good quality articles based on solid scientific research and observation, no mean feat when you have to wade through the utter crud which is spouted by those who don't have the common decency or sense to do the same thing. A good place to start is with these articles:


Cancer Research UK - Is Vaping Harmful?


British Heart Foundation - Is Vaping Safe?



Truth Initiative - Nicotine and the young brain


Flea Science - Imidacloprid


Public Health England - E-cigarettes: an evidence update


National Library of Medicine - How much nicotine kills a human? Tracing back the generally accepted lethal dose to dubious self-experiments in the nineteenth century



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