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Nicotine and Cardiovascular Health: When Poison is Addictive - a WHF Policy Brief

Dorotheo, E Ulysses; Arora, Monika; Banerjee, Amitava; Bianco, Eduardo; Cheah, Nuan Ping; Dalmau, Regina; Eissenberg, Thomas; ... Wang, Yunshu; + view all (2024) Nicotine and Cardiovascular Health: When Poison is Addictive - a WHF Policy Brief. Global Heart , 19 (1) , Article 14. 10.5334/gh.1292. Green open access

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Abstract

Nicotine is universally recognized as the primary addictive substance fuelling the continued use of tobacco products, which are responsible for over 8 million deaths annually. In recent years, the popularity of newer recreational nicotine products has surged drastically in many countries, raising health and safety concerns. For decades, the tobacco industry has promoted the myth that nicotine is as harmless as caffeine. Nonetheless, evidence shows that nicotine is far from innocuous, even on its own. In fact, numerous studies have demonstrated that nicotine can harm multiple organs, including the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Tobacco and recreational nicotine products are commercialized in various types and forms, delivering varying levels of nicotine along with other toxic compounds. These products deliver nicotine in profiles that can initiate and perpetuate addiction, especially in young populations. Notably, some electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and heated tobacco products (HTP) can deliver concentrations of nicotine that are comparable to those of traditional cigarettes. Despite being regularly advertised as such, ENDS and HTP have demonstrated limited effectiveness as tobacco cessation aids in real-world settings. Furthermore, ENDS have also been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. In contrast, nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) are proven to be safe and effective medications for tobacco cessation. NRTs are designed to release nicotine in a slow and controlled manner, thereby minimizing the potential for abuse. Moreover, the long-term safety of NRTs has been extensively studied and documented. The vast majority of tobacco and nicotine products available in the market currently contain nicotine derived from tobacco leaves. However, advancements in the chemical synthesis of nicotine have introduced an economically viable alternative source. The tobacco industry has been exploiting synthetic nicotine to circumvent existing tobacco control laws and regulations. The emergence of newer tobacco and recreational nicotine products, along with synthetic nicotine, pose a tangible threat to established tobacco control policies. Nicotine regulations need to be responsive to address these evolving challenges. As such, governments should regulate all tobacco and non-medical nicotine products through a global, comprehensive, and consistent approach in order to safeguard tobacco control progress in past decades.

Type: Article
Title: Nicotine and Cardiovascular Health: When Poison is Addictive - a WHF Policy Brief
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.5334/gh.1292
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/gh.1292
Language: English
Additional information: © 2024 The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by/4.0/. Global Heart is a peer-reviewed open access journal published by Ubiquity Press.
Keywords: Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Disease, Tobacco Control and Public Health, Tobacco and Nicotine Products, Humans, Nicotine, Smoking Cessation, Smoking, Poisons, Tobacco Use Cessation Devices, Nicotiana, Policy, Cardiovascular System
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Health Informatics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10186865
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