A look into whether Nicotine is harmful or not


Nicotine constantly gets a bad reputation, especially if used in the same sentence as vaping as people believe it’s bad for you and as harmful as smoking. This however isn’t the case but fake news and misinformation is spread far and wide and people believe it.

In this article, I’m going to delve in to whether Nicotine is safe, and what harmful, if any, effects it has.

What is Nicotine?

Nicotine is something that is extracted from Tobacco plants, commonly within the Nightshade family. Tobacco plants first originated within South America, before spreading out further to other continents.

Nicotine is a naturally produced chemical that is found within a family of compounds called Alkaloids. Based on scientific studies, the highest levels of nicotine are found within Tobacco leaves and Nicotine makes up anywhere from 0.6% to 3% of the dry weight within a tobacco leaf.

Is Nicotine harmful?

This is the million dollar question, and the answer varies based on how nicotine is handled, or ingested, both of which I will cover below.

Liquid nicotine in its raw form is harmful if it’s not handled in the correct manner. Liquid nicotine is what gets used within our vape juices, and we ensure all of our staff have the appropriate training as well as PPE when handling this substance.

When it’s not treated, Nicotine is a highly toxic substance that can lead to acute poisoning, with a fatal dose being as low as 40mg if ingested. This doesn’t just mean ingested orally, it also applies to if it’s absorbed into the skin in anyway.

Is Nicotine harmful if it’s in Vape juice?

Now to get on to the other answer, Nicotine found in vape juice is not harmful as this has been diluted down in a VG/PG mixed solution to eradicate any risks to the user. I’ve written an article on if it’s safe to use Nic Salts which is available to read HERE

This also applies to Nicotine shots that are sold to be added to shortfill vape juice, or for people who want to make their own vape juice.

If you are looking at DIY vape juice, please ensure the nicotine you buy is not raw form, and that it’s been diluted in a PG/VG solution to stop any poisoning risks occurring. 

Is nicotine harmful in cigarettes?

Another classic misinformation on nicotine is the harmful cancer-causing substance in cigarettes. WRONG.

Nicotine isn’t what is the cause for the diseases related to smoking, it’s the 6000+ chemicals that are created when a cigarette is lit and burned down.

“Nicotine is no more harmful that caffeine”

However, whilst nicotine is not harmful, it isn’t all innocent as I’ll explain below.

Nicotine is a highly addictive substance

You’ve probably seen it splattered across your vaping products packaging, as well as cigarette and tobacco packets/pouches. Nicotine is indeed a highly addictive substance and that is what gets people hooked on cigarettes.

People don’t smoke cigarettes because they’re addicted to tar and carcinogenics, it’s the nicotine found within them. And becoming addicted to nicotine can lead to having a dependence on nicotine which can be hard to shift.

When it comes to somebody looking to quit nicotine, they may find that they suffer from withdrawal symptoms, of varying different qualities and degrees of severity. The symptoms can be any of the following;

  • Cravings
  • Sleepless nights
  • Nightmares
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite/increased appetite
  • Restlessness/frustration/irritable

A study carried out by the American Heart Association showed that quitting nicotine from tobacco is the hardest addiction to overcome. There are various methods of combatting this addiction;

  • The cold turkey method, where somebody simply stops smoking and inhaling nicotine, and uses no alternative form of nicotine replacement therapy.
  • Using nicotine patches
  • Using inhalers
  • Chewing nicotine gum.
  • Or what is now becoming the safest, and most successful way of quitting smoking; using an e cigarette.

Nicotine does have some positives!

When ingested, nicotine can act as a stimulant to the body and mind. This is caused by nicotine delivering a “kick” to the Adrenal glands, causing them to become stimulated and releasing a small amount of adrenaline through the body. This then caused a chain reaction within the body by increasing heart rate, blood pressure and the rate of breathing.

Whilst delivering this kick, it also indirectly releases a small amount of dopamine to the pleasure and motivation parts of the human brain.

Studies have also shown that nicotine appears to help improve memory and concentration levels, and reduces anxiety levels.

 To conclude, Nicotine may be highly addictive and cause people to have a dependency on it, either from smoking or vaping, but it certainly is not harmful for you.