You’re wrong about nicotine —and you’re not alone. A new campaign sheds light on nicotine use and vaping


PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA: Since 2017 the Vapour Products Association of South Africa (VPASA) has continued to educate South Africans about vaping.

This month, the not-for-profit delves even deeper with a campaign focused on the origins and uses of nicotine, an ingredient found in some vape liquids.

Nicotine 101 is an educational campaign that aims to:

  • Educate consumers on the basics of what nicotine is,
  • Dispel myths that nicotine is the cause of most smoking-induced illnesses, and
  • Provide insight on the role of nicotine in vaping.

In its purest form, nicotine is an alkaloid, a naturally occurring organic compound, produced by the nightshade family of plants. Despite its bad reputation as a key ingredient in cigarettes — the main reason many people think it is responsible for the harmful effects of smoking — nicotine can also be found in chewing and pipe tobacco, snuff, pesticides, e-cigarettes, vapes, and medicinal nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products, such as patches, gums, lozenges, and sprays.

Most nicotine is extracted from the tobacco leaf plant and consuming nicotine is not the problem. Instead, numerous studies have shown that the toxicants in the smoke produced when tobacco is burnt (what is known as combustion) alongside other chemicals like tar, propylene glycol or glycerine, are the main cause of the majority of health risks associated with nicotine. Vaping or using an e-cigarette cuts out the combustion and rather produces a nicotine aerosol (or vapour) that is less harmful.

“As we dedicate this month towards educating consumers about the origins, uses of nicotine and how it is applied in vapour products, we must acknowledge that these products were originally designed to deliver nicotine without toxic constituents like tar or other chemicals,” says Asanda Gcoyi, CEO of VPASA.

“Research over the last few years in specifically Sweden and the United Kingdom has shown that replacing or substituting cigarettes with vapour products leads to lower rates of smoking. The UK has experienced a drop of 25% in smoking since 2012 through public policies led by government bodies like Public Health England, which maintains that vaping is 95% less harmful than tobacco.” ​ ​

These findings only scratch at the surface of how the application of nicotine has been construed with health risks — and VPASA’s Nicotine 101 campaign looks to unravel even more myths associated with nicotine.

​Follow the campaign on social media to learn more about vaping and nicotine: TwitterFacebookand LinkedIn.

Read full article here.

Vapour Products Association – 2022-09-08.

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