Nicotine's self-introduction

Hello, I am Nicotine.

The name comes from the scientific name of the plant tobacco, Nicotiana tabacum.

I am one of those easily misunderstood as causing various tobacco-related diseases.

We all know I am found in tobacco leaves, but did you know I am also a fruit component of many eggplant plants?

I also live in tomatoes and wolfberries, and these vegetable and medicinal ingredients are believed to be beneficial to human health. Tobacco, however, has been a timeless villain. This is what bothers me.

Tobacco is believed to be more harmful because of the chemicals produced by tobacco combustion, such as benzopyrene and carbon monoxide. Nicotine also works to protect itself from pests, so I am not completely harmless.

If you are hooked (addicted) to me and take too much, it can cause heart disease and cerebrovascular disease.

When people smoke, I enter their lungs with the smoke, enters their blood circulation through the alveoli and pulmonary veins, and travels through the arterial blood circulation to the brain in 6 to 10 seconds. In the brain, I can promote the release of “dopamine”, which acts like a “stabilizer” that makes people feel euphoric, satisfied, and relaxed.

But I am water soluble, so I can be metabolized in about 2 to 18 hours. To get this relaxing effect on an ongoing basis, I need to be taken repeatedly, which is why so many people are addicted to me.

For nearly 100 years, my image has been closely associated with “death” and “cancer,” it has been said that I am the major disease culprit due to tobacco.

However, people are also beginning to say that it may not have been me.

Some experts say nicotine is not so harmful; other substances, such as tar and carbon monoxide, are the main culprits.

The UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) public health guidelines said that the main cause of disease and death is the toxins and carcinogens in tobacco smoke, not nicotine.

“It is primarily the toxins and carcinogens in tobacco smoke – not the nicotine – that cause illness and death .”

*NICE Public Health Guidance: Tobacco Harm Reduction Approaches to Smoking (2013)

The 2010 Public Health Service Report published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also states that there are over 7,000 chemicals in smoke, hundreds of which are toxic, and at least 69 known carcinogens, but nicotine is not among them.


“When individuals inhale cigarette smoke, either directly or secondhand, they are inhaling more than 7,000 chemicals: hundreds of these are hazardous, and at least 69 are known to cause cancer.”

*How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease: A Report of the Surgeon General.

However, those who smoke for nicotine suffer from a variety of toxic substances, including tar.

If possible, try to quit smoking!