Nicotine: How Does it Affect Health?


Roberta Ferrence, Michael Chaiton, Robert Schwartz


February 2017

Type of Report

OTRU Update


Of the more than 7000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, nicotine is one of the most widely assessed. Nicotine has been identified as the primary substance in tobacco that causes addiction and, as such, the main substance driving use of tobacco products. For many years, most of the harm associated with tobacco has been attributed to other substances in tobacco, and particularly tobacco smoke. Nevertheless, recent research suggests that there are significant and substantial health effects associated directly with nicotine. The rise of commercial products that deliver nicotine without tobacco smoke make it important to assess the potential risks of nicotine in both traditional and alternative tobacco products.

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