Everyone knows that nicotine is the active ingredient of tobacco and that it is highly addictive. Nicotine is a mild stimulant affecting the nervous system and strong stimulant affecting the cardiovascular system. Its function is to constrict blood vessels which increases blood pressure and stimulates the heart. In liquid form nicotine is actually a poison, and even one drop is enough to kill. While it is nicotine which is addictive and causes people to continue smoking, it is the cigarette smoke which causes many of the problems.
What does Nicotine contain?
Cigarette smoke is made up of carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide and nitrogen and sulfur oxides, all of which are lethal gases, as well as tars. Tar contains an estimated 4000 chemicals, some of which are introduced through the current tobacco manufacturing process. The negative effects of smoking have catapulted in the last century, most likely due to the chemicals added by the manufacturing process. There is some research which suggests that tobacco in its natural form poses much less of a cancer risk
Modern tobacco products contain pesticides, which are used during the growing of tobacco. Then chemicals are added to it to make the tobacco burn better or have a different flavor. It is these chemicals which force burning. i..e keeps a cigarette burning even when it is put out, that makes smokers smoke more of each cigarette to finish it. It is possible to that smoking cigarettes which use natural tobacco may reduce the risk of smoking.
There are plenty of other contaminants in cigarettes, such as cadmium, lead, cyanide, arsenic and nickel. The most toxic chemical known to date, dioxin, has also been found in cigarettes.
The Effects of Nicotine
Some of the major side effects of taking nicotine are blurred vision, headaches, dizziness, pounding in the ears, nausea, irregular heartbeat and hives or itching. More common but less severe side effects of nicotine are mouth sores or blisters, sore throat, heartburn, mouth or jaw pain and problems with teeth.
Apart from the physical effects, smoking also reduces the absorption of vitamin C into the body. Then there are mental effects. Smokers get a buzz commonly known as the ‘smoker’s high’ which is described as a pleasurable short buzz, usually accompanied by light headedness and an improved mood. This is what keeps smokers coming back for more.
Nicotine cravings also cause stress. Ironically, smokers use cigarettes as a way of relieving stress. But as noted above, the buzz is short lived. Additionally, there are a host of other side effects such as depression, anger and anxiety.
In conclusion, nicotine and tobacco have far reaching effects not just on a smokers physical health but also on their mental well being.
There are many reasons to quit smoking. At Hired Power, we are available to assist you and answer any questions you may have.