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Tobacco is as addictive as heroin (as a mood & behavior altering agent)

25 FEB 2011

university of minnesota


Tobacco is as addictive as heroin (as a mood & behavior altering agent).

  • Nicotine is:

1. 1000 X more potent than alcohol

2. 10-100 X more potent than barbiturates

3. 5-10 X more potent than cocaine or morphine

  • A 1-2 pack per day smoker takes 200-400 hits daily for years. This constant intake of a fast acting drug (which affects mood, concentration & performance).. eventually produces dependence.

Pressures to relapse are both behaviorally & pharmacologically triggered.

Quitting involves a significantly serious psychological loss… a serious life style change.

NICOTINE — Botanical insecticide. Pure nicotine is a tobacco extract highly toxic to warm-blooded animals. The insecticide usually is marketed as a 40% liquid concentrate of nicotine sulfate, which is diluted in water and applied as a spray. Dusts can irritate the skin and are not normally available for garden use. Nicotine is used primarily for piercing sucking-insects such as aphids, whiteflies, leaf hoppers and thrips. Nicotine is more effective when applied during warm weather. It degrades quickly, so can be used on many food plants nearing harvest. It is registered for use on a wide range of vegetable and fruit crops. 

Catastrophic brain injury after nicotine insecticide ingestion.  Division of Emergency Medicine, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30329, USA. Abstract Much attention has been paid to the long-term toxic and carcinogenic effects of nicotine-containing substances, particularly tobacco. Although rare, acute ingestions of large amounts of nicotine can produce rapid and dramatic toxicity. We present a case of an ingestion of a nicotine sulfate solution by a 15-year-old boy resulting in hypoxia and irreversible encephalopathy. The diagnosis of acute nicotine toxicity potentially could be delayed due to the fact that nicotine and cotinine are so commonly found on drug screens that they are considered “normal variants.”

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