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  » Smoking and health effect  »  Health effects Of Smoking
Physical and pharmacological effects of nicotine
  • Nicotine receptors are present in the brain and many other organs vary markedly in their binding, activation and desensitisation characteristics
  • Cigarettes deliver rapid doses of nicotine to receptors in the brain
  • Animal studies provide strong and consistent evidence that nicotine is addictive
  • The addictive effect of nicotine is mediated at least in part by stimulation of dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens
  • Pure nicotine has potential adverse effects on the human body but unlike cigarettes does not appear to cause cancer or significant cardiovascular disease
  • Pure nicotine may be harmful to the fetus in pregnancy but is likely to be far less hazardous than the effects of smoking.
Psychological effects of nicotine and smoking
  • Smoking is widely believed to have positive effects on mood
  • Objective evidence suggests that the only improvements in mood resulting from smoking are those arising from the relief of withdrawal symptoms
  • Smoking withdrawal symptoms are relieved by nicotine
  • Nicotine intake in smokers is stable and consistent over time
  • There is strong evidence of psychological dependence on cigarettes
  • The major psychological motivation to smoke is the avoidance of negative mood states caused by withdrawal of nicotine

Tobacco product packaging also displays health information messages on diseases caused by tobacco use or tips on quitting smoking which are printed on the inside slider or leaflet. The regulations that allowed for these images became law in June 2000, making Canada the first country in the world to implement such strong labelling and reporting measures.

cigarettes are highly addictive

Studies have shown that tobacco can be harder to quit than heroin or cocaine. The facts behind this label

children see, children do

Your children are twice as likely to smoke if you do. Half of all premature deaths among life-long smokers result from tobacco use. The facts behind this label

cigarettes hurt babies

Tobacco use during pregnancy reduces the growth of babies during pregnancy. These smaller babies may not catch up in growth after birth, and the risks of infant illness, disability, and death are increased.  The facts behind this label

tobacco use can make you impotent

Cigarettes may cause sexual impotence due to decreased blood flow to the penis. This can prevent you from having an erection.  The facts behind this label

don't poison us

Second-hand smoke contains carbon monoxide, ammonia, formaldehyde, benzo[a]pyrene and nitrosamines. These chemicals can harm your children. The facts behind this label

tobacco smoke hurts babies

Tobacco use during pregnancy increases the risk of preterm birth. Babies born preterm are at an increased risk of infant death, illness and disability. The facts behind this label

cigarettes cause strokes

Tobacco smoke can cause the arteries in your brain to clog. This can block the blood vessels and cause a stroke. A stroke can cause disability and death. The facts behind this label

cigarettes cause mouth diseases

Cigarette smoke causes oral cancer, gum diseases and tooth loss. The facts behind this label

each year, the equivalent of a small city dies from tobacco use

Murders -- 510; Alcohol -- 1,900; Car accidents -- 2,900; Suicides - 3,900; Tobacco - 45,000. The facts behind this label

cigarettes leave you breathless

Tobacco use causes crippling, often fatal lung diseases such as emphysema. The facts behind this label

cigarettes are a heartbreaker

Tobacco use can result in the clogging of arteries in your heart. Clogged arteries cause heart attacks and can cause death. The facts behind this label

cigarettes cause lung cancer

Every cigarette you smoke increases your chance of getting lung cancer. The facts behind this label

cigarettes cause lung cancer

85% of lung cancers are caused by smoking. 80% of lung cancer victims die within three years. The facts behind this label

idle but deadly

Smoke from a lit cigarette contains toxic substances like hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde and benzene. Second-hand smoke can cause death from lung cancer and other diseases. The facts behind this label

where there's smoke there's hydrogen cyanide

Tobacco smoke contains hydrogen cyanide. It can cause headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vertigo, and stomach aches in smokers and non-smokers. The facts behind this label

you're not the only one smoking this cigarette

The smoke from a cigarette is not just inhaled by the smoker. It becomes second-hand smoke, which contains more than 50 cancer-causing agents. The facts behind this label

Heart and brain images courtesy of the Australian National Tobacco Campaign