Today's population is composed heavily of smokers. In every corner, you could almost always see a smoker puffing out smoke. Remarkably, however, the percentage of adults who smoke cigarettes in the U.S. have decreased from 42% in 1965 to about 18% in 2012. But even as the number of smokers goes down, cigarettes and other forms of tobacco remain to be among the most heavily abused substance worldwide.
Dating back hundreds of years ago, Cigarettes and Tobaccos are one of the things that are commonly sought for. But, why are people so drawn to it? Why do some people regard it as an important commodity? Well, this may be attributed to the presence of Nicotine. Nicotine is one of the most active ingredients in cigarettes and tobaccos and may be accounted to its addictive properties. Like alcohol, cocaine, and morphine, cigarettes and tobaccos may be as addictive and pleasurable as these things.
Basically, Nicotine is being regarded as a stimulant drug and is a potent parasympathomimetic alkaloid that is found in the nightshade family of plants or Solanaceae (1). It comprises approximately 0.6-3.0 % of the dry weight of tobacco but is also found in minute amounts in some edible plants such as the eggplant.
Now let us know how Nicotine really works inside our body and why some people, most specifically smokers, find it hard to let go of nicotine from their daily lifestyle.
Since Nicotine is smoked through cigarettes and tobacco, it commonly enters an individual’s body through inhalation. However, some other forms where Nicotine may be administered is through putting Nicotine patches, chewing tobacco, dipping tobacco, and snuffing it. Whatever modes of administration it may be, Nicotine enters our bloodstream and the blood-brain barrier in a similar fashion. It is believed that after approximately 15 seconds of administration, Nicotine is readily available in the brain and our central nervous system. Moreover, the half-life of Nicotine is approximately 2 hours.