“Nicotine does not cause cancer.” “Yes, it does.”


A black and white photo of smoke with white text asking 'Does nicotine cause cancer'

While Google’s search engine generally reassures nicotine users that it won’t increase their likelihood of developing or dying from cancer, a rash of 2022 studies suggest otherwise.

Before getting started, first, in cancer biology, there are legitimate distinctions between “causing” cancer, “promoting” cancer, and the chemical “itself,” or the chemicals it breaks down into (its metabolites) causing cancer.

But if one is advocating the “relative safety” of inhaling a potent natural insecticideis it fair to hide known cancer risks behind a semantics curtain?

Does nicotine cause cancer? Let’s look at featured Google search results:

  • “Nicotine does not cause cancer.” (CancerResearchUK.org)
  • “Recent studies suggest that nicotine has several cancer-causing effects.” (Healthline.com)
  • “No, nicotine does not cause cancer.” (NewYorkSmokeFree.com)
  • “The results of a 2018 investigation suggest that nicotine might be a carcinogen (cancer-causing agent).” (VeryWellHealth.com)
  • “Nicotine itself does not cause cancer.” (ShareCare.com)
  • “Nicotine is not known to cause cancer.” (TruthInitiative.org)
  • “Nicotine is not considered carcinogenic despite what many people believe.” (EuroVape.eu)
  • “Nicotine is not known to cause cancer.” (Canada.ca)
  • “Four in 10 smokers incorrectly think nicotine causes cancer.” (Gov.UK)
  • “Alarmingly high number of US doctors think nicotine causes cancer.” (FilterMag.org)

Now, contrast Google assurances with nicotine cancer warnings featured in recent medical journal articles:

  • “E-cig nicotine can be nitrosated in mouse and human cells becoming nitrosamines, thereby causing two carcinogenic effects, induction of DNA damage and inhibition of DNA repair, and that e-cigarette aerosol is carcinogenic in mice.” (Mutation Research 2022)
  • “Nicotine, a psychoactive alkaloid found in tobacco, is associated with the development of gastric cancer.” (International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2022)
  • Nicotine is the main addictive component of tobacco smoke and promotes angiogenesis, proliferation, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition while promoting growth and metastasis of tumors.” “Nicotine contributes to the pathogenesis of a wide range of cancers including breast cancer through its carcinogens such as NNK.” and NNN.” (Breast Cancer 2022)
  • Collectively, our results depicted a novel and clinically important mechanism of chemoresistance in small cell lung cancer (SCLC) treatment: nicotine exposure significantly compromises the efficacy of platinum-based chemotherapies in SCLC treatment by reducing therapy-induced DNA damage and accelerating chemoresistance acquisition. The results also emphasize the urgent need for tobacco cessation and the control of NRT use for SCLC management.” (Cancers 2022)
  • “Brain metastasis is the most common malignancy of the central nervous system, occurring in up to 50% of lung cancer patients with a median survival of less than a year and at a rate twice to ten times higher than that of primary neural neoplasms.” “Here, we showed that nicotine skews neutrophil polarization within the pre-metastatic brain niche and promotes metastatic colonization of lung cancer cells by regulating their stemness and energy metabolism.” (Oncogene 2022)
  • “Nicotine, the most abundant smoke component, deposits on indoor surfaces during smoking and reacts with pollutants in the indoor environment to form a mix containing toxic and carcinogenic chemicals. More specifically, surface-bound nicotine reacts with nitrous acid (HONO), a common atmospheric species that is emitted from indoor combustion appliances and smoking, to produce tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs) including NNA, NNK and NNN.” (PLoS One 2022)
  • “We have shown that nicotine … promotes metastatic colonization of breast cancer by enhancing cancer cell plasticity, thereby facilitating tumor progression” (Nature 2021)
  • “Nicotine and its derivatives are the most well-known carcinogens that participate in both etiology and progression of lung cancer.” (Heliyon 2021)
  • “As the major component of tobacco and e-cigarettes, nicotine is not only responsible for addiction to smoking but also a carcinogen. Here we report that nicotine enhances ESCC cancer malignancy and tumor-initiating capacity by interacting with the cholinergic receptor nicotinic alpha 7 subunit” CHRNA7) and activating the JAK2/STAT3 signaling pathway.” (Oncogene 2021)
  • Nicotine promotes breast cancer metastasis by stimulating N2 neutrophils and generating pre-metastatic niche in [the] lung.” (Nature Communications 2021)

As yet, is there any evidence that e-cigarettes cause cancer? It’s early and epidemiological evidence is extremely limited. Also, stay mindful of the fact that the amount and duration of nicotine exposure are likely to be important risk factors.

Cancer Prevalence in E-Cigarette Users: A Retrospective Cross-Sectional NHANES Study” is the title of a 2022 study published in the World Journal of Oncology. It found that “e-cigarette users have 2.2 times higher risk of having cancer compared to non-smokers.”

While the vast majority who annually succeed in fully arresting their chemical dependence upon nicotine do so cold turkeysince 1984, pharmaceutical industry NRT makers (nicotine replacement therapy) have been a primary smoking cessation study funding source.

Most key researchers have a history of having been paid consulting, speakers or study fees by NRT manufacturers. Unwilling to bite the hand that feeds them, few have studied and shared real-world nicotine acessation research as doing so would highlight NRT’s failure.

To quote Professor Simon Chapman’s new book “Quit Smoking Weapons of Mass Distraction,” “there can be few if any other drugs, used for any purpose, which have even come close to the dismal success rate of e-cigarettes or NRT in achieving their main outcome.”

“If we went along to a doctor for a health problem and were told, ‘Here, take this. It has a 90% failure rate. But let’s both agree to call this successful,’ we would understandably take the view that ‘success’ when used in this context was not the way that it is used in any other treatment context.”

As for Chapman’s view of vaping risks, “If any scientist had declared in 1920 that cigarette smoking was all but harmless, as vaping advocates insisted today about e-cigarettes, history would have judged their call as heroically and dangerously incorrect. cavalier call that many vaping advocates routinely make, after just 10 years or so of widespread use in some nations.”

Is long-term nicotine use elevating your risk of dying from cancer? Why wait on bad news and low odds, while wishing you’d stopped vaping or chewing nicotine gum years earlier.

What better time than now to reclaim your mind, thinking, priorities, mouth, time, coins, breathing, health and life?

There was always only one rule, the Law of Addiction. When quitting, while one puff will always be too many and thousands not enough, it’s impossible to fail so long as all nicotine stays on the outside.

Yes, only one rule … just one hour, challenge and day at a time, to never take another puff, dip, vape or chew!

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