About Nicotine

Nicotine is a chemical derived from the tobacco plant. Nicotine is a toxic and highly addictive stimulant drug.

Typical Nicotine Products

Nicotine is typically delivered to users through tobacco products, such as cigarettes, hookah, or smokeless tobacco, and more recently has been available in a non-tobacco form delivered through electronic cigarettes or e-cigs. It may also be administered for short periods in the form of FDA regulated Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) via gum, patch, or lozenge as part of tobacco cessation treatment.

Nicotine effects

Nicotine affects the body very quickly, releasing adrenaline and dopamine for a pleasant or calm feeling. In reality, heartbeat and blood pressure have increased. After smoking has ceased, individuals may feel anxious, nervous, or depressed, which is why many people use tobacco many times throughout the day. Eventually, when an addiction becomes strong enough, individuals crave nicotine so much that they may use it habitually throughout the day.
Withdrawal symptoms may appear within hours of the cessation of tobacco use and may last from several days to several weeks, depending on the severity of the addiction. Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Insomnia and restlessness
  • Cravings
  • Anxiety and nervousness
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability and anger
  • Weight gain
  • Lack of concentration
  • Headaches

Call 1-800-586-4872 toll-free to connect to the American Lung Association Lung HelpLine and Tobacco QuitLine. Experts are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 10:00 pm EST and Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm EST.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has established a national toll-free quitline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW, to serve as an access point for anyone seeking information and help in quitting smoking.

It is now illegal to purchase tobacco products under the age of 21.