Health Tips

Nicotine is a plant-derived alkaloid derived from tobacco.

Nicotine is found not only in the leaves of various varieties of tobacco, but also in other representatives of the nightshade family: potatoes, eggplants, peppers, tomatoes.

Nicotine is a poison that affects the nervous system. Chemical derivatives of nicotine (and earlier nicotine itself) are used as an insecticide – a substance to kill insects.

In small doses, nicotine has a stimulating effect on the nervous system. mammals. Initially, it was considered a medicine, and was recommended for the treatment of several dozen diseases, including migraines. But in the future, smoking tobacco has become a fashionable habit, as addiction to it develops very quickly.

Nicotine is obtained mainly from tobacco leaves. Although there is a synthetic analogue of the plant alkaloid. Nicotine extract is a dark liquid with a specific odor and a sharp burning taste.

The effect of nicotine on the body

In small doses nicotine affects various receptors, which leads to an increased production of adrenaline – the stress hormone. As a result, the heartbeat and respiration become more frequent, pressure rises, the production of digestive juice, saliva decreases, and intestinal peristalsis slows down. In pregnant women, the tone of the uterus increases. An increase in the concentration of adrenaline inhibits the production of insulin in the pancreas, which increases blood sugar levels. Against the background of these changes, appetite and body weight may decrease.

Nicotine increases the level of dopamine in the body – a biologically active substance that is responsible for pleasure and increases the pain threshold. This is one of the reasons quick addiction to smoking.

Read more: Lethal dose of nicotine:
how much is this?

Lethal dose of nicotine for humans much less than a “horse” drop, about 30-60 mg (depending on body weight and individual characteristics). At the same time, it is not so much the absolute mass of nicotine that matters, but the form in which it is located. Nicotine salts are best absorbed. That is why manufacturers add urea and other excipients to cigarettes that form bonds with nicotine and increase its absorption.

Smoke is considered the best way to deliver nicotine to the body. It is estimated that when smoking one cigarette, about 1 gram of the substance enters the bloodstream. When smoking about 30 cigarettes in a row (one pack), death can occur. Most smokers are saved by the fact that smoking is extended over time, and nicotine is quickly excreted from the body.

There are frequent cases of severe poisoning of children, who eat cigarettes. One cigarette contains about 10 mg of nicotine.

“Light” cigarettes

The level of nicotine that manufacturers indicate on the label is only approximately true. This is due to the measurement technology, according to which the nicotine remaining on the filter is considered, which is not always comparable with the amount of volatile nicotine that entered the body while smoking a cigarette.

In addition, when receiving a smaller dose from “light” cigarettes, the smoker begins to feel the desire to smoke again earlier, which leads to more frequent smoking and more cigarettes smoked. Which, of course, is the main goal of manufacturers.


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