There is mounting evidence that nicotine, the main ingredient in tobacco, is a carcinogen.
In the past few years, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has called for a nationwide ban on the drug, which is also known as chewing tobacco.
The NCA’s new research, published in the British Medical Journal, found that the compound causes cancer in laboratory animals and in humans.
The researchers used mice to test the effects of nicotine on the body, and found that it had the potential to cause cancer in humans in the form of DNA damage.
They also found evidence of DNA mutations in a number of genes.
Researchers said that the results showed that nicotine is the primary cause of cancer in animals and humans.
“It’s a big concern because we know nicotine can cause cancer,” said Dr Daniela Galanter, one of the lead researchers on the study.
“We also know that smoking causes lung cancer in rats and we know that nicotine causes cancer.
It is clear that the effects are different.”
Dr Galanner said that “the more research is done on this, the more we need to be looking at nicotine to find the best treatment for people”.
The researchers concluded that nicotine was a “potential carcinogen” and that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) should ban the drug immediately.
“Our work shows that nicotine has the potential of causing cancer in mice and humans,” Dr Galganner said.
The findings were hailed by the NCA. “
Nicotine has been implicated in lung cancer, lung metastases and is a potent lung carcinogen.”
The findings were hailed by the NCA.
“This is a major advance in the field of nicotine and its potential role in cancer,” Dr Andrew Brown, the NCCI’s chief scientific officer, said in a statement.
“While the nicotine we are investigating in our study is the same nicotine that is found in tobacco smoke, it has been shown to cause DNA damage and mutations in some genes.”
“We now know that it has a role in the development of cancer, and the NCI will continue to support research that is showing promise in this area.”
Smoking is the second leading cause of death in the US, behind only heart disease.
In Australia, smoking is more prevalent among people aged under 45 than any other age group, and people aged 65 and over are at the highest risk of developing the disease.
Smoking is linked to lung cancer as well as other cancers.
The National Cancer Council said it was “deeply concerned” about the findings.
“The NCI has consistently called for the introduction of a national ban on nicotine and other tobacco products, and we have repeatedly made clear that this should be an urgent priority for governments,” it said in its statement.
A new study by researchers at Wageningen University found that nicotine and smoking are linked in the same gene.
The gene, known as SRYH5, is part of a family of genes known as GPCRs, which are key regulators of the immune system.
Dr Galatner said there was “some evidence that the genes involved in GPCR signalling can be upregulated when there is nicotine in the air”.
She said this could explain why some people who have smoked for many years seem to have no effect on their lung cancer risk.
“They may be smoking and not getting lung cancer but may have a higher risk of other diseases,” Dr Gillian Maitland, a senior lecturer in epidemiology at Wagener University, said.