Nicotine is a drug in tobacco cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, vaping liquids and some e-cigarettes. Nicotine is an addictive stimulant that causes the heart to beat faster and makes blood pressure rise. It can also make a person feel less hungry and speeds up the metabolism. These effects can be very unhealthy. Many people who use tobacco products want to quit but have a hard time quitting. It is one of the most addictive chemicals that is widely consumed by humans. It can be as addictive as heroin or cocaine.
Nicotine is a substance found in most members of the nightshade family of plants. Small quantities of it can be found in tomatoes, potatoes, aubergines (eggplants) and green pepper (Capsicum, the peppers used as vegetables). Nicotine is also in the Coca plant. In higher quantities it is a very efficient poison. It acts on the nerves. It is a stimulant in lower quantities. It is the main reason people are addicted to smoking.
Besides the treatment of nicotine dependency, it seems that the drug can also be used to treat special (severe) forms of epilepsy, as well as some other diseases.
The amount of nicotine in one cigarette varies greatly. Factors which influence the amount include type of tobacco; brand of cigarette; and country or region (some markets restrict maximum average nicotine levels). Different ways of smoking a cigarette influence how much nicotine gets into the smoker.
Nicotine molecule might look like this
Tobacco products and electronic cigarettes, the most popular form of nicotine worldwide, have become a public health concern. Leading to an increase in countries' governments' and public health organizations' efforts to regulate its use and sales. With 30 countries currently having banned the purchase of any form of these products. Since 2022 legislation against e-cigarettes is on the rise as more studies are released. A large contributor to this was the World Health Organization's concerns raised about how secondhand smoke affects children in the home. Highlighting the potential risks of exposure to nicotine, which is known to cause issues in brain development and lead to anxiety disorders, among other health problems. While e-cigarettes have been marketed as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes, there is still much debate about the potential risks and benefits of these products. As nicotine percentages are higher on average in many forms of e-cigarettes compared to traditional tobacco products.
- "Tobacco: E-Cigarettes". May 25, 2022. Retrieved March 15, 2023.