While nicotine patch has proved to be a big success in helping smokers quit the habit, a new study suggests that it may be as likely to cause cancer as smoking.
The study was conducted by researchers at Virginia Bioinformatics Institute in the US who found that nicotine itself was a carcinogenic substance and it caused thousands of mutations in cells, which is a precursor to cancer.
With over 4,000 chemicals found in cigarette smoke, nicotine was assumed to be nothing more than an additive, but the chemical has now been found to be as dangerous as smoking itself.
"These results are important. This is because for the first time they directly measured large numbers of genetic variations caused only by nicotine, showing that nicotine by itself can mutate the genome and initiate cancer", lead researcher Harold Garner said.