Nicotine Beverages?
June 18, 2004 11:50 PM   Subscribe

Why are there no nicotene beverages? Wouldn't this be a good way to eliminate lung cancer? Why is no one selling "Nico-Tea"?
posted by interrobang to Food & Drink (13 answers total)
The FDA has done a good job of shutting them down.
posted by Danelope at 12:15 AM on June 19, 2004

It can affect your stomach's acid and bicarb production, potentially leading to stomach ulcers. Its metabolism may be toxic to your liver.

It's also highly toxic more generally--most people don't realize this. Nicotine is commercially sold as an insecticide. It's estimated that eating 6-10 cigarettes can kill an adult. It activates your nicotinic receptors, found in your autonomic nervous system as well as all your muscles, and causes paralysis. If you're not put on a ventillator, or given medications to reverse the blockade, your diaphragm gives out and you suffocate to death.
posted by gramcracker at 12:22 AM on June 19, 2004

Hmm. So, would it be deadly to steep the stuff?
posted by interrobang at 12:24 AM on June 19, 2004

(And - for the record - I *have* heard that nicotine in its pure form is intensely deadly.)
posted by interrobang at 12:25 AM on June 19, 2004

And I'm not planning on doing this - I'm just curious.
posted by interrobang at 12:26 AM on June 19, 2004

Can't say for sure, interrobang, but I have a gardening book from the 30's that includes a recipe for insect spray where you soak an ounce of tobacco in water to make it. It recommends not getting any on you...
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:36 AM on June 19, 2004

Now, if I read this thread first, then this one... sorted!
posted by dash_slot- at 4:46 AM on June 19, 2004

Because of increasing smoking bans, a bar in Florida has started serving the "nicotini". Personally I think it's a great idea and I'd hate to see it banned.

posted by bobo123 at 6:08 AM on June 19, 2004

interrobang--yes. The methods file (which is of dubious reliability, but I think they're correct on this) claims that 40-60 mg of pure nicotine will kill you. Steeping it will give you a lethal mix and you can increase the concentration by boiling offf the water so you just have a gooey nicotine sludge.

I've also been told, though I can't find anything to support it offhand, that it's a fairly undetectable method for poisoning someone who smokes -- forensically it's difficult to distinguish between the amounts of nicotine in the body from smoking and lethal amounts, especially if nobody's looking. Apparently the symptoms resemble a heart attack.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 8:22 AM on June 19, 2004

A number of native South American cultures traditionally used beverages made from tobacco leaves. Here is a reference to its use.
posted by nomis at 8:41 AM on June 19, 2004

Aside from the fact that it actually will kill you, nicotine tastes like poison too, as any nicotine gum user can attest. I don't know how that Nicotini thing works, but it's hard to imagine a way to mask the burning sensation in your throat you get from the gum.
posted by jjg at 11:06 AM on June 19, 2004

Actually, a number of pep drinks in Japan (such as Regain) do contain nicotine, caffeine, sugar, and probably some vanishingly small proportion of herbs used in Chinese medicine. These are typically sold in bottles of about 100 ml; the drinks are yellow and look disgusting. I've never tried one.
posted by adamrice at 11:49 AM on June 19, 2004

Interesting. Thanks, everyone.
posted by interrobang at 11:58 AM on June 19, 2004

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