Important:

  • Nicotine is not tobacco, and when nicotine is mentioned, nicotine is meant, not tobacco
  • Tobacco is very unhealthy, especially smoked, and should be avoided at all costs

Please consult this section with the infographics and information of the Risks of Drug Abuse and Addiction section.

  1. Nicotine
    1. E-liquid can, and has, killed people. The lethal adult dosage can be just over a milliliter of strong e-liquid. If there are children around, be responsible and place your e-liquid, clearly labeled, out of sight and reach. Ideally, buy e-liquid that is not flavored: it’s more healthy and less apt to be mistaken for a sugary drink.
    2. Again, Tobacco is not nicotine. Studies on the effects of nicotine are not studies on the effects of tobacco, nor have studies on both drawn like conclusions. Tobacco has a small amount of other natural psychoactive chemicals in it, both naturally and artificially. Tobacco is very addictive and harmful, nicotine is usually not; more on that down the page. If the two produced the same effect, e-cigs would have destroyed the tobacco market

So, the big question is: Why is this chemical okay to take, but classic stimulants like Adderall (amphetamine) and Ritalin (methylphenidate) aren’t? All lead to increases of dopamine (the main pleasure neurotransmitter). Can’t there be an amphetamine-like effect if we smoke enough tobacco?

  • It’s true that, for example, there’s no heavy amount of sugar, aspartame, and harmful phosphoric acid found in soft drinks. People don’t have to worry about gun cleaner when popping pharmaceutical stimulants.
  • And yet, especially regarding amphetamine, prescribed doses can be toxic to the brain and heart, not a trait of relatively normal consumption of nicotine
  • Question: Amphetamine and methylphenidate are prescribed a lot in the United States – it’s easy to get a prescription. So they must be safe, right?

    AnswerThis is a logical fallacy (just because it’s done a lot, doesn’t make it right). Amphetamine used to be prescribed for PTSD, too; and that certainly wasn’t right. The trend in the United States toward relatively free prescription of classic stimulants is quite counter to the prescribing practice of other industrialized countries, wrong, and frankly, disturbing. The information below will illuminate just how dangerous these chemicals can be. 

    • Classical stimulants, those with high addiction potential, generally work in one of two ways. They are part of the phenethylamine chemical class, a structural determinant.
      • NDRI (norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors). An example is Ritalin (methylphenidate). Others include Focalin (dextromethylphenidate), MDPV (a banned “bath salt”), and cocaine (which is also a serotonin reuptake inhibitor).
      • NDRA (norepinephrine-dopamine releasing agents). Different kinds of amphetamine, such as Adderall (amphetamine salts) and Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine), work this way; pages four to six of this essay cover an extended explanation of the many other effects by which amphetamine works. It’s quite complicated, much more so than the other two. Desoxyn (methamphetamine) and methcathinone also share this function with amphetamine, though they also operate as SRA’s (serotonin releasing agents), and as such, are much more toxic.

Nicotine

  • Nicotine and tobacco are quite different. The former has many health benefits to offer, the latter has many health risks. Nicotine itself can be medicinal. Unfortunately, scandalously, the two are oftentimes equated with one another -even in formal research. Additionally, while nicotine has perhaps the most research of any substance on its nootropic (cognition-enhancing) potential, tobacco seems to have the opposite effect
  • A fatal tobacco dose is more than 20 times a recreational dose. This is almost impossible by smoking, the main form of tobacco use as, from one draw, effects begin in just about seven seconds, peak quickly, and rapidly decrease after five minutes from exhaling. People who use smokeless tobacco are likely to know how much they can handle.
    • Nausea, dizziness, and dysphoria set in well-before a lethal dose is ingested
      • Someone throwing up is an easy spot of drug overdose
      • Stopping an overdose is as easy as waiting a few minutes (smoking), or taking the substance out of the mouth (chewing, oral snuff, and gum)
        • Once one takes a classical stimulant, the drug must run its course unless hospital-level intervention curtails it
      • Classic stimulants continue to provide pleasure, and the desire to take more, past a physically dangerous amount and right up to heart attack, seizure, and other emergencies.
  • Even if one overdoses on nicotine, the effects usually don’t last long enough to put one in great danger; even if one ingests e-liquid, their body purges itself fairly soon thereafter.
    • Given that people take stimulants for recreation, usually during parties, there won’t be a lot of sober people around looking out for peoples’ safety.
      • And if there are, stimulant overdose could manifest quietly – the victim could appear to pass out from alcohol consumption
    • Nicotine also does not work in the brain as classic stimulants do. As with caffeine, it secondarily increases pleasure chemicals, such as dopamine and endogenous (made from within, the body) opioid chemicals. It does not lead to increase of dopamine through reuptake inhibition or release.
      • Nicotine activates the (logically named) “nicotinic” regions of the acetylcholline receptors, which causes a host of downstream effects, depicted below, on such neurotransmitters as dopamine, glutamate, and GABA.

        Nicotine mechanism:

        There’s a realistic chance that “nicotine” used in the study below left was actually tobacco. Nonetheless, it’s what we have: a decent comparison of dopaminergic activity. While nicotine can cause dopamine levels to rise to about 230% of normal dopamine flow, amphetamine increases levels by 1000% – ten times more than normal; that’s what Adderall can do to the brain. Cocaine clocks in at about 350%. A seemingly harmless Adderall prescription can give about three times more euphoria than the violent criminal who sells cocaine.

        However, in our graph comparing nicotine and cocaine, we see cocaine increasing levels to 500%, and nicotine, 200%

        • Below right we have a much newer study – methamphetamine about four times as dopaminergic at peak than (the second most dopaminergic agent) cocaine, staying stronger than peak dopamine levels brought on by cocaine for several hours.
        • Cocaine at below left still exceeds nicotine reward, and more than sex and food combined.
          • Given information about amphetamine above, a “harmless” Adderall or Vyvanse or dexedrine script brings in more dopamine than nicotine, sex, food, and cocaine…combined. That’s what one’s brain is getting flood with: pure euphoria. And when the dose goes higher and the side effects start to outweigh the positive effects, things like not eating or sleeping only add to the proven neurotoxicity of that “harmless” prescription”.
            • Over two years after taking my last pill of adderall, having a 60mg prescription for about eleven months, I still crave the stuff.
            • Furthermore, we’re not talking about methamphetamine, which is twice as potent as, and more euphoric than, regular amphetamine.
            • We’re talking amphetamine of .06g per day by mouth, not methamphetamine of 1.5g per day by shot, which is a normal amount that meth addicts consume daily, sometimes in one big shot.

        Cocaine is much more addictive than sex and food combined. Methamphetamine is a behemoth of a reinforcer.

        • We know that the vast amount of cocaine and methamphetamine produced today is produced illegally, and for the illegal purpose of getting high. As such, they carry risks that legally produced drugs do not.
        • Methamphetamine is produced in pharmaceutical form for an extremely small population of treatment-resistant narcoleptics and those with ADHD, yet doses prescribed don’t exceed 25mg per day, whereas meth addicts commonly use 100 times that much, 2.5 grams, per day, by a more powerful route of administration.
        • Cocaine has very, very limited use during operations and does not go near common recreational doses, whereas chronic use destroys the nose for one.
        • Both cocaine and methamphetamine are very neurotoxic and cardiotoxic, also regarding every system and organ of the body. So is improper prescription of Adderall and Ritalin (prescriptions for those who don’t have ADHD or narcolepsy).

        If all of the content so far has been read through, it’s the strong hope of this site that people realize the particular insidious nature of being prescribed a stimulant without needing one, in a neat little bottle, with an official label, everything looking so professional…

        Let’s take a look at smoking tobacco

        • Chronic tobacco smoking, is, as we know, extremely damaging to one’s physical health. Due to fillers, it also poses real risk to mental health. Commercial smoking tobacco doesn’t just have the carcinogenic nitrosomines that are naturally found in tobacco, but hundreds of artificially added poisons, such as arsenic and acetylaldehyde – all to make the product more addictive. Let’s look at a few of the hazards that comes with chronic tobacco smoking.

Sources: https://image.slidesharecdn.com/dent2-090615075419-phpapp02/95/pet-and-spect-scanning-functional-brain-imaging-49-728.jpg?cb=1245052563, https://qph.ec.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-234e09b077f401dfdab79b385bb60fc9