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Does Nicotine Cause Cancer?

Does Nicotine Cause Cancer?

Does Nicotine Cause Cancer?

Most smokers (and people in general) wrongly assume that nicotine causes cancer. Specifically, they believe that lung cancer and various oral cancers are triggered by nicotine consumption. Their reasoning follows a familiar line – smoking causes cancer – cigarettes contain nicotine – therefore, nicotine causes cancer. The opinion is so prevalent that, in a study with a sample of nearly 3,000 smokers, 65% of them believe that nicotine causes lung cancer and a whopping 71% believe the same for oral cancers.

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The fact of the matter is, there is no conclusive evidence that nicotine causes any type of cancer. Information from a Lung Health Study indicates that, although smoking is directly linked to cancer formation, the same can’t be said about nicotine replacement therapy products. Other studies, including those on Swedish snus (a type of chewable tobacco) also confirm that nicotine doesn’t increase chances of getting cancer. In fact, due to the fact that a lot of smokers in Sweden turned to snus, the country now has one of the lowest cancer rates in Europe.

However, this doesn’t mean that nicotine and cancer can’t be linked. Due to its revascularization properties and the fact that it promotes capillary blood vessel growth, nicotine can increase the growth of existing tumors. Mice studies also show that nicotine can result in a high rate (40%) of tumor recurrences after the initial tumors have been successfully removed or treated.