What if there was no nicotine in cigarettes?

What if there was no nicotine in cigarettes?

GeorgieGirl GOLD
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

09 Apr 2003, 10:23 #1

Just a question ..... A work colleague asked me why I gave up smoking "Cold Turkey" when I could have used patches or something to make it all so much easier. In a nutshell - I explained to her that it is the nicotine in cigarettes that a smoker is addicted to and by using any kind of NRT's - you would be defeating (for the most part) the purpose of quitting. She responded by saying, "well it is not the nicotine that causes cancer etc - so what's the problem? Why did you not just use patches to get your nicotine instead of cigarettes". It was hard to explain to her that although this may be the case - why would one want to be addicted to the drug - regardless? Kinda got me thinking though ...... (I have read John's article on nicotine and it's possible cancer correlation) .... If there were no nicotine in cigarettes, less people would smoke would they not? If you took the "addictive" drug out of the cigarette it would not be as appealing (not that it is appealing at all, it's just that you would not have the constant cravings so you would not bother?). Then on the flip-side, even if nicotine were taken out of cigarettes - every other chemical that was left (although not addictive) are so dangerous and are the major cancer, emphysema, heart disease etc causing agents in a cigarette. So REALLY - when you look at it - there is no way out at all except to NOT SMOKE at all! Sorry if this sounds a bit confusing ... I guess I just wanted to better understand what other function nicotine serves (other than dangerous addiction) in a cigarette? Also - why can they not remove it? Just curious .... ???

Georgia
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OBob Gold
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

09 Apr 2003, 10:40 #2

Smoking a nic-free cigarette would be like drinking grape juice instead of wine, when you wanted wine. Injecting saline solution when you wanted heroin. No point. Let's presume that they probably could take the nicotine out of cigarettes. Nobody would buy them. Plain and simple. Sure, you might try one. You'd gag, and say, "yuck". You could take up smoking Oregano, and you'd stop pretty quickly, because you'd realize there was no fix. Smoking is about the nic-fix. Through the lungs, you get the quickest, and most efficient possible hit... even faster than injecting.....

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OBob Gold
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

09 Apr 2003, 10:42 #3

Or, to put it another way....
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ImageRecommend Message 2 of 7 in Discussion
From: Joel. Sent: 8/28/2002 6:30 AM
Forget it. Taking a herbal cigarette with the idea that it is somehow going to help you quit smoking is pretty much the same concept as giving an alcoholic grape juice because it looks like wine to treat alcoholism--with one noteable exception--grape juice is pretty much harmless--herbal cigarettes are in fact potentially dangerous as is any product that is burned and then inhaled into your lungs. Plus there are some issues which cigarettes being marketed as herbal or natural and still having tobacco in them. (see http://www.quackwatch.org/02ConsumerPro ... ettes.html)

Kaf, you are new here. You will quickly see we are not a group looking for quick fix gimmicks or an easy way out of smoking--people are here because they want to break their nicotine addiction and break their associated habits as well. They are here to improve their overall health and not pick up other dangerous habits in substitution for cigarettes.

I brought up a few strings that address the issue from a few different angles, and I do think we have a string somewhere on herbal cigarettes that I can't locate at the moment. If you want this quit to stick start working on the premise that the way to break your addiction and your associated habits is not by looking for a new product to inhale but rather by just knowing when it comes to smoking the way to end it is to never take another puff!

Joel

Related strings:
"A safer way to smoke?"
Crutches to Quit Smoking
The easy way to quit smoking
Nicotine vs. marijuana
Last edited by OBob Gold on 19 Mar 2010, 20:10, edited 1 time in total.
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GeorgieGirl GOLD
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

09 Apr 2003, 12:10 #4

Thanks OBob Image .... I totally understand what you are saying! I guess I just was trying to look for an answer as to WHAT other reason there is for nicotine to be put into cigarettes other than for it's addictive quality??? I know that without it - no-one would smoke. So why put it in?????? Hmmm - I guess it all comes down to the controversial Tobacco Industry, money making argument huh? If it wasn't for nicotine - there would be no smokers! So easy ..... why so hard????

Georgia
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OBob Gold
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

09 Apr 2003, 12:28 #5

I'm hoping Joel can pop along with a history of tobacco use.

I can point out though, that nicotine is naturally occurring in the tobacco plant. They don't add it later. People smoked it before there were tobacco companies. The Native Americans had it long before Europeans set foot on the American continents. I don't reckon they thought much about why they used it. At some point, before or after the Europeans moved in, somebody figured out the commercial viability of selling the stuff. Since it's attractiveness is dependant on the nicotine within it, I guess nobody's ever seen fit to remove the fundamental drug from it.

It's worth noting that the scientific name for the tobacco plant is:

Nicotiana tabacum

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GeorgieGirl GOLD
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

09 Apr 2003, 12:42 #6

Gee OBob - you are just a total wealth of information. I just love how you always say the right things! You have answered my question - I did not realise that nicotine naturally occurs within tobacco. Now that I know that it is not something that they "add" I understand more ..... Omigod .... excuse my ignorance Image. Once again - thank you so much for taking the time to understand my muddled post.

Georgia
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Toast (GOLD )
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

09 Apr 2003, 19:35 #7

Quick note:

Native Americans didn't sit around and smoke a pack a day. They used (and still use) tobacco ceremonially, with much ritual importance. Not only is it smoked, but also used as an offering. For example, for the Lakota Sioux, the Sacred Pipe is key to healing on many levels, from personal to worldwide. Similarly, cocoa was a sacred plant until the Europeans came and saw it another way. Both plants are still considered sacred by many indigenous populations.

Smoking nicotine-free cigarettes? All the flavor, 99.9% the cancer-causing chemicals and no addictive payoff? No thanks! Image Image (No thanks to the nicotine ones either!)

Image Melissa
22 months
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Rickgoldx5
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

09 Apr 2003, 21:49 #8

Image"A drunk drinks for effect, A nicotine addict smokes to stop withdrawls."
My Dad used to say "Just smoke your old socks" Sound bad but I got the point!
Rick
Eleven months, five days, 2 hours, 34 minutes and 30 seconds. 27208 cigarettes not smoked, saving $4,068.18. Life saved: 13 weeks, 3 days, 11 hours, 20 minutes.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

09 Apr 2003, 22:31 #9

So what if there were no nicotine in cigarette? Well, nobody would smoke them. The analogy with grape juice is good, to a point, While grape juice is totally useless for an alcoholic looking to get a fix, it still has a target audience of people who buy and use the product because they like grape juice. It tastes good, it is refreshing, it has nutritional value. It was never designed nor marketed as an alcoholic substitute.

By contrast, nicotine free cigarettes (and I mean totally nicotine free cigarettes, not the ones that say nicotine free that have nicotine in them) do not have any real chance of longevity in the market place. If they could produce a totally nicotine free cigarette that tasted just like tobacco cigarettes, smelled just like tobacco cigarettes, cost just as much as tobacco cigarettes, and carried all of the risks of tobacco cigarettes, you will be hard pressed to find a person who would buy a second pack of the product.

There was a brand of cigarette produced many years ago called Free Cigarettes, made from cocoa or lettuce or something. I don't remember the specifics. All I remember is they were introduced with great fanfare, a whole lot of people bought a pack, found that it tasted crummy and did not give them nicotine and basically never bought a second pack. The product disappeard quickly from store shelves. Why use a product that is raunchy if it doesn't deliver a drug fix?

Also as Bob pointed out, nicotine has always been naturally occurring in tobacco cigarettes. Cigarettes were always addictive. But cigarettes are much more addictive now than they were decades ago. Science has learned how to make cigarettes much more addictive, not by changing the amount of nicotine but adding other chemicals, most notably ammonia which changes the way nicotine is absorbed and delivered, changing it into a free-base form of the drug thus enhancing it's addictive potential without having to alter the nicotine content displayed on the pack.

Also Melissa is right about how tobacco was used for ceremonial purposes by Native Americans. There is a pretty good chance that over one hundred years ago the number of Native Americans that had actually crossed the line to addicted users was pretty small. But times have changed and the way cigarettes have been altered and the way nicotine is delivered now the number of people who use nicotine in smoked form and do not get addicted is actually quite small. For Native Americans who have taken up cigarette smoking as well as ceremonial use of tobacco, once they finally quit they cannot use it for ceremonial purposes without relapsing to a full-fledged need for the old compliment. It is no difference than people who are alcoholic having to avoid wine that may be part of their religious ceremonies and rituals.

Again, the answer to your question of what if there was no nicotine in cigarettes is that we would have no cigarettes. We would also have a much longer life expectancy, much fewer cases of premature death from cardiovascular illnesses, very few people with lung cancer or emphysema, and just generally healthier people and a much better smelling population. But there is little chance of this happening anytime soon because there is nicotine in tobacco and we have millions of people worldwide who are already addicted to it and plenty of kids taking it up daily who do not understand just how addictive nicotine is and how deadly cigarettes are.

I am going to rephrase your question now to the title of this post. You posed the question of what if there was no nicotine in cigarettes. My question is what if there was no nicotine left in an ex-smoker? The answer to that question is that the ex-smoker will not face nicotine withdrawal and as long as they never reintroduced nicotine again they would no longer face the risks associated with the continuing use of tobacco and nicotine products. These people will get healthier and reduce their risks of smoking related illness which would get lower and lower over time and never face nicotine withdrawal again. Then, to keep the benefits and to never have to face the control exerted on them by nicotine all they would have to do is always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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GeorgieGirl GOLD
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

10 Apr 2003, 07:51 #10

Thank you all for your replies - especially you Joel. Just wanted to point out that I was never considering the idea of looking for an alternative to "smoking" something without nicotine or anything like that at all. Was just a question I was asking that came up in a conversation with a colleague ... I feel like I am in trouble ImageImage. Thanks for the information everyone!

Georgia
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