While nicotine itself doesn't cause lung cancer it can speed up the growth of tumors.
That's according to new research from the University of South Florida where researchers say nicotine binds to the lung cells and then jump-starts the cells' growth. If those cells happen to be cancerous the tumors quickly grow out of control. And that could have some affect on cancer patients who stop smoking but continue to use cigarette substitutes that contain nicotine.
The study was led by researchers at the University of South Florida and published in the August issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation. Funding was provided by a NIH grant from the National Cancer Institute.