Affordable Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centres UK
Affordable Rehab Centres UK
What is Nicotine

What is Nicotine

What is Nicotine

What is Nicotine

What is Nicotine. Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical compound found in tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco. It is classified as a stimulant drug, which means it speeds up the body’s nervous system, leading to increased heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. Nicotine is one of the primary reasons why tobacco use is so addictive and difficult to quit.

How Nicotine Affects the Body

When a person inhales tobacco smoke, nicotine quickly enters the bloodstream and travels to the brain. Once in the brain, nicotine stimulates the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which creates a pleasurable sensation. Over time, the brain becomes accustomed to this dopamine release and begins to rely on it, leading to addiction.

Nicotine also affects other parts of the body, including the heart, lungs, and digestive system. It can cause an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, making it more difficult for the heart to function properly. It can also constrict blood vessels, leading to reduced blood flow to the heart and other organs.

In the lungs, nicotine can cause inflammation and damage to the airways, leading to conditions such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It can also suppress the immune system, making it more difficult for the body to fight off infections and illnesses.

Effects of Nicotine on Mental Health

In addition to its physical effects, nicotine can also have an impact on mental health. Research has shown that individuals who smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products have a higher risk of developing depression and anxiety disorders. Nicotine can also worsen symptoms of existing mental health conditions.

Withdrawal Symptoms

When a person stops using tobacco products, they may experience withdrawal symptoms due to the absence of nicotine in their system. Withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Cravings for tobacco products
  • Irritability and restlessness
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Increased appetite and weight gain
  • Insomnia and disturbed sleep patterns

Treatment for Nicotine Addiction

Nicotine addiction can be difficult to overcome, but it is possible with the right treatment and support. Some common treatments for nicotine addiction include:

  1. Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT): NRT involves the use of products like nicotine gum, patches, and lozenges to help manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

  2. Medications: Certain medications, such as bupropion and varenicline, can help reduce cravings and make quitting smoking or using other tobacco products easier.

  3. Behavioural Therapy: Behavioural therapy can help individuals learn coping skills and strategies to manage cravings and avoid relapse.

  4. Support Groups: Support groups, such as Nicotine Anonymous or Smoking Cessation Support Groups, can provide individuals with a sense of community and accountability while they work to quit using tobacco products.


Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical compound found in tobacco products. It affects both the body and the brain, leading to physical and mental health complications. While quitting tobacco use can be difficult, there are effective treatments available to help individuals overcome nicotine addiction and improve their overall health and well-being.

Street Terms

Cigs, Butts, chew, dip, coffin nails, cancer sticks Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances known to man. This powerful and very fast acting drug is the chemical which causes addiction to cigarettes.

Effects of Nicotine

  • It effects many different parts of the body at the same time.
  • After just one puff of a cigarette it begins to act on the central nervous system, brain and other parts of the body.
  • It actually stimulates your system, even though it makes you feel relaxed.
  • Nicotine affects chemicals in the brain and, after a puff, you usually feel good for a moment or two, which is why many smokers view smoking as stress relief when under pressure.
  • Some areas of the brain are pleasure related and when stimulated give the feeling of relaxation and reduced anxiety.
  • Efforts to provide treatment using Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) have also lead to incidents of nicotine gum addiction and other nicotine addictions.

Nicotine withdrawal

Is a term used to describe the effects felt by a person who is dependent and suddenly stops or significantly reduces his/her intake. Since smoking cigarettes is the most popular form of nicotine use, the effects of withdrawal have been most commonly observed in people who are in the process of quitting smoking. Symptoms can include craving cigarettes, becoming irritable, intense headaches and increased blood pressure. Persons who have smoked a higher number of cigarettes or for a longer period of time are more likely to experience these symptoms, although almost all people who try to ‘kick the habit’ suffer some form of withdrawal symptoms from the drug.

When regular smokers quit, they often have strong cravings when they are placed in situations associated in their minds with smoking (e.g. leaving home in the morning, on a coffee break, etc). The most common symptoms of withdrawal are impaired concentration, irritability, tension, disturbed sleep or drowsiness, intense longing for a cigarette, headaches, and an increased appetite leading to weight gain. Sometimes people can experience withdrawal when cutting down to light cigarettes or cutting down the number smoked.

Contact us

Smoking is a much harder drug to give up than people who do not smoke think. Nicotine withdrawal is not pleasant. Luckily today there are many substitutes to help people give up smoking. If you would like any help or advice on addiction or smoking. Call our team on Tel: 07811 606 606 (24 hours)

Call us now