Article of Interest: What is Synthetic Nicotine? What Does it Mean for the Youth Vaping Epidemic?

Our team at the Hoffman Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT) Program at UT Health San Antonio wanted to share this important external article:

What is synthetic nicotine and what does it mean for the youth vaping epidemic?” from the Truth Initiative.

As the FDA reviews thousands of applications from e-cigarette manufacturers to determine whether their products can stay on the market, brands that claim they use synthetic nicotine, including Puff Bar, have skirted this review process. According to the Stanford researchers, some brands even returned to the market with claims of synthetic formulations after the FDA denied their applications for tobacco-derived nicotine products and ordered them to stop selling those products.
As youth vaping continues at epidemic levels, synthetic nicotine threatens to worsen the youth nicotine use crisis.

Read the full article here.

Synthetic chemicals, especially coupled with addictive nicotine, are not what we want our children inhaling, said Dr. Claudia Miller, allergist/immunologist, professor emeritus, and leader of the Hoffman TILT Program at UT Health San Antonio.

“Synthetic chemicals can initiate a disease process known as TILT—Toxicant-induced Loss of Tolerance—resulting in multisystem symptoms triggered by everyday exposures to chemicals, foods/food additives, and medications. Food cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and food addiction can be the result. Food addiction is contributing to our obesity epidemic,” Miller said.

“Once TILT has occurred, even minor exposures to xenobiotics (chemicals foreign to the body) can trigger multisystem symptoms and intolerances for common chemical inhalants, foods/food additives, and medications. These intolerances resemble allergies. However, immunoglobulins like IgE are not involved in this form of cell-mediated immunity, also called ‘primitive immunity’ which evolved when animal life began half a billion years ago. Immunoglobulins are involved in ‘humoral’ or ‘adaptive immunity,’ and are relatively recent, first appearing with vertebrates,” she added.

“Repeated exposures, or a single major exposure to synthetic substances, including simple chemicals—can sensitize of our bodies’ first responders, mast cells, which live at the interface between our tissues and the external environment. When activated and subsequently triggered by re-exposure to the same substances, or exposure to a different xenobiotic, mast cells are capable of releasing cascades of molecules, including histamine and other inflammatory mediators, in order to protect our airways, GI tract, skin and nervous systems,” Miller concluded.

How chemically sensitive are you?

Answer these three questions from the Brief Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (BREESI):

  1. Do you feel sick when you are exposed to tobacco smoke, certain fragrances, nail polish/remover, engine exhaust, gasoline, air fresheners, pesticides, paint/thinner, fresh tar/asphalt, cleaning supplies, new carpet or furnishings? By sick, we mean: headache, difficulty thinking, difficulty breathing, weakness, dizziness, upset stomach, etc.
  2. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse or allergic reactions to any drugs or medications (such as antibiotics, anesthetics, pain relievers, X-ray contrast dye, vaccines or birth control pills), or to an implant, prosthesis, contraceptive chemical or device, or other medical/surgical/dental material or procedure?
  3. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse reactions to any foods such as dairy products, wheat, corn, eggs, caffeine, alcoholic beverages, or food additives (e.g., MSG, food dye)?

If you answer YES to any of these three questions, take the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI) and share the results with your doctor!