Cigarettes – Are They Really As Addictive As Vaping Products?
Casting my mind back to the recent coverage of a hypothesis that nicotine is a gateway drug, I was aware at the time that research already suggests tobacco contains several compounds that appear to increase addiction not only towards the nicotine but also must do to other drugs. Doing some more digging has for me strongly strengthened this hypothesis, which I personally feel is immorally excluded from the gateway drug hypothesis proposed by Denise and Eric Kandel which uses knowledge of nicotines effects on the brain to particularly label e-cigarettes, and not tobacco, as a threat.
Some more evidence available to us shows that as a tobacco replacement, vaping may assist eventual quitting altogether, as compared to tobacco use.
At least 5 compounds in cigarettes, known as alkaloids, seem to have a 'gateway effect', which are not present in e-liquids or vapours; The addition of five minor tobacco alkaloids increases nicotine-induced hyperactivity, sensitization and intravenous self-administration in rats. and it would be incredible if this didn't apply to other drugs. Other research also suggests that it is easier to stop nicotine use after switching to nicotine replacement such as vaping products.
See also here for a detailed PDF, shows findings that the chances of giving up tobacco were probably around 10%, whilst for nicotine replacement therapy, giving up that (nicotine) altogether had a much higher chance of success, at around 36%. So the addictiveness of nicotine definitely is not likely to be the whole story.