Nicotine is a compound that includes a variety of plant varieties, like a tobacco plant, that are produced from nitrogen. It is synthetically made, too. The nicotine type found in tobacco plants, Nicotiana tobacco, originates from the family nightshade. Examples of the nightshade family are red peppers, eggplants, tomatoes and potatoes. The tobacco is an American-born plant that has been used for at least 2,000 years as a medicine and stimulant. Tobacco was seen by some as medicinal, and by others as poisonous and addictive.
This is the most essential psychoactive agent found in tobacco products, and so this drug facts page focuses on the effect of nicotine as used by smokers. Nicotine is the most widely used psychoactive component in smokers. By burning tobacco, such as cigarettes, the tar and carbon monoxide (a poisonous gas) are emitted as well. The goods include nicotine, such as cigarettes, cigars, tobacco pipes, tobacco and wet, and the dried plant leaves.
- Medical. Nicotine is used mainly to treat nicotine dependency in order to prevent smoking and the health effects. Patients are given regulated nicotine levels by gums, dermal patches, lozenges, inhalers, or nasal sprays to reduce their dependence. A 2018 Cochrane review found high quality evidence of a 50%–60% increased chance of smoking positive with all types of nicotine replacement therapy such as gum, patch, lozenges, inhalers and nasal sprinkling. Nicotine replacement products (NRTs) are intended to reduce addictivity, compared with recreational nicotine products that are designed to increase the risk of addiction. The faster and more consumed a dose of nicotine is, the greater the chance of addiction.
- Pesticide. Nicotine is used for insecticide use as tobacco extracts since at least the sixteen-nineties. The US has not been able to market nicotine pesticides commercially since 2014 and home-made pesticides are prohibited on organic crops but for small gardeners are not recommended. Since 2009 the EU has prohibited nicotine pesticides. Nicotine pesticides are allowed in imports of foods from countries like China, but the maximum levels of nicotine must not be exceeded. Based and structurally similar to nicotine, neonicotinoids are widely used as agricultural and veterinary pesticides in 2016.
- Performance. Often the items containing nicotine are used to enhance cognitive efficiency of nicotine. A meta-analysis of 41 double-blind , placebo-controlled studies found that nicotine or smoking had significant positive effects on fine motor ability, attention-alert and concentration, and episodic memory. A study by 2015 indicated that nicotinic receptor stimulation is responsible for some changes to focus.
- Recreational. Nicotine is used as a recreational drug. It is widely used, highly reliant and difficult to avoid. Sometimes nicotine is compulsively used, and dependency may grow in several days. Nicotine is widely used by recreational drug users to improve their mood. Chew tobacco, cigars, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, snuff, pipe and snus are recreational nicotine products.
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