[EDIT] Since this article was posted, the documentary has been broadcast, and you can watch it here
“Wait, who?”, I hear you ask.
Dr Michael Mosley is a high profile author, television presenter and, most interestingly, self-experimenter. Following in the grand tradition of Barry Marshall, and others, Michael has variously fasted, performed high-intensity training and dieted, all the while being probed, sampled and having his internals videoed by researchers; the results being broadcast and watched by millions of rapt viewers in the UK and beyond….
And Michael is now vaping. He’s a never smoker who has taken up vaping for science, and for a TV show which will be aired very shortly. He wrote an article on his experiences, published in today’s Times (£/$) , and which is very interesting. Most importantly:
What I was far more concerned about was getting hooked on nicotine. Yet as the weeks went by and I puffed away, nothing happened. When I leapt out of bed I didn’t feel a longing to reach for my machine. If anything I struggled to keep up with my schedule. Once the novelty had worn off it became a bit of a chore.
Chatting to experts, I discovered to my considerable surprise that although cigarettes are highly addictive, nicotine alone may not be. Although no one knows for sure, research in animals suggests that nicotine is far more addictive when delivered in combination with the other chemicals found in regular cigarettes.”
Well, his considerable surprise may not be yours, dear vaper. That said, everything we know about the addictive potential of vape is from triangulation and supposition. This is the first case I’m aware of of a non-smoker using vape continuously for a month, and under clinical case study settings, incorporating a battery of health measures.
So, does this settle the question of the addictive potential of vape to a never-smoker? No, of course not. Michael is, for one thing, not young (apologies Michael), and young people may be more vulnerable. Also, there’s clearly a motivational aspect which absent in someone “forcing themselves to vape for science”, and it’s possible there are individual differences between people which may render some more susceptible.
However, I think at some point a line has to be drawn where it’s really not possible to describe nicotine as “the most addictive substance known to man”, and other such hyperbole. Dr. Mosley, it seems to me, has drawn that line.