Nicotine: What Exactly Is It?, Effect On Body, Risk, And More

What Exactly Nicotine Is?

Nicotine (found in tobacco) is a highly addictive chemical that contains nitrogen, which is why is hard to quit smoking, and any tobacco products.

Tobacco leaves and smoke generated over 4 to 5 thousand chemicals, when they are burned, the best known of which is – nicotine.

Common tobacco products that contain nicotine are:

  • Cigarettes
  • cigars
  • smokeless tobacco like dip, snuff, chewing tobacco, etc.
  • Hookah
  • morphine
  • E-cigarettes
  • Cocaine
  • Non-combusted cigarettes

Smokeless tobacco is more prevalent than cigarettes or bidis in India.

According to the WHO, there are approximately 120 million smokers in India, and each year about 1 million smokers die due to tobacco.

Also, nicotine has a high toxicity in comparison to many other alkaloids such as caffeine.

Why Does nicotine products are hard to quit?

Because nicotine changes the way the brain works, causing a craving for more of it. 

Understand it with smoking – It triggered dopamine by stimulating the brain (dopamine makes you feel rewarded, over time the brain relies on nicotine to release dopamine).

Also, triggers endorphins and other neurotransmitters, overtime nicotine makes smokers happy, or pleasurable sensations, which makes smoking highly addictive.

That is the reason when you try to stop smoking, you experience unpleasant mental and physical changes called nicotine withdrawal.

Although, nicotine not only affects your brain, but also affects your bones, heart health, digestive, nervous, respiratory, and muscular systems.


  • The number of smokers worldwide increased to 1.1 billion in 2019, with tobacco smoking causing 7.7 million deaths.
  • Waterpipe tobacco use is damaging to health in similar ways to cigarette tobacco use
  • Over 80% of the 1.3 billion tobacco users worldwide live in low-and middle-income countries.
  • Tobacco cultivation in India was introduced by the Portuguese in 1605. Tobacco was grown in the Kaira and Mehsana districts of Gujarat and later spread to other areas of the country.

Nicotine effect on the body

As we know that smoking is a very unhealthy lifestyle, which leads to death, and even affects your surroundings people.

According to the (CDC) cigarette contain 5,000 chemical components and hundreds of them are harmful to human health.

Tobacco isn’t famous for its health benefits. But scientists have successfully genetically modified tobacco plants to produce medicines for several autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, including diabetes. (2)

Nicotine has a wide range of effects on the body. Which include:

Effect on brain

Nicotine also causes increased oxidative stress, neuronal apoptosis, DNA damage, and reactive oxygen species increase.

Dopamine is a brain chemical that affects emotions, movement, and sensation of pleasure and pain.

If your brain’s dopamine levels rise, the feeling of contentment is higher.

NOTE: Consuming nicotine is also associated with raised alertness and a sensation of being relaxed.

Increased dopamine released may contribute to reward, and quitting can make it too difficult.

Nicotine also increased beta-carotene, resulting in reducing anxiety.

Effect on body

Nicotine stimulates the adrenal glands, resulting in the release of adrenaline.

Adrenaline stimulates the body, causes the immediate release of glucose, and increases heartbeat, breathing, and blood pressure.

In people who consume nicotine in any way, its symptoms can peak after two to 3 days after quitting. Common symptoms are:

Side effect

An animal study showed that toxic to pancreatic β-cell and leads to decreased B cell population, thus increasing the risk of diabetes (4)

Other possible side effects:

  • It damages blood vessel walls, which restricted blood flow, and trigger heart attack and strokes.
  • Cigarette ingredients can change the body’s DNA and causes cancer.
  • Damage eyesight, low bone density
  • Spasms in the lungs
  • pneumonia
  • Joint pain
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Weak immune system
  • Increased risk of eye problems
  • Smokers are more prone to lung infections, such as colds, flu, and bronchitis.
  • Risk of developing swelling of the gum and gum infection.

This causes a reduction in blood glucose levels. And also causes lipolysis, thus decreasing body weight.

Makes it harder for women to get pregnant, in men it can cause erectile dysfunction.

Learn More – Alcohol Consumption During Pregnancy

Signs that you may be addicted to nicotine

Many people have been seen saying that he smoked 1, 2, and 4 cigarettes a day. Yet they are not addicted to it, no, no that’s not right, they are fully addicted to it.

Signs that say you have become a nicotine addict. which include:

Difficulty in stopping smoking

You will not be able to quit smoking even if you want because it is giving you fun. And makes it hard to quit nicotine products.

When you try it stop it, you have to face withdrawal symptoms.

You feel comfortable after consuming it

Before difficulty, nervousness, and any stressful situations, you will use it to make yourself confident, and comfortable. Which shows that you are highly addicted to nicotine.

You may avoid family or friends or socialize, and choose a smoking restaurant or room, due to your smoking lifestyle.

Smoking cigarettes several times a day

It is most commonly seen in smokers, that even by saying no, you consume cigarettes many times a day, which triggers more and more nicotine addiction day by day.

Also, attempts to stop physical and mood-related symptoms such as:

  • Cravings
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness situations
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty in focus
  • Sad mood
  • Anger
  • Irritability
  • Increased hunger
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Constipation and diarrhea

You keep smoking despite health problems

After recovery from any health problem or developed lung or heart issue, you haven’t been able to stop nicotine consumption.

Because it gives your brain and you a relaxed feeling, After which your mind cannot think of anything. Even your health condition.

Symptoms of nicotine overdose

Sufficiently high doses of nicotine are associated with poisoning.

But historically, most cases of nicotine poisoning have been the result of the use of nicotine as an insecticide.

However, nicotine and cream also have adverse effects, In some cases, children have become poisoned by topical medicinal creams which contain nicotine.

Symptoms of nicotine overdose are:

Situations that trigger the urge to smoke

There are many situations that trigger the urge to smoke, however, if a person is highly addicted to smoking, they are easily triggered, even by smell.

Here are common situations that can wake up your urge to smoke.

  • If someone consumes in front of you
  • During drinking alcohol, coffee or taking breaks from work
  • Driving car
  • Happy for the day, Because of this, you will smoke in celebration on that day.
  • Talking to someone on the phone
  • Spending time with friends
  • Stressful situations and conditions can also urge you to smoke.


There are medicines available that help you to boycott nicotine products in your life.

Nicotine replacement therapy

It is used for smokers to reduce the severity of urges and cravings. It is available in the form of:

Patches: This long-lasting transdermal patch, apply on certain body parts, like the arm, however, which patch you apply, depends on how much smoke.

  • Gum
  • Throat lozenges
  • Inhalers
  • Nasal spray
  • Solution

Making sure, gum, and lozenges are chosen is also important, their effectiveness also depends on, how much you smoke in one day.

If someone smokes 1 pack per day or less, use the 2mg pieces. And if more than 1 pack per/day, then 4mg pieces are recommended.

A 2008 study review advises that NRH can boost the chances of quitting smoking in long term.

NOTE: Before taking any therapy, or medicine, consult the doctor, which will tell medicines according to your urge to smoke and your health.

Supportive therapy

Quitting smoking is hard when doing it alone. But family members love ones, friends, colleagues, etc may help you in quitting smoking if they really want to help.

Most smokers seem smoking to be very hard to quit, but with a loved one’s support, it becomes easy, if you really want to quit nicotine, then first control your mind. With these:

Also, meet people who completely reduced their dependence on nicotine or stopped, they can really help you in mood and irritability symptoms, and how to get rid of them.

Prescription Medicines

Your health care provider also prescribes you some other types of medicines to help you quit.

Wellbutrin medicines: They drive the dopamine levels in the brain up, and also reduce and prevent withdrawal symptoms.

Varenicline medicine: It mimics the presence of nicotine, and blocks the receptor, preventing nicotine from doing the same.

This reduces the satisfaction from smoking in individuals, which in turn decreases the risk of a relapse (5).

NOTE: Not effective to use nicotine replacement therapy when using this medicine.


The best way to prevent nicotine is to avoid places, situations, and conditions that trigger urges.

Also, do not use tobacco in the first place. like in college, office, parties, etc.

The best to keep children, and younger ones away from it, is not to smoke yourself.

It’s seen that parents who do not smoke are less likely children to do the same.


Nicotine triggers dopamine, and other neurotransmitters, including endorphins (responsible for pleasurable feeling) which makes smoking highly addictive.

The number of smokers worldwide increased to 1.1 billion in 2019, with tobacco smoking causing 7.7 million deaths

Many people have been seen saying that he smoked 1, 2, and 4 cigarettes a day.


Hello, I'm Sahil bisht, I am a Mechanical engineer, As well as, aspiring blogger with an obsession for health. This blog delicate to people who want to learn in health.

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