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Research Indicates Vaping Nicotine May Have Neuroprotective Properties Research Indicates Vaping Nicotine May Have Neuroprotective Properties

The report provides yet another solid reason to support vaping over combustible cigarettes.

These days, everyone knows that smoking is one of the worst things you can do for the long term health of you and those around you. Unfortunately, most people are confused about what makes smoking so dangerous. Many are under the false impression nicotine is the primary hazardous substance found in tobacco. The truth is it’s the burning of tobacco, which produces tar and many other harmful substances proven to significantly increase the risk of cancer, heart attacks, stroke, and other debilitating conditions. Regardless, the majority of people think nicotine is hazardous, which is part of the reason vaping often gets equated with smoking, despite being entirely different processes.

Luckily, we have research which suggests not only is nicotine not a particularly dangerous part of smoking or vaping, but it may actually provide some incredible neuroprotective effects. The researchers made it clear they aren’t saying anyone should start smoking. Instead, they preach the real impact of nicotine and suggest there are other ways to get nicotine into your system than combustible cigarettes. Only time will tell if nicotine escapes its inaccurate understanding as the primary dangerous substance in tobacco smoke, but research like this provides a solid foundation for change.

Report On Nicotine

The report was led by Dr. Ursula Winzer-Serhan of Texas A&M University who wanted to understand the real impact of nicotine on the brain better. Her paper, called Can nicotine protect the aging brain?, provides some of the first substantial evidence suggesting nicotine has incredible neuroprotective properties. The team was very clear to distance themselves from the act of smoking. Dr. Winzer-Serhan made it clear that regardless of any positive impact, smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your health and should ideally never be done whatsoever. She instead makes the case her research should serve as plenty of reason to continue research into the potential benefits of nicotine alone.

Her team started by splitting animal test subjects into three groups and providing them nicotine-laced water of varying strengths (low, medium, and high). The team began tracking any changes in weight, appetite, and neuroreceptor activity throughout testing. Once all the data was collected, the team concluded that while low and medium strength nicotine hadn’t resulted in any changes, high strength nicotine subjects showed a noticeable positive difference in all three categories. Dr. Winzer-Serhan concluded, “The group getting the highest concentration of nicotine ate less, gained less weight and had more receptors, indicating that at higher doses, the drug gets into the brain where it can impact behavior. However, even at high doses, it didn’t seem to have worrying behavioral side effects like making the individuals more anxious, which the researchers were concerned could happen.”

Reports On Vaping

While smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death and disease around the world, we have a growing pile of peer-reviewed evidence suggesting vaping is an invaluable harm reduction and smoking cessation tool. Back in 2015, we got a massive report from Public Health England, which concluded vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking. In the years since, we’ve got a steady stream of similar studies, including one from a few months back which found the toxicants in vapor, are 93% lower than in tobacco smoke. However, to truly understand everything at stake, you have to consider the report from the Journal of Aerosol Sciences which concluded the excess lifetime cancer risk of a smoker is around 57,000 times higher than a demographically similar vaper.

Going past the general harm reduction value, and we still have plenty of reason to support vaping over smoking. For instance, a study from the University of Louisville tested all the most common smoking cessation tools and methods to determine the most likely to succeed. After collecting all their data, the team found that not only is vaping effective, but it’s actually the most likely to help you end your dependence once and for all. However, despite all this fantastic research, some still worry about the impact acceptance of vaping is going to have on our youth. Luckily a report of over 60,000 teens from Action on Smoking and Health found that as few as 0.1% of non-smoking teens are picking up a vaporizer more than once or twice.


Despite what many people think, nicotine is not the most dangerous part of smoking. In fact, it’s not even close to the top of the list. Many experts have concluded the most similar drug to nicotine alone is none-other than caffeine. So unless you think your morning cup of coffee is just as bad as smoking a couple cigarettes, you may want to reconsider. Research like this provides more reason to support vaping. If nicotine can help reinforce the mind, we should be looking for safe and effective ways to administer it, just like vaping.

Are you surprised nicotine has these benefits? Do you think most people understand nicotine isn’t the most dangerous part of smoking? What’s the best way to support vaping moving forward? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.

Dustin Erickson

Dustin Erickson - ECR.net Editor

Dustin can lay claim as one the first e-cigarette reviewers on the internet. Back in the summer of 2009 he set out on a mission to spread the word about e-cigs with this very site. Nearly 2.5 Million visitors, 1,700 Reviews collected and 5 years later, he’s still as passionate as ever and one of the leading Vaping advocates online.