My journey into vaping

Day 125: Vaping; Beware the evil Nick O’Teen

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Most of the issues we’re facing as vapers is because of the demonisation of smoking. I remember back in the early 80s seeing an anti smoking campaign about the evil “Nick O’Teen” – blaming all the ills of smoking on nicotine. This narrative – that nicotine was out there trying to corrupt and kill the young – was totally accepted and acceptable. We’ve had 25 years of indoctrination against nicotine, when Nicotine really isn’t the enemy nor should it be so feared as to produce the hysterical anti-vaping nonsense we’re seeing everywhere.

The dialogue about nicotine has to be changed. Sense on science still link it with arsenic in the statement:

Natural is often used to imply ‘healthier’ and‘safer’. This is misleading because many natural substances are neither healthy nor safe (e.g.nicotine or arsenic). Chemical scientists use ‘natural’ to describe substances that are derived from nature…

They won’t change this, and they can’t see why I believe that they are wrong to make this statement, in this way. I simply asked for a different example to be used in that context, not for a statement on the comparative toxicity of nicotine and arsenic. By leaving that statement as it stands they contribute to the very misunderstanding of science that they are seeking to correct.

In articles we see “Nicotine-laced liquid” and “Highly addictive and toxic nicotine.” It’s really not. Nicotine has not caused addiction or withdrawal when used to treat disease. The nicotine that is in e cigarettes is the same high quality pharmaceutical grade nicotine that is in the NRT products. We know that is the case because Trading Standards ensure that it is the case. So how is the nicotine in NRT magically OK, and the nicotine in e cigarettes magically evil? Is it because in NRT its a medicine, and in e cigarettes its not. I’ll argue that point till the cows go out again. Caffeine is a natural substance that is toxic in high dose. It has a similar effect  to nicotine on the body in use. Caffeine is used medically to improve the uptake of pain killers (amongst other uses) and as a consumer product, with guidelines but no legal limits or restrictions.

How toxic is nicotine? Not as toxic as you might think:

“the frequent warnings of potential fatalities caused by ingestion of small amounts of tobacco products or diluted nicotine-containing solutions are unjustified and need to be revised in light of overwhelming data indicating that more than 0.5 g of oral nicotine is required to kill an adult.”

Yes it is toxic, we should keep it out of the reach of children and pets, we should apply common sense to its use and storage. Because common sense isn’t common I will add my normal nicotine safety warning to this post. I will add it not because I don’t believe what I’m writing here, but because I don’t want to minimise the possible dangers. I’m trying to achieve a balance between the extreme negative, and common sense. You wouldn’t want a baby or your pet drinking strong energy drinks or chewing caffeine tablets either, would you? What we should not do is become hysterical about the evils of having it around us. Exhaled vapour doesn’t contain enough nicotine to have any effect on children, or pets. “Third hand” nicotine is really nasty scaremongering; it is as ridiculous as my saying we get third hand caffeine from surfaces in rooms where coffee has been made and consumed. You wouldn’t want your children exposed to third hand caffeine, they could pick it up on their hands crawling around. It could be a factor in ADD. And so the scaremongering starts. The thing is that nicotine, rather than being “an insecticide – why would you want to inhale that!” is a natural part of foodstuffs we all eat. We all consume tiny amounts of nicotine every day, and trying to eliminate it from a normal diet would be impossible and probably unhealthy. It is a natural substance. In those tiny dietary doses and when it’s not consumed by setting fire to the leaves that contain it and breathing in the resulting smoke, or drinking the nicotine e cigarette liquid, or putting twenty patches on your skin at once, it is relatively safe.


Please Support the NNA so that their voice for vapers can be heard loud and clear. Add your name as a supporter and then find the Paypal donate button on the right of the main page. Follow @NNAlliance on Twitter.

Medical professionals please see M.O.V.E and add your voice.



Nicotine is classed as a poison in its pure form.  Keep your Electronic Cigarette and cartridges / fluids locked away and out of the reach of children and pets. Toxic if swallowed. Very toxic in contact with skin. After contact with skin, wash immediately with plenty of water. In case of contact with eyes, rinse immediately with plenty of water and seek medical advice. In case of accident, or if you feel unwell seek medical advice immediately, show the label to the medical practitioner.

Author: Beki

A Mad middle aged woman who lives in the middle of nowhere, Scotland with a parrot, two Jack Russells, some koi, and a tank full of tropical fish. I have M.E. but that's really not important. I draw, paint, write, game, garden, blog and enjoy a good vape. I have three lovely grown up offspring, and 2 ex-husbands. I do genuinely have the legal title of 'Lady Rebecca Jane [SURNAME]', and am proud to support the restoration project which bestowed that title on me. I will happily explain where to find more information on this if you contact me.

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