There is nicotine in cigarettes.

The term “nicotine” means a Naturally occurring in tobacco plants, mostly alkaline, nitrogenous organic compound (so-called alkanoid).


For a long time, nicotine consumption was seen as a social experience. But at the latest since possible damage to health recognized more and more through smoking, people tried to distance themselves from this addiction. Extensive Studies don't just deal with the Effects of nicotine consumption on the human organism, but also with the circumstances that make people smoke. In general, it can be assumed that the The proportion of smokers in layers with a low level of education is comparatively higher is. In the mid-1960s, the proportion of smokers in the educated and middle classes is said to have been more than 40 percent each. In the meantime this share has almost halved in the upper class and dropped to a value of around 30 percent in the middle class. In the classes with a low level of education, on the other hand, the proportion of people who regularly consume nicotine is said to have risen to around 34 percent. In addition, extensive studies suggest that Parents smoke much more often than childless couples.

Of the Use of nicotine is therefore still, despite the known health risks widespread. Especially in the Adolescence seems to be the greatest danger of taking up smoking. The main reason for this phenomenon seem to be Model function of smoking parents and the Peer pressure among peers to be. Fortunately, the proportion of young people who smoke has fallen significantly in recent years. People who start consuming nicotine will fall into it in no time Dependency relationship. Just a few seconds after the nicotine is inhaled, it reaches the brain via the bloodstream. There docks it to so-called nicotinic receptors and initiates a series of physiological signaling cascades. The actual dependency is presumably about one Increase in the messenger substance dopamine and an accompanying one Stimulation of the reward system evoked.


Smoking a cigarette will be average 30 percent of that contained in the cigarette Nicotine released. Round 90 percent this nicotine will be after inhalation absorbed into the organism via the lungs. Nicotine can, however also absorbed through the mucous membranes be and that way get into the bloodstream and brain. In general, it can be assumed that approximately 25 percent of the inhaled nicotine reaches the brain seven to eight seconds after ingestion. In the area of ​​the brain stores nicotine to so-called nicotinergic receptors. In this way, the addictive substance can become one Stimulate a range of physiological responses. Of the Onset of action of nicotine is included very fast.

At the first consumption Many people react with the addictive substance nausea and pronounced dizziness. But after a short time the body begins to get used to the effects of nicotine. Smokers then describe consistently pleasant effects of the addictive substance. Nicotine is said to be Calming nervousness and have a relaxing effect. Additionally, most smokers report that the Feeling hungry through regular nicotine consumption decreased will. In addition, the nicotine should be a factor in the smoker Feeling of security, sovereignty and self-confidence. In particular, the calming effect of nicotine has been difficult to explain so far. This is because of the fact that nicotine is on at the physiological level, it is more likely to lead to stress reactions leads. They start a short time after inhaling the addictive substance Heart rate and the Blood pressure to rise. A decrease in resistance is initiated in the area of ​​the skin surface. As a result, the Skin temperature drop significantly. It can therefore be assumed that smokers freeze much faster than non-smokers. On psychic level show up stimulating effects of nicotine through a Increase in performance as well as one Improvement of attention and memory performance noticeable.

In addition, the nicotine ensures that Suppresses impulses such as appetite, stress, fear, insecurity, nervousness and fatigue become. At high nicotine consumption can be in addition to a Blockage of important physiological processes come. Although this is initially perceived as reassuring by the smoker, it can have serious consequences. From one daily amount of about one milligram of nicotine per kilogram of body weight consists risk of death. This so-called "Lethal amount" However, taking in nicotine by inhalation is almost impossible.

Why is nicotine addictive?

This happens just a few seconds after the recording Nicotine in the brain. There it can be sent to so-called nicotinic receptors tie. In this way you can target different physiological signal cascades set in motion become. It is now assumed that the main effect of nicotine is via the messenger substance (synonym: Neurotransmitters) Dopamine is conveyed. This very messenger substance is a important part of the body's own reward system, through which the human organism can support species and existence-preserving actions. In addition to nicotine, eating, drinking, amphetamines, cocaine or even sexual intercourse can have a stimulating effect on dopamine release. The human being "Rewarded" accordingly when smokingby adding a Feeling of self-confidence and strength is conveyed. Over time, the nicotinic receptors in the brain however too multiply.

This is how the smoker experiences one Tolerance development. In addition, the organism learns to a certain extent to process the toxin. If there is no regular nicotine intake, so it comes to the occurrence of characteristic withdrawal symptoms. Furthermore, behavioral effects play an important role in the development of addiction. Especially role models (e.g. parents who smoke) have one decisive influence on the development of a nicotine addiction. The reason for this is the fact that most behaviors are affected by the Identification with related parties to be learned.

The cigarette industry itself promotes the development of addiction to nicotine in a harrowing way. By advertisingthat exclusively good looking happy peoplewho consciously and casually reach for a cigarette, shows should be a psychological reward effect be achieved. In this way, it is conveyed to consumers that smoking makes them appear casual, cool and funny to others. Deterrent measures on the other hand, appear on the cigarette packs themselves hardly to achieve any effect. The actual dependence on nicotine is mediated by various rewarding effects.

Health effects

Nicotine use has many health consequences.

Everyone should now be aware that regular consumption of nicotine is not healthy. How harmful the addictive substance actually affects the organism is often underestimated. Both health effects of nicotine must be between acute dangers and differentiated long-term damage to health become. Nicotine is considered to be highly effective neurotoxin, which already a short time after recording Stimulation of nerve cells leads. However, this stimulation can quickly turn into a Paralysis of the nerve cells pass over. Approximately 50 to 100 milligrams Nicotine are considered lethal dose. Due to the fact that the liver can break down the nicotine it has absorbed very quickly, this amount cannot be achieved by inhalation. The one while smoking Toxins absorbed through the mucous membranes and lungs can Distribute through the bloodstream throughout the entire organism.

In this way, almost any organ can be affected by the consumption of nicotine. Especially the respiratory tract and the Cardiovascular system become special by the toxin badly damaged. The problem is that the health damage caused by nicotine occur only after years or decades. For this reason, smokers manage to deny the health risk over a long period of time. According to the latest estimates Approximately 100,000 to 120,000 people die each year from the effects of nicotine consumption. In general, it can be assumed that smokers lose about 10 years of their lifespan have to.

Besides the nicotine there are in cigarettes too other pollutants contain. Approximately 40 of these additives, amongst other things tar, are considered carcinogenic. The tiny tar particles in particular settle in the airways and lungs. she damage there so-called Ciliathat for the Filtering the air we breathe and the Removal of dirt particles are responsible. As a result, the respiratory tract by a multiple more susceptible to bacterial and viral pathogens. Severe, recurring cough (Smoker's cough) and chronic inflammation of the bronchi (Chronic bronchitis) are the first signs of airway damage. Also applies Lung cancer as a typical smoking disease. According to studies, it can be assumed that approximately 85 percent of the peoplewho develop lung cancer have used nicotine regularly. It also represents that contained in cigarettes Carbon monoxide Another poisonous gas is. If the substance gets into the blood and is there instead of the vital oxygen to the red blood cells bound, is Lack of oxygen a serious consequence. This danger should not be underestimated, since carbon monoxide has a much higher binding behavior to the hemoglobin contained in the red blood cells.

To the major nicotine-associated health problems belong:

  • severe shortness of breath (for example, from lung gas)

  • Lung cancer

  • Bronchial tumors

  • Throat cancer

  • Oral tumors

  • Circulatory disorders of the coronary arteries

  • Heart attack

  • Heart attack

  • Inflammation of the gastric mucosa

  • Stomach ulcers

In addition to the active consumption of nicotine, passive smoking can also lead to serious health consequences. Since a smoker only absorbs about 40 percent of tobacco smoke himself, the rest of the pollutants end up in the ambient air. This is primarily the unfiltered sidestream smoke. It can be assumed that the proportion of pollutants in this sidestream smoke is up to 130 times greater. Passive smokers are therefore exposed to the same health risks as active smokers. Passive smoking is particularly dangerous for young children and young people. The reason for this is the fact that the growing organism reacts much more sensitively to nicotine and other pollutants. Children who are regularly exposed to nicotine-containing vapors have been shown to be more likely to develop inflammation of the respiratory tract and infections. In addition, secondhand smoke is seen as one of the possible causes of sudden infant death syndrome.

How can you stop smoking?

Of the regular consumption of nicotine makes, among other things, about the steady increase in nicotinic receptors in the brain quickly dependent. For most smokers, despite known health risks, it is difficult to refrain from using nicotine. Some important tips however, can help increase the likelihood that nicotine withdrawal will work. People who have been dependent on nicotine for years should try one set the exact date and stop smoking that very day. Studies have shown that most of the smokers who have managed to quit nicotine stopped overnight. A Reduction in the daily amount of nicotine however, remains mostly unsuccessful.

Just that first weeks of withdrawal are considered particularly difficult. Because of this, the potential non-smoker should look employ. This is what helps most in keeping you from thinking about smoking. In addition, everyone should Utensils that are reminiscent of nicotinee.g. cigarette boxes, lighters and ashtrays, disposed of become. Also one Increase in physical activity should help to get through nicotine withdrawal better. For this reason, those affected should walk instead of taking the bus or car if possible. In addition there is various aidsthat can moderate nicotine withdrawal within the first few weeks. Especially Nicotine patcheswhich continuously release a small amount of nicotine into the body are very popular. Ideally, the General practitioner informed about the project become. They may know some tips that can make nicotine withdrawal easier.