The past decade has been marked by a significant step forward for smoking cessation products. These products, particularly vaporizers, have been marred by fears over youth use and addiction to nicotine. Aside from that discussion though, the statistical data is clear that since vaporizers have entered the market, the rate of tobacco use in Canada has continued to decline, particularly among adult smokers.
While these findings suggest that vaporizers are functioning as a safer alternative to smoking, there is notable concern over whether vaporizers will increase the number of youth addicted to nicotine. The vaporizers, or “e-cigs”, are still being researched, and the chemicals present in their liquid are as well. Further, the implications of marketing such devices, particularly as a “healthier” alternative to smoking, are inherently problematic if the end goal is to avoid nicotine addiction altogether.
Smoking Cessation Products
Nicotine itself is not carcinogenic, though it is not benign either. But in terms of cigarettes, nicotine is far from the most harmful chemical. The question then becomes “how can we help smokers quit without increasing the number of nicotine users”. British Columbia, where Lexaria is headquartered, offers the BC Smoking Cessation Program for smokers to reduce the costs of a variety of smoking cessation products. Programs such as this are beneficial, though the products they offer — such as gum, patches, and prescription drugs — are still being passed over in favour of vaporizers.
To this end, Lexaria is currently developing nicotine edibles. Using our DehydraTECHTM, Lexaria has achieved a world-first in producing a formulation that allows nicotine to be absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract. It is hypothesized to bypass the first pass liver metabolism, and thereby increases the speed of delivery and efficacy of the drug. These are substantial highlights of this alternative delivery method for nicotine, and shows great promise for the future of ingestible nicotine products.
New Delivery Methods for Nicotine
As a smoking cessation product, our goal is to see this technology used in health food products as a nicotine alternative that comes without the complications of e-cigarettes and their liquids. As the conversation over legislation for vaporizers continues to heat up, the need for alternatives that sidestep the hazards of vaporizers will grow in tandem.