How Nicotine Dangers Your Health

Chemicals derived from second hand smoking are hazardous to human health. It was not until reports revealed that second hand smoke was hazardous that smoking bans in public places occurred to make a solid statement. A warning that second hand smokes either from cigarettes, cigars, or pipes is harmful to your health. Further studies indicated children exposed to second hand smoke are detrimental. These children tend to have more respiratory problems and pneumonia. They are also more likely to develop birth defects and SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Second hand smoking occurs when tobacco is burned. The smoke is exposed to those surrounding it, which can be children, pregnant women, pets, and other adults. The smoke also penetrates areas like clothing and furniture. Ventilation does not reduce the concentration of the chemicals in the smoke. Smoking in hallways, other rooms, or at a short distance does not eliminate the smoke either. Smoking fumes still prevail in clothing and furniture whether someone is smoking or not. Furthermore, the fumes from smoking still travels from one room to another. The burning of nicotine, the main ingredient, and other chemicals in tobacco are hazardous to everyone surrounding it.

Nicotine has many hazardous chemicals associated with the burning of tobacco. The Office of the Surgeon General from the U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services listed in January 4, 2007 the harmful chemicals found in second hand smoking. It contains hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide, butane, toluene, and ammonia. These toxic gases are deadly at even the lowest concentrations. It also has arsenic, lead, chromium, and cadmium. It also includes chemicals such as polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), N-nitrosamines, aromatic amines, aldehydes, volatile organic compounds, and inorganic compounds.

Nicotine has a molecular formula of C10N14H2, a molecular weight of 162.23, and the organic nomenclature of 3-[(2S)-1-Methyl-2-pyrrolidinyl]pyridine. It is naturally found in the dried leaves of Nicotiana tabacum and N. rustica plants. It is a colorless, pale yellow, oily solution. It is brown when exposed to air or light. It is soluble in organic solvents. Nicotine has also been found in insecticides such as Black Leaf 40, which was discontinued in 1992. The breakdown process of nicotine-derived chemicals occurs within seconds in the body. First, it can be absorbed through the epidermal layer or the olfactory sensors. Once in the body, it flows to the blood stream and eventually the brain. In the brain, nicotine molecules act as sensor-binding molecules that adhere to specific receptors located in the synaptic membrane. The binding of nicotine to nicotinic receptors activates the Ca2+ potential channel, increasing the concentration of this divalent molecule in the cytosol. Concentration increments trigger the release of acetylcholine in synaptic vesicles. The dissociation of the synaptic vesicles hence promotes release of acetylcholine into the synaptic cleft. Acetylcholine, one of the well-studied neurotransmitters, is an excitatory transmitter. An increase in acetylcholine is an increase in stimulatory molecules, which can lead to dependency of this process. A reduction in smoking and hence nicotine consumption can help improve human health.