Nixing the Nicotine

Nixing the Nicotine

In 1980, when D.C. comics created Nick O’Teen, a villain with yellow-stained teeth who pushed smoking to children around schoolyards and had a mortal fear of Superman, around 800,000 kids wrote into the sponsors (the Health Education Council) for information on the dangers of smoking. Neither Nick nor the anti-smoking campaigners could have predicted that 30 years later nicotine would re-appear as a stylish toxin that could knock out even Superman.

A new report from the American Association of Poison Control Centers points to an alarming increase in the number of people needing medical help because of vaping -- that’s the verb for using e-cigarettes -- and exposure to the liquid nicotine they contain. Over half are kids six or younger!  

Related: Why You Should Quit Smoking

Nicotine is a neurotransmitter and a neurotoxin in high quantities: A single diluted teaspoon could kill a small child and a tablespoon of extra-strength could finish off an adult. Not all vapors produced by e-cigarettes contain nicotine, but it’s a popular option. BTW, the super-concentrated formula’s available online.

Related: The Health Concerns about E-cigarettes

If you smoke tobacco and want to quit, opt out of the vapor and e-cigarettes and stick with proven ways to get smoke-free: 

  • One month before you quit, start walking an extra 30 minutes daily.
  • Enlist a buddy for support and join an online support group.
  • Use a nicotine patch plan appropriate for your smoking habit and take anti-craving pills.

Doing all that increases your chances of successfully quitting smoking to 60 percent; going it alone, it’s two percent! Want a more detailed plan? Check out Sharecare’s Get Ready to Quit Smoking. Now let’s hope Nick e-vaporates!

Related: Teenagers are Lighting Up E-cigarette Sales

Medically reviewed in July 2019.

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