Smoke versus Vapor

The Tobacco Industry vs the Electronic Cigarette

Facing the Facts

Facing the Facts

1) There are 1.1 billion smokers in the world today, and if current trends continue, that number is expected to increase to 1.6 billion by the year 2025.

2) China is home to 300 million smokers who consume approximately 1.7 trillion cigarettes a year, or 3 million cigarettes a minute.

3) Worldwide, approximately 10 million cigarettes are purchased a minute, 15 billion are sold each day, and upwards of 5 trillion are produced and used on an annual basis.

4) Five trillion cigarette filters weigh approximately 2 billion pounds.

5) It's estimated that trillions of filters, filled with toxic chemicals from tobacco smoke, make their way into our environment as discarded waste yearly.

6) While they may look like white cotton, cigarette filters are made of very thin fibers of a plastic called cellulose acetate. A cigarette filter can take between 18 months and 10 years to decompose.

7) A typical manufactured cigarette contains approximately 8 or 9 milligrams of nicotine, while the nicotine content of a cigar is 100 to 200 milligrams, with some as high as 400 milligrams.

8) There is enough nicotine in four or five cigarettes to kill an average adult if ingested whole. Most smokers take in only one or two milligrams of nicotine per cigarette however, with the remainder being burned off.

9) Ambergris, otherwise known as whale vomit is one of the hundreds of possible additives used in manufactured cigarettes.

10) Benzene is a known cause of acute myeloid leukemia, and cigarette smoke is a major source of benzene exposure. Among U.S. smokers, 90 percent of benzene exposures come from cigarettes.

11) Radioactive lead and polonium are both present in low levels in cigarette smoke.

12) Hydrogen cyanide, one of the toxic byproducts present in cigarette smoke, was used as a genocidal chemical agent during World War II.

13) Secondhand smoke contains more than 50 cancer-causing chemical compounds, 11 of which are known to be Group 1 carcinogens.

14) The smoke from a smoldering cigarette often contains higher concentrations of the toxins found in cigarette smoke than exhaled smoke does.

15) Kids are still picking up smoking at the alarming rate of 3,000 a day in the U.S., and 80,000 to 100,000 a day worldwide.

16) Worldwide, one in five teens age 13 to 15 smoke cigarettes.

17) Approximately one quarter of the youth alive in the Western Pacific Region (East Asia and the Pacific) today will die from tobacco use.

18) Half of all long-term smokers will die a tobacco-related death.

19) Every eight seconds, a human life is lost to tobacco use somewhere in the world. That translates to approximately 5 million deaths annually.

20) Tobacco use is expected to claim one billion lives this century unless serious anti-smoking efforts are made on a global level.

Nicotine Myths

We all know the dangers associated with smoking but how big a part does nicotine play in smoking addiction and is it really the most dangerous ingredient in cigarettes?

Explore some of the myths about nicotine and reveal the facts as provided on the Nicorette Fact Page.

Myths: Nicotine is carcinogenic

Fact: Nicotine is not proven to cause cancer. There are more than 4,000 other chemicals in cigarette smoke, many of which are known to cause cancer. In particular it is the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and nitrosamines that are the probable causative agents for lung and other cancers. The risks associated with NRT to aid stop smoking are significantly outweighed by the risks of smoking.

Myths: Nicotine causes the diseases related to smoking

Fact: Cigarettes are a well-known cause of cancer, chronic lung disease, heart disease, and other disorders. It is the myriad of toxins in cigarette smoke, rather than the nicotine content, that is responsible for the majority of the harmful effects. In other words, it is the delivery system, not the addictive drug, which is responsible for the vast majority of tobacco-related diseases.

Myths: Nicotine is responsible for adverse health effects related to smoking

Fact: The main adverse effect of nicotine in tobacco products is addiction, which sustains tobacco use. Because most smokers are nicotine-dependent, they continue to expose themselves to toxins from cigarettes. It is the other chemicals in cigarettes, not nicotine, which are responsible for most of the adverse health effects related to smoking.

Myths: Nicotine causes yellow stains on fingers and teeth

Fact: It is not the nicotine in cigarettes, but the tar that causes the unsightly yellow-brown stains on fingers and teeth.

Myths: NRT is more harmful than smoking because of nicotine's addictive nature

Fact: Nicotine is an addictive drug. When smoked, it is delivered into the lungs and is rapidly absorbed by the blood, reaching the brain within approximately ten seconds. At this point, smokers experience a nicotine "hit" - causing the brain to produce dopamines, a neurotransmitter that regulates emotion and feelings of pleasure. The brain soon comes to expect regular doses of nicotine and suffers withdrawal symptoms when the supply is interrupted. The addictive nature of nicotine is largely due to its dose and rapid delivery to the brain when smoking cigarettes. Compared to cigarette smoking, NRT provides lower doses of nicotine, which are delivered more slowly, in a controlled way, and over a shorter period of time with the dose being stepped down.

Myths: NRT is no safer than smoking

Fact: The benefit of NRT used to help give up cigarettes far outweighs the risks of smoking. The nicotine that is in NRT is manufactured through regulated pharmaceutical methods, as opposed to that in cigarettes, which is unregulated. Cigarettes contain more than 4,000 other chemicals compared to NRT, and it is these, rather than the nicotine content, that is responsible for the majority of the harmful effects.