Bob has a cigarette and a cup of coffee the first fifteen minutes of waking up each morning. The same behavior continues through his day. Bob does not consider himself a drug addict. The same behavior continues through his day. Bob does not consider himself a drug addict. Caffeine is the most popular stimulant in the world and the world’s most popular mood altering and habit-forming drug. Nicotine is both a stimulant and a sedative. Caffeine is used in soft drinks, and over the counter medications. Even with well-known side effects, nicotine has redeeming factors. Nicotine may help treating cognitive impairments, Alzheimer’s, and treating ADHD.
Nicotine acts in the brain through the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Acetylcholine is accountable for attention, language comprehension and intelligence. When inhaled burning tobacco 90% of the available nicotine is absorbed into the body. Introducing nicotine to our body causes an increased heart rate and increased blood pressure, raising oxygen need but not levels present.
Direct effects of smoking are positive mood changes, alertness, and an ability to give more attention to activities. Nicotine activates the brain circuitry regulating feelings of pleasure. The effects go away in a few minutes, causing smokers to use frequently throughout the day to maintain pleasurable effects caused by nicotine. Short term effects are the primary reasons why so many smokers continue to smoke. Fast to act and fast to dissipate. First an upper causing alertness, then a downer when withdraw begins ten to twenty minutes after the last dose.