Article of Interest: What Is ‘Tobacco-Free’ Nicotine?

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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 ‘tobacco-free’ nicotine?” from the Truth Initiative.

Some nicotine-containing products in sweet and fruity flavors — e-cigarettes, pouches, lozenges, and even gummies — are marketed as containing “tobacco-free nicotine.” These flavored products, which have yet to face significant regulation, are prompting concerns about youth use and causing confusion.
Manufacturers use the term “tobacco-free” or “tobacco-leaf free” nicotine to describe products that contain nicotine that is either created in a lab (synthetic nicotine) or extracted from tobacco, but don’t contain any tobacco leaf. Synthetic brands advertising themselves as “tobacco free” include top disposable e-cigarette Puff Bar and pouches Rush and Bidi Pouch. Products that are promoted as tobacco-leaf free or “extracted from tobacco” include oral nicotine brands Velo, on!, Rogue, Zyn, and Lucy.
Nicotine, regardless of the source, is dangerous for young people. Nicotine is harmful to developing brains and its use during adolescence can disrupt the formation of brain circuits that control attention, learning, and susceptibility to addiction.

This issue is important for people who experience chemical intolerance, said Dr. Claudia Miller, allergist/immunologist, professor emeritus, and leader of the Hoffman TILT Program at UT Health San Antonio.

“Kids today are desperately trying to cope and are ‘masking’ themselves using nicotine, a stimulating but addictive drug,” Miller said. “To understand the relationship between masking, addiction, and chemical intolerance, take the QEESI and see our article published in the millennial edition of the journal Addiction, which was devoted to theories and mechanisms for addiction.”

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!

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