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COTININE (Nicotine)

COTININE (Nicotine) Definition

Nicotine is a stimulant and sedative to the central nervous system. The substance is physically and psychologically addictive. When ingesting nicotine, there is an almost immediate result of the person feeling "happy" due to a discharge of epinephrine from the adrenal cortex. This is followed by stimulation of the central nervous system and other endocrine glands, which causes a quick release of glucose. After this stimulation, there is depression and fatigue which then compels the user to seek more nicotine to get back to the "happy" feeling. Over 50 million Americans smoke, which makes nicotine one of the most addictive substances in the United States.

In 1989 the Surgeon General issued a report stating that cigarettes and other forms of tobacco are addicting and that the substance which causes the addiction is nicotine.

Tobacco smoking will result in the absorption of nicotine via the lung and oral/nasal tissues. The nicotine is then metabolized into approximately 20 different metabolites and excreted in the urine. Continine is a major metabolite and accumulates in the body when smoking is a regular occurance.

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