What is nicotine?

Nicotine is an addictive chemical found in tobacco. Nicotine increases levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, that is part of the brain's reward system. It also produces lasting changes in the cells of the brain that are associated with addiction.

Continue Learning about Quit Smoking

Is there a Spectrum of smoking to prevent the risk of heart disease?
Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhDDr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Cigarette smoking is one the leading causes of heart disease, and quitting decreases your risk of th...
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Why do smokers continue to smoke when they know it is not good for them?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
As is the case with other guilty pleasures, many smokers continue the habit, knowing that it is a po...
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How many people in the United States smoke?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
About 20.7% of the population over the age of 16 smoke.  In America, that means about 50 million peo...
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How Can I Have a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle?
How Can I Have a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.