Harmful effects of nicotine

With the advent of nicotine replacement therapy, the consumption of the nicotine is on the rise. Nicotine is considered to be a safer alternative of tobacco. The IARC monograph has not included nicotine as a carcinogen. However there are various studies which show otherwise. We undertook this review to specifically evaluate the effects of nicotine on the various organ systems.

Published: 19 February 2015

Positive :  No

Link to publication: http://www.ijmpo.org/article.asp?issn=0971-5851%3Byear%3D2015%3Bvolume%3D36%3Bissue%3D1%3Bspage%3D24%3Bepage%3D31%3Baulast%3DMishra

Authors:

Aseem Mishra
Pankaj Chaturvedi
Sourav Datta
Snita Sinukumar
Poonam Joshi
Apurva Garg


Summary

With the advent of nicotine replacement therapy, the consumption of the nicotine is on the rise. Nicotine is considered to be a safer alternative of tobacco. The IARC monograph has not included nicotine as a carcinogen. However there are various studies which show otherwise. We undertook this review to specifically evaluate the effects of nicotine on the various organ systems. A computer aided search of the Medline and PubMed database was done using a combination of the keywords. All the animal and human studies investigating only the role of nicotine were included. Nicotine poses several health hazards. There is an increased risk of cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal disorders. There is decreased immune response and it also poses ill impacts on the reproductive health. It affects the cell proliferation, oxidative stress, apoptosis, DNA mutation by various mechanisms which leads to cancer. It also affects the tumor proliferation and metastasis and causes resistance to chemo and radio therapeutic agents. The use of nicotine needs regulation. The sale of nicotine should be under supervision of trained medical personnel.


Conclusion

Nicotine is the fundamental cause of addiction among tobacco users. Nicotine adversely affects many organs as shown in human and animal studies. Its biological effects are widespread and extend to all systems of the body including cardiovascular, respiratory, renal and reproductive systems. Nicotine has also been found to be carcinogenic in several studies. It promotes tumorigenesis by affecting cell proliferation, angiogenesis and apoptotic pathways. It causes resistance to the chemotherapeutic agents. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is an effective adjunct in management of withdrawal symptoms and improves the success of cessation programs. Any substantive beneficial effect of nicotine on human body is yet to be proven. Nicotine should be used only under supervision of trained cessation personnel therefore its sale needs to be strictly regulated. Needless to say, that research for safer alternative to nicotine must be taken on priority.

Full text: IndianJMedPaediatrOncol36124-1093899_030218