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The Basics of Nicotine

Nicotine is a greasy fluid material which can be found in tobacco leaves. The substance acts as a central nervous system stimulant and is responsible for the addictive attribute of smoking. When nicotine is extracted from the leaves, the material is naturally colorless; however it immediately turns brown after it has been exposed to air. Nicotine has a burning and pungent taste. Nicotine is typically used as a powerful poison; it is used to form the base of many insecticides and herbicides alike.


Individuals who smoke tobacco absorb small amounts of the oily substance into their system through inhalation of smoke from cigarettes, cigars and or pipes. Nicotine is then drawn towards and into the lungs, wherein it enters the blood circulation and is pumped by the heart to other parts of the body, including the brain. It takes at least seven seconds for the substance to enter the brain from the moment it has been inhaled.


Nicotine has many different effects on the human body. In small amounts, the substance functions as a nerve stimulant by entering the bloodstream and improving the flow of a stimulating hormone known as adrenaline. Nicotine speeds elevates an individual’s cardiac rate and may sometimes cause irregularities in the cardiac rhythm. Furthermore, it also can decrease a person’s appetite, elevate his or her blood pressure and may induce nausea and vomiting. Almost all of the health risks that are associated with smoking can be attributed to nicotine.


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