peter attia paul grewal covid-19

AMA #23: All Things Nicotine: Deep Dive Into Its Cognitive And Physical Benefits, Risks, And Mechanisms Of Action| The Drive with Peter Attia #161

Key Takeaways

  • Nicotine is not the same thing as tobacco
  • There are almost 70 carcinogens in the tobacco plant but nicotine is not one of them
  • Nicotine has some potential cognitive benefits
  • Nicotine replacement therapy alone only shows modest efficacy in helping smokers quit
  • Peter Attia chews about 6-8mg of nicotine replacement gum daily and experiences cognitive benefits
  • If you are interested in experimenting with nicotine gum, ease into it as it can cause some nausea at first


In this special episode of The Drive, Peter Attia sits down with Head of Research at Attia Medical, PC Bob Kaplan (@bobkaplan), the effects of nicotine on the brain and body, cognitive benefits and potential for weight loss, smoking cessation techniques, and an interesting link between cigarette smokes and COVID-19. Note, this is only a preview. The full episode is only available to subscribers.

Host: Peter Attia (@PeterAttiaMD)

Untangling Nicotine From Tobacco

  • Tobacco is a nightshade like tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant
  • Nicotine is only about 1-2% of tobacco
  • Inadequate evidence to link nicotine exposure to cancer
  • Cigarettes are addictive and carcinogenic but because of other components, not nicotine
  • There are at least 69 chemicals in the tobacco plant that are carcinogens – nicotine is not one
  • WHO goes so far as to say red meat is a carcinogen – and doesn’t recognize nicotine as one so the likelihood it has cancer-inducing properties is almost zero

Nicotine Replacement Therapy: Nicotine Gums, Lozenges, Pouches

  • Nicotine replacement therapies are used to try to quit cigarette smoking
  • Nicotine replacement therapy increases the odds of quitting tobacco – but it is very hard to quit smoking solely using nicotine replacement therapy  
  • Nicotine pouches and lozenges can also be used instead of gum
  • Peter Attia experimented with chewing 4-8mg of nicotine gum daily and experienced some cognitive benefits
  • If you are interested in experimenting with nicotine gum, on ramp slowly because it can induce some nausea
  • In the U.S., the rate of smoking has gone down significantly to around 18-19% of people over 18 are cigarette smokers
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Notes By Maryann

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