Nicotine is a highly addictive drug. It is harvested from several plant leaves and produced on massive scales so that it can be included in tobacco products. Nicotine is the reason people smoke and it is the reason people have such a difficult time quitting smoking. It is widely considered one of the most addictive substances known to modern science.
What follows are some basic facts about nicotine:
-- Cigarettes contains about 10 milligrams of nicotine each, although smoking a single cigarette only amounts to about 1 to 2 milligrams absorbed into the lungs. This is more than enough to contribute to an addiction over a short period of time.
-- Nicotine is one of several thousand chemicals in cigarettes, including carbon monoxide and acetaldehyde.
-- Over time, nicotine makes physiological changes to the structure and function of the brain. These changes are responsible for the withdrawals felt when one stops receiving nicotine.
-- It takes nicotine no more than 10 seconds to reach the brain when one takes a single puff off a cigarette.
-- Nicotine causes a release of the neurotransmitter dopamine into the brain, generating feelings of pleasure and well-being. The same function is at work in other addictive substances including heroin.
-- Nicotine comes from a plant family called solaceous.
-- Tobacco plants that produce nicotine do so as a poison so that grazing animals won't eat the plant.
-- Nicotine is also used as a pesticide in organic gardening.
-- Cigarettes contain the greatest concentration of nicotine among tobacco products. The smallest concentration is found in chewing tobacco.