Drug

Head

Like cocaine derived from coca leaves and morphine drawn from opium poppies, the nicotine found in tobacco is a potent drug. Smokers, and even some scientists, say it offers certain benefits. One is enhanced performance. One study found that nonsmokers given doses of nicotine typed about 5 percent faster than they did without it. To greater or lesser degrees, users also say nicotine helps them to maintain concentration, reduce anxiety, relieve pain, and even dampen their appetites (thus helping in weight control). Unfortunately, nicotine can also produce deleterious effects beyond addiction. At high doses, as are achieved from tobacco products, it can cause high blood pressure, distress in the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems, and an increase in susceptibility to seizures and hypothermia.

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