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Beoordeling 4.1
Foto van een scholier
  • Werkstuk door een scholier
  • Klas onbekend | 649 woorden
  • 28 augustus 2009
  • 4 keer beoordeeld
Cijfer 4.1
4 keer beoordeeld


Nicotine in cigarettes

For hundred of years, people have smoked or chewed tobacco leaves Nicotiana tabacum. It was first found in America, about 6000 B.C. Then it was exported to Europe and the rest of the world. Nowadays tobacco is mostly used to make cigarettes. It is also used for experiments in neuroscience. While there are 4000 different chemicals in cigarette, only nicotine gives the good feeling which draw people for another cigarette or plug of tobacco. What has nicotine that makes people addicted to it and is it harmful for the body. Should nicotine be banned?
Nicotine is a liquid alkaloid. This is an organic compound of carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen. Alkaloids have strong effects on the body. When you smoke a cigarette, nicotine gets absorbed into the blood. According to Ian Jones, a nicotine expert at Bath University, UK nicotine reaches the brain in seven seconds. Nicotine can diffuse through the skin, lungs, and mucous membrane. Through bloodstream it travels to the brain and then it is delivered to the rest of the body.

Initially nicotine causes release of adrenaline which increases the heart beat thus the blood pressure. Then it releases glucose from stored glycogen into the blood. Nicotine also stops secretion of insulin, a hormone which tells the cells to take up excess glucose from the blood. This causes hyperglycemic condition, having higher concentration of sugar in the blood. It also increases basal metabolic rate, by burning more calories while just sitting around. Because nicotine increases the bad LDL cholesterol in the lungs which damage the arteries. Continuing damaging the vesels can cause heart attack or a stroke. The brain is the real target of nicotine, where it promotes the release of neurotransmitter “dopamine”, of the reward pathway. This pathway gives you a pleasant and happy feeling by doing something which is essential to your survival, like the feeling of satisfaction after eating. Nicotine also promotes the release of Glutamate, a neurotransmitter for learning and memories. After using nicotine glutamate creates a memory loop of the good feeling. This drives the smoker to use more. Most of people use nicotine for its wake up function. Nicotine activates cholinergic neurons in different regions of the brain that calls the body and the brain for action. Some other functions are like increasing level of painkillers and acetylcholine which increase the heartbeat.
The question that nicotine kills and should be banned remains just a debate topic. There are different opinions about it. According to Nora D.Volkow director of
National Institute on Drug Abuse, Smoking harms almost all the organ of the body, and causes many diseases. And On the other hand Nico.Worldwide Inc. said that there is no medical evidence that nicotine causes cancer or most of other diseases which could be caused by Nicotine. It is a very common substance, found in many vegetables such as cauliflower, potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, chili peppers, and some type of tea. The department of Neuroanatomy of University of Köln suggests that the risk of Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease is twice as high for nonsmokers than for smokers. So in contrast nicotine has its positive sides.
But still every 10 seconds, someone dies from tobacco use, according to the World Health Organization. So in my opinion smoking nicotine has its advantages but also disadvantages. Almost everything that we use has its negative and positive sides. Like eating meat can cause cancer, but should it be banned? I think if it is used in limited amount, it will not cause serious harms in the body. So nicotine can harm our body if it is used more frequently. In small amounts it will just relax the body and moreover decrease the risk of some brain diseases.

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