Nicotine (in Cigs)
Nicotine is probably the most commonly recognized of the many chemicals found in cigarettes.
Nicotine is a drug that has various and complex effects.
In small doses nicotine has stimulating effects such as increasing activity, alertness and memory. Some regular users also describe a pleasant relaxing effect. It also increases the heart rate and blood pressure and reduces the appetite (one reason why some people have reported worries about gaining weight as a consequence of stopping smoking). In large doses nicotine may lead vomiting and nausea.
Regular users of nicotine may develop a physical dependency on this chemical (drug). Some reports have suggest that the addictive properties of nicotine are similar to those of heroin and cocaine while other people consider this type of comparison to be unhelpful.
Nicotine is believed to have limited carcinogenic effects, such as reducing the ability of the body to destroy potentially cancerous cells.
Note that the list of chemicals included in this section (see the list on the left) is not a complete list of all the substances found in cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products.