Health

Cardiologists warn about the risks of vaping

Electronic cigarette (EC) use, or vaping, has both gained incredible popularity and generated tremendous controversy, but although they may be less harmful than tobacco cigarettes (TCs), they have major potential risks that ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Electronic cigarettes help smokers with schizophrenia quit

A new study in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, published by Oxford University Press, finds that the use of high-strength nicotine e-cigarettes can help adults with schizophrenia spectrum disorders quit smoking.

Health

COVID-19 lockdown linked to uptick in tobacco use

Pandemic-related anxiety, boredom, and irregular routines were cited as major drivers of increased nicotine and tobacco use during the initial COVID-19 "lockdown," according to research just released by Columbia University's ...

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Nicotine

Nicotine is an alkaloid found in the nightshade family of plants (Solanaceae) which constitutes approximately 0.6–3.0% of dry weight of tobacco, with biosynthesis taking place in the roots, and accumulating in the leaves. It functions as an antiherbivore chemical with particular specificity to insects; therefore nicotine was widely used as an insecticide in the past, and currently nicotine analogs such as imidacloprid continue to be widely used.

In low concentrations (an average cigarette yields about 1 mg of absorbed nicotine), the substance acts as a stimulant in mammals and is one of the main factors responsible for the dependence-forming properties of tobacco smoking. According to the American Heart Association, "Nicotine addiction has historically been one of the hardest addictions to break." The pharmacological and behavioral characteristics that determine tobacco addiction are similar to those that determine addiction to drugs such as heroin and cocaine. Nicotine content in cigarettes has actually slowly increased over the years, and one study found that there was an average increase of 1.6% per year between the years of 1998 and 2005. This was found for all major market categories of cigarettes.

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