How unhealthy is smoking cigarettes

Nicotine is no more harmful than caffeine

The British health authority “Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH)” is currently accusing the British of a misperception by the British about the relative health risks of nicotine, cigarettes and nicotine replacement therapy products.

The RSPH would like to encourage smokers to replace the traditional tobacco cigarette with safer forms of nicotine consumption.

Because In addition to nicotine, tobacco contains around 4,000 other chemicals, including tar, carbon monoxide and formaldehyde, which mainly produce carcinogenic substances through the inevitable combustion process and thus can cause numerous serious diseases. Nicotine in cigarettes is mainly harmful because it is combined with other harmful chemicals such as tar and arsenic.

The physical ingestion of pure nicotine, on the other hand, is relatively harmless. As a highly addictive substance, nicotine is one of the main reasons why people become addicted to cigarettes and consequently consume them regularly.

So people often smoke because of the nicotine, but die because of the tar and other toxic substances.

Since nicotine is a very addictive substance, it is often very difficult to quit smoking despite your express request. Research has shown that almost two thirds of all active smokers want to quit smoking. Nevertheless, half of all smokers find it difficult to go without a cigarette for even one day.

And even if the health ideal should be very clear that no nicotine is consumed at all, additional support is often essential for this long-term goal.

The RSPH is now recognizing significant misunderstandings among the broad British public, as well as among some medical professionals, about the health risks of nicotine, cigarettes and nicotine replacement therapy products.

90% of non-smokers and 78% of smokers mistakenly regard nicotine as a central dangerous element in cigarettes.

Another study of public attitudes towards NRT products yielded similar results. 69% of smokers and 76% of non-smokers do not know that nicotine replacement therapy products such as plasters, chewing gum and e-cigarettes are less dangerous than cigarettes and, moreover, are less addictive.

Electronic cigarettes and various nicotine replacement therapy products (chewing gum, lozenges and patches) also contain nicotine, but no other harmful substances comparable to cigarettes.

These misperceptions prompted the RSPH to develop a strategy to make it easier for smokers to switch.

Key points of the RSPH to improve public health are:

  • Compulsory sale of nicotine replacement therapy in stores that sell cigarettes. Only 3 out of 134 tobacco stores sold NRT products. In one study, less than 0.5% of retailers were selling nicotine replacement therapy; Almost three quarters of the population (70%) are in favor of the compulsory sale of such products.
  • Licensing of all cigarette sellersso that local authorities can revoke licenses from retailers who have found them to be inconsistent with tobacco laws such as age restrictions and exhibition bans
  • Greater use of e-cigarettes through smoking cessation services and public authorities in the fight against tobacco use
  • Renaming e-cigarettesto further detach them from conventional cigarettes: Despite the use of the term electronic or e-cigarette, these products are very different from cigarettes. Any further use of the term cigarette is therefore misleading


In this regard, Shirley Cramer CBE, General Manager of RSPH said:“In the UK, over 100,000 people die each year from smoking-related diseases. Although we have made good progress in reducing smoking rates, one in five of us is still doing so. Most people smoke out of habit and to maintain their nicotine levels. Of course, we'd prefer people not to smoke, but in line with NICE's guidelines on reducing the harm caused by tobacco, safer forms of nicotine like NRT and e-cigarettes help people quit. [...] attuning people to nicotine instead of tobacco would make a big difference to the health of the population - there are of course problems with smokers' nicotine dependence, but that would dissuade us from having a serious and costly publicity problem related to the To have to smoke instead to address the problem of addiction to a substance that in and of itself is not too dissimilar to caffeine addiction.