Really all I need do here is link to this excellent blog, where all I want to say has been said. But I’ll waffle a bit. I too “believe that there are benefits to smoke-free nicotine use for a lot of people and nicotine itself isn’t any more “addictive” than caffeine.” This is also from the point of view of someone who thinks that vaping caffeine would be a bad idea in general. Bear with me while I waffle. First some science to start us off:
From my own experience I can’t run without caffeine. I also run very badly without nicotine. When I was trying to live without it, especially when I had stopped using it for 5 years, I was more stressed, more volatile in mood, sluggish, stupid, prone to weight gain and constantly, gnawingly, bone grindingly hungry. I craved carbohydrates constantly and my weight went up to 20 stone. I don’t want to do that again.
Caffeine has a 6 hour half life in the body, so my 11AM cup of coffee is still ticking along nicely keeping me caffeinated. By the time I go to bed tonight it will have been excreted from my system. Nicotine has a shorter half life of about 2 hours, and is absorbed differently, so I need to “top up” more often in order to keep myself at a happy nicotine level. I can go all night just the same, and I don’t reach for the vape as soon as I possibly can in the morning like I used to reach for the ciggies. Pure nicotine isn’t as addictive as tobacco anyway. More about nicotine addiction. Another link on nicotine facts. Why yes, I did do my research. So why not add caffeine to my nicotine vape and get both in one delivery system? Because of that pesky half-life of caffeine. It takes too long to clear it from my system. Vaping it would probably put me in caffeine overload mode far too quickly. Just as adding nicotine to my coffee and drinking it would be liable to cause me issues (quite apart from removing the hand to mouth and visible vapour that vaping gives me.) I am used to self-titrating my caffeine intake from drinking coffee, and my nicotine intake from inhaling. I think that’s one of the many reasons why gum and patches don’t work for me.
We went out as an extended family for a celebration meal the other night. One of our party had never seen an ecig before and had to have the explanation. Her immediate assumption was that we would have to give up the vape at some point, and that as it was so like smoking, going onto patches/gum would make that “stage” easier. Again the assumption that a reasonably non-harming “addiction” was a bad thing. It should be stopped, simply because it is an addiction. I’d throw the old over reactions about being addicted to breathing, eating and sleeping in here, but they are counter productive. People choose caffeine as a drug, others choose alcohol, one is more harmful than the other, both are legal. Nicotine is legal, arguably less harmful than alcohol, and yet I’m expected to give it up? No. I’m a happy caffeine addict. I’m a happy nicotine addict. I’m not doing myself anywhere near the harm that I was doing as a Tobacco addict, and my system is telling me that it’s happy.
In the words of the original blog that I quoted:
If you consider these facts, smoke-free nicotine users aren’t anymore “addicts” than caffeine users. The only differentiating factor is how the nicotine is consumed. When the nicotine is consumed by smoking, that can have serious health consequences for the smoker and negatively impact their life. But it is the inhalation of smoke that is creating the problem, not the nicotine dependency itself.
So why aren’t people who depend on caffeine to get through their day considered “addicts?” Mainly because using it generally doesn’t have a negative impact on the user’s health and quality of life and people feel they derive a benefit from its effects.
How is that any different than a smoke-free nicotine dependency? If you know the facts, you know it isn’t different at all.