Nicotine is a highly addictive stimulant found in tobacco that is quickly absorbed
into the bloodstream when smoked.
How It's Used:
Nicotine is typically smoked in cigarettes or cigars. Some people put a pinch of
tobacco (called chewing or smokeless tobacco) into their mouths and absorb nicotine
through the lining of their mouths. Some people inhale nicotine through the nose.
What It Does:
Nicotine is as addictive as heroin
or cocaine, which
makes it extremely difficult to quit. Those who start smoking before the age of 21
have the hardest time breaking the habit.
Physical effects of nicotine use include rapid heartbeat, increased blood pressure,
shortness of breath, and a greater likelihood of colds and flu.
Users have an increased risk for lung diseases like lung cancer, heart disease,
and stroke. They may have bad breath and yellowed teeth, and are more likely to get
cancers of the mouth and neck.
Withdrawal symptoms of nicotine include anxiety, anger, restlessness, and insomnia.