Nicotine and its effects

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Nicotine and its effects

Post  xora on Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:50 am

Nicotine is one of the many chemicals found in the smoke from tobacco. It is the major component in tobacco that acts on the brain. It is one among the most famous addictive drugs. It is an organic compound that is found naturally in the tobacco plant. It contains carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen. It belongs to a group called alkaloids.

Nicotine is a stimulant as well as a sedative. Exposure to nicotine causes the stimulation of the adrenaline glands and leads to the secretion of adrenaline. This in turn leads to a sudden release of glucose and an increase in the blood pressure, respiration and heart beat. Nicotine suppresses the release of insulin which makes them hyperglycemic. Nicotine also releases dopamine in the brain which control pleasure and motivation. Depending on the amount of nicotine consumed it can act as a sedative also. Nicotine is also known to suppress appetite.

Exposure to nicotine for long periods causes addiction. Repeated exposure to nicotine increases tolerance and hence makes it imperative to smoke more to produce the same effect as before. Cessation of smoking leads to emotional and physical withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms include irritability, dizziness, anxiety, headaches, loss of concentration, disturbed sleep, feeling of anger, depression, tiredness and craving for more nicotine. Nicotine from the smoke is immediately absorbed into the lungs and it then enters the blood vessels lining the lung tissues. From here it enters the main blood stream and travels to the brain within ten seconds and causes stimulating effects.

Nicotine, being highly addictive, is difficult to stop. A number of Stop smoking drugs are today available in the market to get rid of smoking habit.


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