let's help people understand a little bit. Why? A nicotine isn't dangerous. Let's start with that, right? Because I as you alluded to at the outset, you would not be blamed for having a knee-jerk reaction to the notion that nicotine is a bad thing. So you want to talk for a second? Bob about the difference between nicotine and tobacco. Yes. So when you're looking at nicotine and tobacco and you're looking at, well, when you're looking at tobacco, obviously cigarettes contain leaves from tobacco plants and tobacco also, As nicotine. So you've got that connection there and something that I didn't realize is that tobacco is actually, it's in the nightshade family of plants. And so when you look at potatoes and tomatoes and eggplants, there's actually there's nicotine in there but the Nick at the level of nicotine and those plants are nowhere near tobacco. So nicotine makes up this is about one to three percent of the dry weight of tobacco. Whereas these nightshades it's like millions of a percent very Trace Amounts but interestingly even though The Surgeon General said, there's there's not enough evidence or inadequate evidence to infer a causal relationship between nicotine, exposure, and risk for cancer. So I think like a lot of other people. So I have you beat Peter by maybe a decade or two as far as my interest in nicotine, but it was more about I smoked in high school, a little bit smoke cigarettes, and I can certainly speak to the, The Addictive nature of cigarettes, but at that time, in probably years after that, I would just think, you know, when people would talk about nicotine being bad for you, I'd say sure that that's it. It's in cigarettes, and it's probably one of the many carcinogens and tobacco smoke. And if you go to the, I think it's like they got the who where they've got their long list of potential and known carcinogens, and I think they, it says, they have at least 69 chemicals that that are contained in tobacco, smoke that are carcinogens, but nicotine is actually not one of them. That's an important point, right? This is something really worth reiterating, right? So the the US Department of Health and Human Services, They've identified at least 69. Chemicals, contained within the tobacco plant. IE things that make it into cigarettes that are carcinogens and nicotine is not one of those things. So it's interesting in that nicotine is the thing that I think we're going to talk about, has some benefits. It also, unfortunately has that addictive part of it, so it brings you back to the tobacco but in and of itself, it doesn't cause cancer, right? And if you look at the who this could be a, you don't entirely different podcast. But red meat and processed meat, processed meat is a Class 1 and then there's the next class down which is red meat. So I figured I'd go to the list on The Who and if there's anything you know on nicotine being carcinogenic I would think that the who would have it listed there but it's not. So I think that's what you're basically saying is the who will go so far as to claim that red meat is a carcinogen and we've written so much about this topic and basically said be evidence That red meat is carcinogenic is so weak that it's very difficult to take it. Seriously. And if there's any carcinogenic properties of meat, it's really low signal. And you're saying, if they, if they can't even recognize. Nicotine has carcinogenic given their sensitivity for identifying carcinogens, the likelihood that it has any cancer-causing properties is approaching Epsilon, if not zero. Yeah, that's right.
Despite Being Found in Tobacco, Nicotine Isn't a Carcinogen
AMA #23: All Things Nicotine: deep dive into its cognitive and physical benefits, risks, and mechanisms of action - Peter Attia