Nicotine is an addictive plant alkaloid, and nicotine addiction causes more than 5 million deaths annually, predicted to double by 2025. The present entry identifies the tobacco plant in which nicotine is found, outlines the chemical structure of nicotine, explains the neurobiology and pharmacology of nicotine, and briefly discusses nicotine delivery devices, focused primarily on the most common and most harmful device—the cigarette. Finally, regulation of nicotine products is discussed.

Nicotine in Nature

The tobacco plant, from which nicotine is obtained, was named Nicotiana tabacum in 1585 in honor of Jean Nicot, who first sent tobacco plant seeds from the New World to Paris in 1556. Nicotine is found in all varieties of the tobacco plant. Since the industrialization of tobacco production, manufacture, and sale, global ...

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