WHAT IS NICOTINE?
Nicotine occurs naturally in the tobacco plant. Once inhaled, nicotine is absorbed through the lungs straight into the bloodstream where it travels through the body into tissues and organs, including the brain. In the brain, nicotine binds to specific receptors and triggers the release of dopamine and other neurotransmitters. As a result, nicotine may stimulate and ultimately affect short-term brain functions such as emotion, learning, and memory.1
After repeated nicotine stimulation, the brain adapts to the presence of nicotine, a process that is reversible when a person stops using nicotinecontaining products. The action of nicotine in the brain can also trigger physiological effects outside the brain. For example, the messenger epinephrine is released into the bloodstream, leading to temporary (and reversible) narrowing of blood vessels, higher blood pressure, and increased heart rate.2
Nicotine-containing products should not be used by people who have or are at risk of heart disease, are diabetic, are epileptic, or are experiencing seizures. They should not be used during pregnancy or while breast-feeding, Finally, minors should not use or have access to any tobacco or nicotine-containing products.