Nicotine is an extremely addictive drug that far too often causes serious health implications to the user. Found as a stimulant in almost all tobacco products, along with e-cigarettes, nicotine is known for the ability to create “feel-good” effects, making it extremely hard for one to quit smoking once started. As such, oftentimes when someone tries a cigarette out of curiosity, they end up roped into the grips of addiction fairly quickly.
In order to mitigate one’s chances of developing these conditions, it is, therefore, imperative that one truly understand what risk they are taking when ingesting nicotine and how to detox off nicotine in a safe and effective manner. In this article, we will explore the varying levels of nicotine in different smoking products, the health side-effects of consuming nicotine, and how to kick the addiction to the curb by getting effective detox help.
How Much Nicotine is in a Cigarette?
The amount of nicotine content in each cigarette can vary significantly, depending on the brand. Typically, however, the low end of nicotine amount in a cigarette contains about 6 milligrams of nicotine while on the higher end it may contain about 28 milligrams. This means that on average, most cigarettes contain between 10 to 12 milligrams of nicotine. Other smoking products contain differing levels of nicotine. Some include:
- Cigars: 13.3-15.4 mg
- E-cigarettes: 0.5-15.4 (15 puffs)
- Pipes (tobacco): 30.08-50.89 mg
- Chewing tobacco: 144 mg (entire can)
- Hookah: 1.04 mg (per puff)
Someone who smokes a cigarette does not end up inhaling all of the nicotine that the cigarette contains. Instead, a general amount of nicotine that gets ingested is between 1.1 to 1.8 milligrams of nicotine by the time the user ends up inhaling an entire cigarette. As such, if someone were to smoke 10 cigarettes a day they would most likely be inhaling between 11 and 18 milligrams of nicotine.
Since every body responds differently to varying levels of drugs or nicotine that gets introduced into their system, it is possible for one individual to feel different effects of smoking than someone else, depending on the amount of nicotine they are exposed to. However, there is one commonality among all smokers, despite varying genetics and body compositions, and this is that each body will absorb nicotine very rapidly. This means that once the individual inhales the nicotine, the nicotine will then go from their lungs, into the bloodstream, and directly into the brain in a matter of only seconds. This could be oftentimes why people who are addicted to nicotine find themselves smoking to feel immediate relaxation, especially in times of stress.
How Much Nicotine in a Cigarette Causes Health Issues?
Truth be told: nicotine is not the only ingredient in a cigarette. In fact, it can contain up to 600 different substances, all of which can be extremely harmful to one’s body. Furthermore, when a cigarette is burned, the cigarette can create more than 7,000 chemicals, with at least 69 of them being known causes of cancer and other fatal health conditions. For example, some of the chemicals found in tobacco smoke include:
- Acetone: the chemical found in nail polish remover
- Acetic acid: an ingredient residing in hair dye
- Ammonia: a chemical found in household cleaner
- Arsenic: a toxic chemical in rat poison
- Benzene: a chemical found in rubber cement and gasoline
- Butane: an ingredient used in lighter fluid
- Cadmium: a component in battery acid
- Carbon monoxide: what is released in car exhaust fumes
- Formaldehyde: a type of embalming fluid
- Hexamine: what is found in barbecue lighter fluid
- Lead: a component of batteries
- Methanol: an active component in rocket fuel
- Tar: a material used to pave roads
- Toluene: an chemical used to manufacture paint
Obviously, cigarettes also contain nicotine, which is also used as an insecticide. Because all of these chemicals, alone, are extremely dangerous and detrimental to one’s health, especially if ingested, there is no appropriate number of cigarettes that is safe to inhale. All smoking, even second-hand smoking (inhaling smoke from nearby smokers, even if not smoking oneself), can cause serious health implications. Some of ways in which nicotine can cause health effects on the user include:
- Increased risk of lung diseases: one of the most commonly known side-effects of nicotine use is that it increases one’s chance of developing lung disease, such as COPD and chronic bronchitis. This is due to the damage that nicotine does to the lung tissue and airways.
- Higher blood pressure: this comes as a result of constricted blood vessels
- Damage to DNA: DNA can become extremely damaged throughout the body due to nicotine use. This increases one’s chance of developing varying types of cancer, including cancer of the lungs, mouth, throat, bladder, kidneys, and cervix, along with blood cancer (leukemia).
- Constriction of blood vessels: nicotine can cause restriction in the flow of blood and cause damage to blood vessels
- Increased chance of stroke or heart attack: this can happen as a result of constricted/damaged blood vessels
- Persistent coughing: this is due to the damage that is done to the airways through nicotine use
- Vision loss or impairment: nicotine increases the risk of eye problems, such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.
- Premature aging: because nicotine causes restricted blood flow, the user can experience loss of skin elasticity and, therefore, premature skin aging
- High risk of miscarriage: if smoking during pregnancy, the chances of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) occurring is exponentially increased.
How Much is Enough?: Put Down the Cigarette & Get Help for an Addiction to Nicotine
Because nicotine is extremely detrimental to one’s health and well-being and can cause serious long-term health implications, it is imperative that you quit smoking as soon as possible. As such, by seeking help for an addiction to nicotine, you can reduce your chances of developing any of the serious side-effects previously mentioned (and more) before it’s too late.
Reach out to a recovery center that not only knows how to safely detox you from nicotine but can help guide and support you through your recovery journey so that you do not turn to nicotine again in the future.
Your well-being matters. Your future self will thank you for taking the time to invest in yourself now.