Thursday, April 25, 2013

Vivisections & Nicotine

Nicotine kills people, and also animals.

The tobacco industry is legally allowed to perform and commission animal testing (vivisection) to control nicotine's levels of toxicity.

Rats, monkeys, rabbits, lambs and even dogs are submitted to cruel experiments in universities and research centers across the U.S. Many times, this happens with the sponsorship of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), according to the animal rights organization Kinship Circle.

Baby Monkeys

Eliot Spindel, a researcher at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) in Portland, has received $7.6 million from the NIH since 1992 to test baby monkeys and their mothers, reported the In Defense of Animals group.

During the experiment, pregnant female monkeys receive nicotine pumps in their backs, through multiple surgeries. Then, the babies are aborted at various stages of development, to dissect their lungs.

Spindel himself said that his studies merely reiterate "the deleterious effects of maternal smoking during pregnancy, all too well established," according to documents published by the Kinship Circle.


Canines have been used in nicotine testing since the 1950s. The animals were attached to a "smoking machine," which obliged them to inhale cigarette smoke. In the 1970s, the same testing was done through a tracheotomy: tubes inserted into the dog's throats provided the smoke.

Dogs are often submitted to cruel open-chest operations. In 1998, a study performed at West Virginia University used 30 dogs to prove the dangers of smoke and alcohol combined.


At Georgetown University School of Medicine, researcher David Mendelowitz uses pregnant and newborn rats in nicotine tests. Pregnant rats receive nicotine through intravenous catheters. After birth, the newborn rats have their brains dissected to see the effect of the nicotine in their development.


To the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), nicotine experiments on animals do not solve the problems associated with tobacco use, because such experiments do not give results that apply to humans.

Animal testing and animal experimentation can produce misleading results due to the physiologic and genetic differences between humans and nonhuman animals.


The advances of technology brought viable alternatives to the use of animals in investigations into the dangers of nicotine.

Human cell and tissue cultures can be used to test product toxicity, producing more accurate results. Computer simulations can also anticipate the metabolism of chemicals in human tissues, based on their molecular structure.These software programs help researchers to predict the substance's potential to cause cancer or birth defects.

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