What is nicotine?
The Nicotine is not a carcinogen, nor so little is the leading cause of premature death of smokers, the responsibility of Carbon Monoxide, Tar and thousands of other substances found in a conventional cigarette.
It is a substance that causes addiction, and in large quantities is considered a very toxic product.
With this assumption, the Royal College of Physicians in London, concluded that the risks associated with Nicotine Replacement Therapy to assist in smoking cessation are significantly outweighed by the risks of smoking.
The study also says "While nicotine itself may not be completely exonerated for causing harm to health, it is clear that their contribution compared to tobacco is very low. It is not the nicotine itself, but the system that provides - the cigarette is a very "dirty." More info (September 2008, in English).
Nicotine is an alkaloid obtained from natural plant Tobacco Nicotania Tobaccum. Other substances are alkaloids: caffeine, cocaine and morphine.
Nicotine as obtained from a cigarette is distilled from burning tobacco, after being inhaled into the lungs through small particles of tar. Due to the acidity of cigarette smoke, nicotine is absorbed in the lungs, unlike pipes and cigars, which are less acidic, and nicotine absorption begins in the mouth. With cigarettes, nicotine enters the bloodstream and reaches the brain in about 10 seconds.
Tolerance to the toxic effects of nicotine develops rapidly and remains. Some of the toxic effects are:
- Headaches, dizziness, insomnia, unusual dreams, nervousness;
- Heartburn, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
Nicotine is known to increase blood pressure and heart rate, while reducing blood flow in coronary arteries, where it is more accurate (the heart is beating harder, needing more oxygen, while also spending less blood and oxygen through it).
Affects blood flow to different organs - vasoconstriction (less blood flow) to the skin and vasodilation (increased blood flow) to the muscles. Nicotine also increases metabolism and, generally, smokers weigh less than 4 kg than nonsmokers.
Two clinical trials of nicotine medication in patients with coronary artery disease, used as transdermal patches Nicotine Replacement Therapy to help them quit smoking - not found any evidence that nicotine is harmful. The most interesting is that many participants continued to smoke, the nicotine obtained from towels and cigarettes!
Nicotine is classified as addictive because it meets the following criteria:
- Create effects in the brain that are enjoyable and rewarding, reinforcing the self-administration;
- After a period of chronic exposure, withdrawal of the drug may cause a withdrawal syndrome, the addict may seek to avoid through greater use of the drug.
- Benowitz NL, Jacob P 111, RT Jones, J. Rosenburg Interindividual variability in the metabolism and cardiovascular effects of nicotine in man. J Pharmacol Exp There 1982: 221:368-72.
- Joseph AM, Norman SM, Ferry LH, Prochazka AV, et al. The safety of transdermal nicotine an aid to the smoking cessation in Patients with cardiac disease.
- Palmer KJ, Buckley MM, Faulds D. Transdermal nicotine. A review of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties ITS, and the therapeutic efficacy an aid to smoking cessation.
- Perkins KA. Metabolic effects of cigarette smoking. J Appl Physiol 1992. 72:401-9