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Lighting Up A Cigarette

What It Is

Tobacco is the dried leaves of a plant that grows in may parts of the world. Tobacco contains a variety of chemicals, including nicotine which is an addictive drug with a mild stimulant effect.

Street Names

Cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, and snuff.

How It Is Taken

Smoked, sniffed, chewed, and dipped.

What It Does

Tobacco smoke consists of droplets of tar, nicotine, carbon monoxide and other gases. Nicotine is the substance that causes dependency. The amount of nicotine and other substances that is absorbed through the lungs depends on how much and how deeply the smoke is inhaled. Because nicotine is a stimulant some smokers feel tobacco helps relieve boredom, tiredness, and reduce stress and anxiety. The effects are almost immediate but fade quickly, which encourages continual use.

Some people may experience nausea and dizziness when they inhale tobacco smoke for the first few times.

The more a person smokes, the more likely they are to suffer from heart disease, blood clots, cancer, strokes, bronchitis, bad circulation and ulcers.

Users can develop strong psychological as well as physical dependence. Withdrawal symptoms include irritability, depression and craving for tobacco. Tobacco use is a leading cause of death in the United States.

Medical Uses

None