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Nicotine (nic-o-teen) is found in cigarettes also known as ciggies, fags or rollies. It is most commonly smoked (tobacco) and can also be found in stop-smoking products, electronic cigarette liquid or snus products. Although nicotine is a naturally derived substance, cigarettes contain hundreds of different chemicals.
Nicotine is a mild, yet highly addictive, short acting stimulant (upper) which increases your heart rate and blood pressure. People taking it can experience relaxation, increased mood and reduced appetite. With regular use smokers may develop severe coughs and chest infections and a higher risk of heart disease and many types of cancer including lung, mouth and throat cancer. First time smokers may get a headrush where they feel dizzy and nauseous however this will fade after only a few tries.
Tobacco contains nicotine and can be smoked, chewed or sniffed. The amount of tobacco used varies from person to person and the dose of nicotine can range from 0.4 - 36mg/mL depending on the product. The effects of inhaling nicotine can be felt after a few seconds and usually wear off quickly. Oral use takes longer to kick in and will last longer.
What you Need to Know
If you choose to use nicotine:
- If smoking, use a filter or a long non-printed filter or roach.
- Nicotine is highly addictive and many people find it very difficult to give up smoking even after relatively short periods of use.
- If you are taking other drugs such as alcohol or ecstasy your desire to smoke may increase.
- If you are using an e-cigarette or vaporiser, clean it regularly and replace the coil every few months.
- Buy from an approved supplier. Some e-cigarettes do not meet Trading Standards and may be unsafe for use.
Tobacco can be bought legally by anyone over 18. It is illegal for anyone to sell tobacco products to people under 18.
Since 2006 there has been a ban on smoking in public places in Scotland which is now in place in the rest of the UK- you can be fined for breaking this ban. You can be fined £80 for dropping cigarette ends on the street in Scotland.
Despite being psychoactive, nicotine and tobacco are exempt from The Psychoactive Substances Act.
It is against the law to smoke in a car with someone who is under 16.
As of the 20th of May 2017 restrictions on tobacco products will be implemented according to EU agreed Tobacco Products Directive. This bans the sale of 10 packs of cigarettes, packs of tobacco under 30 g, flavoured cigarettes, e-cigarette oil more than 20mg/mL in strength, size limit on refill containers. It also introduces mandatory, plain packaging of cigarettes and bans the promotion and advertising of e-cigarette related products.
More info can be found here: http://ash.org.uk/information-and-resources/briefings/changes-to-tobacco-regulations-2016/
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