Cardiovascular, carcinogenic and reproductive effects of nicotine exposure: A narrative review of the scientific literature

Leonie R. Price, Javier Martinez
2020 F1000Research  
The emergence of new tobacco heating products and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) is changing the way humans are exposed to nicotine. The purpose of this narrative review is to provide a broad overview of published scientific literature with respect to the effects of nicotine on three key health-related areas: 1) cardiovascular risk, 2) carcinogenesis and 3) reproductive outcomes. These areas are known to be particularly vulnerable to the effects of cigarette smoke, and in addition,
more » ... nicotine has been hypothesized to play a role in disease pathogenesis. Acute toxicity will also be discussed. The literature to February 2019 suggests that there is no increased cardiovascular risk of nicotine exposure in consumers who have no underlying cardiovascular pathology. There is scientific consensus that nicotine is not a direct or complete carcinogen, however, it remains to be established whether it plays some role in human cancer propagation and metastasis. These cancer progression pathways have been proposed in models in vitro and in transgenic rodent lines in vivo but have not been demonstrated in cases of human cancer. Further studies are needed to determine whether nicotine is linked to decreased fertility in humans. The results from animal studies indicate that nicotine has the potential to act across many mechanisms during fetal development. More studies are needed to address questions regarding nicotine exposure in humans, and this may lead to additional guidance concerning new ENDS entering the market.
doi:10.12688/f1000research.20062.2 fatcat:vw2ktqhquraevo2ghpk7mbuaja