Unscheduled (AU) ? (UK) ? (US)
Medium to high
(as smoking tobacco, mapacho, etc.),
(as tobacco snuff or nicotine nasal spray),
(asnicotine gum, tobacco gum or chewing tobacco),
(as nicotine patch, nicogel or topical tobaccopaste),
(as dipping tobacco, snuffs, dissolvable tobacco or creamy snuff),
(as electroniccigarette, etc.),
(as nicotine inhaler),
(what is this?)
is an alkaloid found in the nightshade family of plants (
) that constitutes approximately0.6
3.0% of the dry weight of tobacco,
with biosynthesis taking place in the roots and accumulationoccurring in the leaves. It functions as an antiherbivore chemical with particular specificity to insects; thereforenicotine was widely used as an insecticide in the past,
and currently nicotine analogs such as imidaclopridcontinue to be widely used. Nicotine is also found in several other members of the Solanaceae family, with smallamounts being present in species such as the Eggplant and Tomato.In low concentrations (an average cigarette yields about 1 mg of absorbed nicotine), the substance acts as a stimulantin mammals and is the main factor responsible for the dependence-forming properties of tobacco smoking.According to the American Heart Association, nicotine addiction has historically been one of the hardest addictionsto break, while the pharmacological and behavioral characteristics that determine tobacco addiction are similar tothose that determine addiction to drugs such as heroin and cocaine.
Nicotine content in cigarettes has slowlyincreased over the years, and one study found that there was an average increase of 1.6% per year between the yearsof 1998 and 2005. This was found for all major market categories of cigarettes.
History and name
Nicotine is named after the tobacco plant
which in turn is named after Jean Nicot de Villemain,French ambassador in Portugal, who sent tobacco and seeds from Brazil to Paris in 1560 and promoted theirmedicinal use. Nicotine was first isolated from the tobacco plant in 1828 by German chemists Posselt & Reimann,who considered it a poison.
Its chemical empirical formula was described by Melsens in 1843,
its structurewas discovered by Adolf Pinner and Richard Wolffenstein in 1893, and it was first synthesized by A. Pictet andCrepieux in 1904.
Nicotine is a hygroscopic, oily liquid that is miscible with water in its base form. As a nitrogenous base, nicotineforms salts with acids that are usually solid and water soluble. Nicotine easily penetrates the skin. As shown by thephysical data, free base nicotine will burn at a temperature below its boiling point, and its vapors will combust at308 K (35 °C; 95 °F) in air despite a low vapor pressure. Because of this, most of the nicotine is burned when acigarette is smoked; however, enough is inhaled to cause pharmacological effects.