Saturday, March 5, 2016

But You're Still Addicted...

Vapers are often told, "Sure, you quit smoking, but you're still addicted." What does that even mean?

I consume around 12 mg to 18 mg of nicotine per day as a vaper. Vapers may consume anywhere from 0 mg to 200 mg per day. If I don't use my vapor device for a while, I sometimes feel a bit anxious and maybe feel a little crabby. Nicotine is not a carcinogen, but some studies say nicotine could raise the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Lining up for a fix of their socially acceptable.
 mood-altering, psychoactive drug.
But compare that to caffeine. The average daily caffeine consumption (from all sources) by US adults is, on average, 178 mg per day. (If you include children under 18, the mean only goes down to 165 mg per day, so kids are consuming a significant amount of caffeine, as well.) Some age groups consume 300 mg to 400 mg per day. Many health experts say that the safe level is around 300 mg per day. People who eliminate caffeine from their diet can experience "withdrawal" symptoms such as headaches, anxiety, nausea and restlessness, in many ways similar to the effects of nicotine "withdrawal." Some studies have also linked caffeine to cardiovascular disease.

Both caffeine and nicotine use are linked to improvements in mental alertness and concentration, but nicotine is curiously known to also help with relaxation. Both chemicals have been linked to possibly helping in some way with brain diseases like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and MS. Nicotine has additionally been linked to aiding patients with ulcerative colitis.

Both caffeine and nicotine occur naturally. Caffeine in coffee, tea and cocoa; and nicotine in eggplant, green peppers, tomatoes, other vegetables and the tobacco plant. (Notice which chemical is present in nutritious, fresh, whole foods and which must be heavily processed for human consumption?) Both chemicals are stimulants. Both are a mood-altering, psychoactive drug. Both chemicals are natural insecticides. Both chemicals are toxins and can kill you if you consume too much.

One clear difference between nicotine and caffeine is that the effects of nicotine wear off far faster than the effects of caffeine, so nicotine consumers take in more or less the same in milligrams, but do it more frequently. Because of that, a caffeine consumer can drink a big cup of coffee and be good for a few hours, whereas a vaper may seem to have their device glued in their hand. That gives the false impression that nicotine consumers are "more dependent" than caffeine consumers. (Of course, many caffeine users are never far from their morning cup off coffee then switching to their afternoon energy drink or caffeinated soda, but no one really notices that.)

So, does it really make sense that vapers are treated as "addicts" and nicotine use is warned against, while caffeine consumers are treated as "normal" and caffeine use is practically worshipped?

Vapers aren't smoking. They are just nicotine consumers and, as I've just shown, that's not much different from being a caffeine consumer. Unless you never consume caffeine and also see caffeine consumers as "addicts," maybe consider checking your judgemental opinion of "vapers are still addicts" at the door?

7 comments:

  1. I have learned to deal with people like that in the past through personal experience by shutting their conversation down by saying, "Right this conversation has just ended, you obviously don't know what your talking about, nicotine is as harmless as caffeine". Then walk away and leave them to it, show no more interest in what they have to say especially if you get the I'm qualified in this or that, really ticks them off when you won't engage, that is the tactic they use so turn it around on them, it works.

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  2. It's incredibly annoying and harmful, that thanks to patches and gum sellers and their Public Health friends, niotine has been seriously misrepresented, to the point that those in charge of regulating, along with others in public health, have no factual understanding of the subject. They just repeat and fear the myths that have been created.

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  3. Addiction is "persistent use despite negative consequences". Smoking meets that criteris; vaping does not. Nicotine, like caffeine, produces "dependecy" rather than "addiction".

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  4. I've watched family consume sugery junk food by the bagful, eat overly processed "food", consume alcohol on a regular basis, drink coffee and/or sodas loaded with sugar and/or aspartame all day long, drink things like Red Bull and get crabby and irritable when they've gone too long without their particular "fix". But they'll look at me as I vape and say, in a condescending tone "When are you going to give that up? You know you're still addicted, right?". I reply that I'm not and that I'm not discussing it with them. People living in glass houses should not throw rocks.

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  5. I like to bring up their sugar addiction as well. Most people have no clue exactly how much sugar they consume every day or the damage that it's doing to their bodies. And they really don't want to think about it...until one day when their doctor tells them they are diabetic or pre-diabetic. In the U.S., approximately 1/3 of the adult population is pre-diabetic and 10% are diabetic. Now THAT should scare people.

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  6. I think money is the main motivation here. That is what is driving this boat. Why do we need big brother's protection in this matter when no harm has been proven to have been done. I think that they are peeved because they haven't found a way to skim off some of the money being made in this industry yet.

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  7. i just can't believe this. where was legislation to protect ME when i was a child and growing up with ads of the marlboro man? what happened to all those executives swearing "i don't believe nicotine is addictive" and congress swallowing it? i've been smoking since i was 12, i am now 53 and for the 1st time since then i've finally - FINALLY - quit smoking for good.

    vaping succeeded where everything else failed (tablets, sprays, patches). so i am vaping instead, and boy it's so effective that i've still got 3 cigarettes from my last pack in front of me all day to remind me of what i've left behind, and i feel no need to use them.

    vaping is a miracle.

    it's so effective that i've cut down from 18mg cigarettes to 18mg juice then progressively dropped to 5mg. i've dabbled in 3mg and even tried nicotine-free juice for a day, and it's worked perfectly for as long as i can reach for my vaping device.

    as soon as i've ran out of my current batch of liquids, my next one will be nicotine-free juice and i'll be done with nicotine altogether. i can finally see a future free of smoking AND, eventually, vaping, but it's only been possible because of the current generation of liquids and devices. they are a gift to us smokers, please do not take it away.

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