↑ Return to Drug-ipedia

Print this Page


Classification: Stimulant

Active Compound: Nicotine

Found in: Tobacco, nicotine chewing gum, nicotine skin patches, chewing tobacco, snuff, cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco

Mode of Consumption: Inhalation (smoking), insufflation, ingestion (chewing), transdermal (patches), intrabuccal

DEA Scheduling/Legal Status (in US): Unscheduled, legal over age 18

Effects: Calmness, mild euphoria, increased concentration, increased heart rate, hypertension, increased metabolism, increased respiration, anorexia, altered blood flow


Acute: Dizziness, weakness, nausea, more rarely tremors, convulsions, fatal overdose (extremely rare)

Chronic: Addiction, tolerance, withdrawal, depression, increased risk of heart disease, stroke, stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, cervical cancer, renal cancer, bladder cancer, blood cancer

Inhalation (smoking): increased risk of lung cancer, lung disease; Insufflation: nasal septum damage, increased risk of oropharyngeal cancer; Intrabuccal: increased risk of oropharyngeal and esophageal cancer

Dangerous Drug Combinations:

Potentially fatal mix with cocaine. Dangerous combination with other stimulants.

Special Considerations:

Nicotine is often claimed to be the most addictive substance available.

« Drug-ipedia


And remember, if somebody may need help, play it safe and call for medical assistance.

“Students may bring an intoxicated or drug-impaired friend to University Health Services or to a hospital, or seek assistance from College residential life staff or HUPD, and by doing this, neither they nor the friend will face disciplinary action from the College for having used or provided alcohol or drugs.”

                                                                                    The Amnesty Policy

                                                                                    Harvard College Student Handbook



Buzzed: The Straight Facts About the Most Used and Abused Drugs from Alcohol to Ecstasy (Third Edition), by Cynthia Kuhn, Scott Swartzwelder, and Wilkie Wilson. Published 2008 by W. W. Norton & Company.


National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institute of Health (NIH) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.



U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), part of the U.S. Department of Justice.



Erowid Organization


Permanent link to this article: http://www.harvarddapa.org/drug-ipedia/nicotine/