Nicotine from the cigarette is rapidly absorbed form the lungs and diffuses readily into brain where it binds to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Stimulation of nicotinic acetyl choline receptor in the brain results in the release dopamine and other neurotransmitters which are responsible for the feeling of pleasure.
- Nicotine is the primary addictive substance in tobacco.
- Nicotine from the cigarette is rapidly absorbed form the lungs and diffuses readily into brain where it binds to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.
- Nicotine exists in charged and uncharged forms in the blood stream. The uncharged form diffuses directly into the lipid membranes and the charged form attaches to the nicotine receptors.
- The nicotinic acetyl choline receptor is a ligand gated channel complex composed of five subunits which are present in abundance in the brain. These receptors subtypes are believed play a role in mediating nicotine dependence.
- Stimulation of nicotinic acetyl choline receptor in the brain results in the release dopamine and other neurotransmitters which are responsible for the feeling of pleasure.
- Chronic exposure of the brain to nicotine results in adaptation and needing increased demands of nicotine for the brain to function normally. Therefore, cessation of smoking abruptly causes withdrawal symptoms of irritability, anxiety, problems getting along with others, difficulty concentrating, hunger, and weight gain.
- Nicotine addiction is sustained by positive effects of pleasure and arousal and to avoid the adverse effects of nicotine withdrawal.
- CYP2A6 gene codes for the enzymes metabolizing nicotine. Polymorphisms in the gene can result in the variability in individual smoking response and addictive behavior by influencing the nicotine metabolism in the body .
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