This Harvard Study Will Surprise You

This Harvard Study Shows Nicotine Is Not Addictive

For many years we have heard how bad nicotine is, but a new study from Harvard shows that nicotine is not addictive.

So what makes cigarettes addictive then?

In their study published in July 2016, amid the announcement of FDA regulations, Harvard researchers scrutinized nicotine addiction claims. Focusing on pyrazines, which are chemical additives into nicotine for modern day cigarettes. This alters the cigarette, making nicotine more addictive than it normally would be.

Smoking ‘Pyrazines’ Enhances Flavor – And Addiction.

Pyrazines, responsible for varied smoke scents like “nutty” or “chocolaty,” play a pivotal role in greatly enhancing addiction, the study suggests. Originating from the 1990s, when Big Tobacco faced mounting health concerns, the introduction of “low tar” alternatives lacked flavor until pyrazines altered smoke taste. The pyrazines, not the nicotine, is deemed the addictive agent.

The study highlights pyrazines’ role in bolstering cigarette appeal, potentially enticing non-smokers, complicating quitting for current smokers, and facilitating relapse for former smokers. However, allegations persist that electronic cigarettes harbor pyrazines, fueling concerns of enticing youth with flavors like “cotton candy” or “chocolate-covered cherries.”

Contrary to such claims, e-liquids predominantly comprise Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerin, Flavorings, and water. While minute traces of pyrazines may exist in ecig flavorings, they are still bad for your health.

Tobacco manufacturers modified the design of products by directly adding constituents to cigarettes that stimulate gustatory, tactile and olfactory nerve receptors and create chemosensory effects that could enhance elasticity in nicotine dosing as well as strengthen sensory cueing to optimise the ‘pleasure’ in smoking.38 42–51 Pyrazines, a class of chemosensory agents, comprise 15 of the 599 compounds on the list of cigarette ingredients provided by manufacturers to the US Department of Health and Human Services in 1994,52 8 of the compounds on the list of additive ingredients provided by manufacturers to the FDA in 201153 and 10 of the compounds presently listed on cigarette manufacturers’ website as cigarette ingredients”54–56 (box 1).


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