Nicotine is a toxic alkaloid which is present in plants of varied species that belong to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. It enters the body commonly through smoke inhaled from cigarettes. It is an active ingredient found in many tobacco items, and can also be used in nicotine replacement therapy in the form of a drug. Around nicotine in the range of 10 – 20 mg can be found in every cigarette. However, only around 1 mg of nicotine is absorbed by the body through inhalation of smoke. But even 1 mg of nicotine is found to have a significant effect on the body of humans. If you are curious to know is nicotine bad for you, read on and know.
Harmful Effects of Nicotine
An oily, toxic and pale yellow substance, Nicotine changes into a brown colored material when it is exposed in the open. When in a base form, it can mix with water. It can be used in the form of a toxic insecticide when it is available in a concentrated form. It is an alkaloid which can be found to naturally exist in tobacco plants. The quantity of nicotine present in tobacco plants is generally in the range of about 2 – 7 %. The chemical can get easily into the skin. When it is consumed, it is absorbed quickly and easily through the mucous lining of the mouth or the nose, or even the lungs – based on how it is ingested. It gets into the blood and the brain in a matter of only ten seconds.
Heart and Respiration
It can result in cardiac and even respiratory issues for nicotine addicts. Consuming too much of this chemical can even make tumors develop in the body. An individual who gets addicted to the substance can find it extremely tough to give it up. Usage of nicotine can turn into a deadly habit. The chemical is known to boost the flow of the chemical known as dopamine, which provides smokers with a high. Those who try to attempt to give it up begin to suffer from withdrawal symptoms of nicotine like rise in cardiac rate and blood pressure as well as sleeping problems, irritability and anxiety. These symptoms can be so difficult to manage that they have to be controlled with a miniscule quantity of nicotine. When used for a prolonged duration, the chemical may also result in damage to the cells in the heart and the lungs.
The National Cancer Institute has conducted a study that has found around 87% of people dying due to lung cancer to be cigarette smokers. Nicotine is the most active component present in cigarettes. In can be addictive when used in small amounts, but can be quickly toxic for the system when consumed in large amounts. The chemical can affect the lungs in a direct as well as in an indirect manner, irrespective of the amount it is consumed in.
If you are interested to know is nicotine bad for you, it can be enough for you to know that it can result in carcinogenic effects. Although nicotine does not result in lung cancer directly, constant exposure to the chemical can accelerate the proliferation of cancer cells in the lungs, once lung cancer has already developed. Too much intake of nicotine can lead to various forms of cancer, such as cancer of the mouth, larynx, lung and esophagus. These can be life-threatening, unless contained in the initial stages.
The American Heart Association states the chemical can enter the blood stream and affect the lungs directly. When it enters the blood through lungs, nicotine raises the blood pressure on a short term basis and makes the arteries narrower all through the body. It can limit the quantity of blood which can circulate all through the system. As it limits blood flow, it also limits the quantity of lungs oxygen that can be circulated by the lungs into the blood and help the body to stay healthy. The situation is even more complicated by the fact that the carbon monoxide which generally comes with nicotine limits the quantity of oxygen which can be transported by the blood. This results in a deficit between the quantity of the oxygen circulated by the lungs into blood and the amount actually required by the system.
In pregnant women, the chemical can result in specific dangers. The blood of a mother transports nutrients and oxygen to the body of the baby, and eliminates all the waste products from the baby’s system. The narrowing effect of nicotine on the blood capillaries can slow down both processes. Naturally, there is a higher risk of suffering a miscarriage in women who smoke. If pregnancy is allowed to continue, there can be a premature detachment of the placentas, which can be potentially life-threatening for the baby. In women who smoke even half a pack o cigarettes every day, there can be a 20% higher risk of detachment of the placentas.
In smoking mothers who deliver babies successfully, offspring is found to have low birth-weight and suffer from a wide variety of health issues. Babies born to moms who smoked during maternity suffer from a higher risk of developing physical and mental growth issues, hyperactivity and even death caused by sudden infant death syndrome.
Giving Up Nicotine and Recovery
Now that you have understood is nicotine bad for you, you might be in a mood to give up your addiction of cigarettes, gums and any other product that contains the chemical. According to research, the circulation of a person starts improving in a couple of weeks after giving up smoking. Normal functionality is restored to most of the blood capillaries in a span of three months. Thus you can understand the nicotine addiction can be seriously damaging for your own health and result in bad effects for your system. If you smoke, you should gradually make an attempt to give up the habit and start living a healthier life.