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Where does nicotine act on the nervous system?

In order to properly answer this question, it’s good to have a brief overview of the nervous system. The nervous system can be subdivided into two broad categories, the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). Nicotine receptors are found in both the CNS and PNS.

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What are the physiological effects of nicotine?

Now that we have a general outline of the neuroanatomy of acetylcholine, and about where nicotine receptors are and the general impact they have on the body, we are more informed about nicotine’s physiological effects. Obviously, this is very complicated, as there are many receptor subtypes. Different locations in the body utilize different subtypes.

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What are the psychological effects of nicotine?

In the brain, nicotine acts on the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, which in turn act as neuromodulators that affect the actions of many other neurotransmitters. These include: acetylcholine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins.

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How dangerous is nicotine?

Nicotine can act as a stimulant or as a sedative. Both of these effects are dose-dependent. But at higher doses, nicotine can cause hallucinations, or worse. Consider the fact that nicotine is an insecticide. Most insecticides are neurotoxic.  

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What are some of the important chemicals making up tar? How do these chemicals affect the brain and the body

More than 4,000 chemicals, including 200 poisons such as DDT, ammonia, arsenic, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide, are found in tobacco. Some of these chemicals are native to the plant while others have been added to improve the odor and dampen the harshness of smoking so that the overall smoking experience is improved.

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