Bates began by emphasizing the challenging task of separating the risks associated with nicotine from those of smoking. He compared nicotine to substances like caffeine and moderate alcohol consumption, highlighting that while nicotine is not entirely benign, it falls within the spectrum of these comparably safer substances.
Bates stated, “And actually, the harms of nicotine are stripped away from the smoke, okay, which is actually quite difficult to do. I mean, no one would argue that it’s entirely benign. And it’s probably somewhere on a scale between, you know, caffeine and moderate alcohol consumption, roughly.”