«Nicotine is a stimulant and potentparasympathomimeticalkaloid that is naturally produced in the nightshade family of plants and used for the treatment of tobacco use disorders as a smoking cessation aid and nicotine dependence for the relief of withdrawal symptoms. Nicotine acts as a receptor agonist at most nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), except at two nicotinic receptor subunits (nAChRα9 and nAChRα10) where it acts as a receptor antagonist.
Nicotine constitutes approximately 0.6–3.0% of the dry weight of tobacco. Usually consistent concentration of nicotine varying from 2–7 µg/kg (20–70 millionths of a percent wet weight) are found in the edible family Solanaceae, such as potato, tomato, and eggplant. Some research indicates that the contribution of nicotine obtained from food is substantial in comparison to inhalation of second-hand smoke. Others consider nicotine obtained from food to be trivial unless exceedingly high amounts of certain vegetables are eaten. It functions as an antiherbivore chemical; consequently, nicotine was widely used as an insecticide in the past, and neonicotinoids, such as imidacloprid, are widely used.
Nicotine is highly addictive. It is one of the most commonly abused drugs. An average cigarette yields about 2 mg of absorbed nicotine; high amounts can be harmful. Nicotine induces both behavioral stimulation and anxiety in animals. Nicotine addiction involves drug-reinforced behavior, compulsive use, and relapse following abstinence. Nicotine dependence involves tolerance, sensitization,physical dependence, and psychological dependence. Nicotine dependency causes distress. Nicotine withdrawal symptoms include depressed mood, stress, anxiety, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and sleep disturbances. Mild nicotine withdrawal symptoms are measurable in unrestricted smokers, who experience normal mood only as their blood nicotine levels peak, with each cigarette. On quitting, withdrawal symptoms worsen sharply, then gradually improve to a normal state.
Nicotine use as a tool for quitting smoking has a good safety history. The general medical position is that nicotine itself poses few health risks, except among certain vulnerable groups, such as youth. The International Agency for Research on Cancer indicates that nicotine does not cause cancer. Nicotine has been shown to produce birth defects in some animal species, but not others; consequently, it is considered to be a possible teratogen in humans. The median lethal dose of nicotine in humans is unknown, but high doses are known to cause nicotine poisoning.
The primary therapeutic use of nicotine is in treating nicotine dependence in order to eliminate smoking with the damage it does to health. Controlled levels of nicotine are given to patients through gums, dermal patches, lozenges, inhalers, electronic/substitute cigarette or nasal sprays in an effort to wean them off their dependence. Studies have found that these therapies increase the chance of success of quitting by 50 to 70%, though reductions in the population as a whole have not been demonstrated.
In contrast to recreational nicotine products, which have been designed to maximize the likelihood of addiction, nicotine replacement products (NRTs) are designed to minimize addictiveness.:112 The more quickly a dose of nicotine is delivered and absorbed, the higher the addiction risk.
Nicotine has been used as an insecticide since at least the 1690s, in the form of tobacco extracts (although other components of tobacco also seem to have pesticide effects). Nicotine pesticides have not been commercially available in the US since 2014, and homemade pesticides are banned on organic crops and counterrecommended for small gardeners. Nicotine pesticides have been banned in the EU since 2009. Foods are imported from countries in which nicotine pesticides are allowed, such as China, but foods may not exceed maximum nicotine levels.Neonicotinoids, which are derived from and structurally similar to nicotine, are widely used as agricultural and veterinary pesticides as of 2016.
In nicotine-producing plants, nicotine functions as an antiherbivory chemical; consequently, nicotine has been widely used as an insecticide, and neonicotinoids, such as imidacloprid, are widely used.
Nicotine-containing products are sometimes used for the performance-enhancing effects of nicotine on cognition. A meta-analysis of 41 double-blind, placebo-controlled studies concluded that nicotine or smoking had significant positive effects on aspects of fine motor abilities, alerting and orienting attention, and episodic and working memory. A 2015 review noted that stimulation of the α4β2 nicotinic receptor is responsible for certain improvements in attentional performance; among the nicotinic receptor subtypes, nicotine has the highest binding affinity at the α4β2 receptor (ki=1 nM), which is also the biological target that mediates nicotine's addictive properties. Nicotine has potential beneficial effects, but it also has paradoxical effects, which may be due to the inverted U-shape of the dose-response curve or pharmacokinetic features.
Nicotine is used as a recreational drug. It is widely used because it is highly addictive and hard to discontinue using it. Nicotine is often used compulsively, and dependence can develop within days. Recreational drug users commonly use nicotine for its mood-altering effects. Other recreational nicotine products include chewing tobacco,cigars,cigarette,e-cigarette,snuff,pipe tobacco, and snus.
According to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, nicotine in any form is contraindicated in individuals with a known hypersensitivity to nicotine and nicotine polacrilex gum is contraindicated in individuals with temporomandibular joint disease.
Nicotine is not harmless, but it is safer than inhaled tobacco smoke. As medicine, nicotine is used to help with quitting smoking and has good safety in this form. The accepted medical position in 2007 was that nicotine itself poses few health risks, except among certain vulnerable groups such as youth, but the ideal course of action for smokers is to quit all nicotine use. The common side effects from nicotine exposure are listed in the table below.» (wikipedia)
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