Lots of people think of nicotine as fairly harmless, aside from the whole as-addictive-as-heroin thing. But it can cause plenty of health problems all on its own.
The Surgeon General’s Report says nicotine may contribute to the hardening of the arteries, which could lead to a heart attack or stroke.
By constricting blood vessels, nicotine causes blood pressure to rise.
Nicotine has also been used as an insecticide, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s poisonous to humans, too. 60 mg or less can kill an adult.
Pregnancy & Nicotine
Nicotine may raise the risk for life-threatening complications and reduced blood flow to the fetus. It can also have lasting negative consequences on brain development when the baby grows up.
Nicotine can affect the way your body digests sugar, leading to insulin resistance and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
The human brain reaches maturity at around age 25. Before then, it is especially vulnerable to nicotine. Long-term effects of adolescent nicotine use may include changes to the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that handles decision-making.