Contrary to popular belief, the primary active ingredient in cigarettes — nicotine — may not be responsible for the millions addicted worldwide after all. A new nicotine addiction study reveals some interesting insights into what might make cigarettes truly addictive.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, the harmful effects of nicotine can lead to a slew of health-related issues and complications, affecting your heart, lungs, reproductive system, kidneys, and more. Studies even show nicotine use can have carcinogenic effects among animals and human beings.
But are you getting the whole story on the popular topic of addiction? Or are pieces of the nicotine puzzle being purposely left out? What if smokers knew they were being tricked on a chemical level?
New research on tobacco dependency sheds new light on the nicotine conundrum. The study provides evidence suggesting that “nicotine’s reinforcing effects alone are not sufficient to account for the intense addictive properties of tobacco smoking and the high relapse rates among smokers after quitting, even when provided nicotine in forms other than tobacco”. So if nicotine isn’t responsible for the billion users worldwide addicted to cigarettes, what is?
Enter Pyrazines, a chemosensory additive used by tobacco manufacturers abroad. The chemical stimulant has been shown to affect tactile and olfactory nerve receptors, strengthening the human sensory response and directly optimizing pleasure effects associated with smoking. 15 out of the 599 compounds in cigarettes are classified as Pyrazines.
The chemical additives, said to be among the most important compounds in cigarettes, are responsible for the many of the popular flavors and aromas associated with cigs like popcorn, butter, and nuttiness.
Furthermore, the study provided evidence to support the deliberate use of gas-chemical based flavor additives as a means to increase aromatic intensity in light cigarette products. So while many were switching to light cigarettes for their decreased tar levels in an effort to quit smoking (or at least cut back), users were being tricked on a sensory level into smoking a highly desirably altered version of the same thing.
The e-juice used by vapers as a less harmful means of nicotine delivery contains a total of five ingredients: water, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, food grade flavorings, and liquid nicotine. Those actively looking to make the switch from tobacco products are met with a chemically clean product they can trust. Yet the effectiveness of vapor products continues to be largely ignored.