Smoke, not nicotine, is responsible for deaths:Expert21 November 2020 ONLINE DESK
Smoke, not nicotine, is responsible for causing thousands of deaths globally caused by cigarette smoking every day. Prof. David T. Sweanor, chair of the advisory board of the Centre for Health Law, Policy & Ethics at the University of Ottawa and a public health expert marked this statement in his findings.
“There have been many decades of research on the health effects of cigarette smoking, and we have known since at least the 1970s that the primary cause of the cancers, heart and lung disease is the repeated inhalation of smoke,” said Sweanor.
Sweanor, a Canadian legal expert believes that tobacco harm reduction is one of the greatest public health breakthroughs in history. He has been at the forefront of global efforts to reduce cigarette smoking for nearly four decades.
“Our bodies are simply not designed to inhale smoke. We see similar disease patterns in those who cook food over open fires with poor ventilation and in firefighters exposed long-term to smoke inhalation,” said Sweanor.
He said it is the tar from combustion, and not nicotine, that contains carcinogens and toxicants. Contrary to popular belief, he said that nicotine is not the substance causing illnesses. “The nicotine itself is not the problem. The global health catastrophe we face is due to the way it’s delivered. In short, for anyone wishing to tackle the global toll of 20,000 lives a day lost due to cigarette smoking, we need to remember just four words: ‘it’s the smoke, stupid’,” said Sweanor.
Sweanor said nicotine can be compared to caffeine because it is a psychoactive substance that is addictive and gives assorted benefits to many users. “By themselves, neither have significant health risks when used at normal dosage levels. But if obtained through a toxic delivery system such as smoking, great injury can be caused,” he added.
Emphasizing on e-cigarette, he said recent technology developments have made it possible to consume nicotine without combustion, offering smokers less harmful alternatives like e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn tobacco products and snus deliver nicotine without burning tobacco.