Nicotine is the primary ingredient in tobacco products, and can be an over the counter or prescription drug, found in products like Nicotine gum, and patches to help reduce Nicotine withdrawal symptoms when you quit smoking.

Hallucinogen, Depressant, or Stimulant?

Nicotine is classified as a Stimulant drug.

Street Names

Cigs, butts, smokes, chew, dip, spit tobacco, snuff

Short Term Effects

  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Increase in heart rate and flow of blood to the heart
  • Causes the arteries to narrow.

Long Term Effects

  • Bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Cataracts
  • Mouth cancer
  • Pancreas cancer
  • Bone density loss
  • Decline in insulin levels
  • Premature aging

User Population

55.8 million Americans were current smokers in 2013, 12.4 million smoked cigars, 8.8 million used smokeless tobacco, and 2.3 million smoked tobacco in pipes. (Nicotine is what makes tobacco so addictive)

Chemical Structure of Nicotine


Arrests/Sentencing/Fines if you get caught with Nicotine

Possessing things Nicotine is found in, like cigarettes is legal unless you are a minor, in which there aren't arrests, mostly fines, sometimes accompanied by tobacco education classes, or community service. Some states may suspend a drivers licence

Nicotine History

Nicotine has been used in the form of tobacco for centuries, there are South American temple carvings showing Mayan priests smoking tobacco from a pipe. There are many theories of how the Europeans were introduced to tobacco, one of them being that Christopher Columbus and his crew brought it back. What they do know, is that once it was introduced, the use of it spread rapidly, in the form of smoking it through pipes and cigars. Some people even thought that it was medicine, and that it might cure the plague.

Tobacco became a major cash crop for the American Colonies, and in 1614, the cigarette was invented, however, they were expensive to produce until 1880.

Widespread use increased steadily, both of the world wars and marketing helped that a lot, and in 1964, there was a report linking smoking with lung cancer and heart disease.

In 1994, the FDA officially determined that nicotine was a dependency-producing drug.

Nicotine was also used as an insecticide, starting in 1763. (Not used anymore)

Where is it found?

It's found in nature, in the nightshade family of plant, most obviously in tobacco, but also in small amounts in tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, and green peppers. Some Nicotine alkaloids are also found in the leaves of coca plants.

What is it used for?

Used mainly in tobacco products. (makes them addictive) Also used in products like Nicotine gum and patches to help someone stop smoking.

How is it metabolized?

Nicotine is primarily metabolized in the liver. How fast it's metabolized depends on genetic factors, diet and meals, age, sex, pregnancy, kidney disease and other meds.

Symptoms of poisoning

(Symptoms usually occur in small kids who accidentally chew nicotine gum or patches)

  • Abdominal cramps
  • agitaion
  • muscular twitching
  • Either: 1) rapid breathing, or 2) no breathing
  • Burning sensation in the mouth
  • Coma
  • Confusion
  • Convulsions
  • Depression
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Drooling
  • fainting
  • Headache
  • Pounding and rapid heartbeat, followed by a slow heart rate
  • High blood pressure, which then drops
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness


For mild sickness, put some sugar on tounge and let it absorb. Eat and stay hydrated

If it's serious: have the person vomit, help them deal with panic, confusion and agitation, and the rest of the symptoms.

(If they make it past the first hour, chances are good)