Understanding Nicotine, the latest insights into nicotine science and technology

Cutting edge reports, blogs, and interactive graphs present the latest information on nicotine science and technology. View research trends and online conversations identifying public misperceptions and areas ripe for future research.


Toll-like Receptor 9 Agonists as Adjuvants for Nanoparticle-Based Nicotine Vaccine

Nanoparticle based Nicotine vaccine could help smokers quit in the future.

A Nicotine-Focused Framework for Public Health

FDA has been working on evaluating the best way to regulate tobacco products and support innovation on harm reduction. Nicotine limiting standards is in the consideration, and also medicinal nicotine and other therapeutic products are considered to help smokers to quit.

IBM Leads in Quantum Computing, Ford in Driverless Car Patents

Electrical smoking devices emerge as the second fastest growing field in patent filings over the last five years, having a growth of 55.1%.

Understanding Nicotine


Analyzing consumer reviews and other public conversations to assess the public’s latest opinions, concerns, and beliefs about nicotine.

Nicotine Science


A look at where the field is headed, identifying critical research gaps by evaluating thousands of research papers on nicotine science as they are published on reputable scientific platforms like PubMed.
Nicotine Science and Technology


By monitoring new patent applications, we identify developments in nicotine technology and alternative nicotine delivery.

What is Nicotine?

Nicotine facts, myths and the latest research

Nicotine is a basic, naturally occurring organic compound with two nitrogen atoms found in the nightshade family of plants (Solanaceae), which includes tobacco, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant (aubergine), and peppers. Nicotine alkaloids are also found in the leaves of the coca plant.

The levels of nicotine in food generally range from 2 to 7 micrograms per kilogram, while those in the tobacco plant are substantially higher and range from 8 to 50 grams per kilogram. Nicotine can be a potent neurotoxin and is used in many insecticides.

More commonly, nicotine is used in lower concentrations where it acts  as a stimulant and can lead to nicotine dependence in cigarette smokers and users of other tobacco products.

Nicotine can be delivered through many forms including burning, heating, chewing, or sucking tobacco products, vaping nicotine e-liquids, or through the use of nicotine replacement therapies like lozenges or gum.  Nicotine can also be delivered transdermally through patches which are another form of nicotine replacement therapy.

 Nicotine in a Nutshell:  Nicotine activates dopamine, the “feel good hormone” that is naturally released after any pleasurable experience. It does this by stimulating the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in mesolimbic dopaminergic neurons in the midbrain and the nucleus accumbens.


Molecular weight: 162.23 g/mol

IUPAC nomenclature: 3-(1-methyl-2-pyrrolidinyl)pyridine

Nicotine is a bicyclic compound with a pyridine cycle and a pyrollidine cycle.  It possesses an asymmetric carbon resulting in two enantiomeric compounds.

Nicotine acts as an agonist at the nicotinic cholinergic receptors in the autonomic ganglia, at neuromuscular junctions, and in the adrenal medulla and the brain. Nicotine’s CNS-stimulating activities may be mediated through the release of several neurotransmitters, including acetylcholine, beta-endorphin, dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and ACTH. As a result, peripheral vasoconstriction, tachycardia, and elevated blood pressure may be observed with nicotine intake. This agent may also stimulate the chemoreceptor trigger zone, thereby inducing nausea and vomiting.

Yes, nicotine can lead to dependence in users based on its activation of the reward pathway and release of dopamine.

Dependence to nicotine, however, is due to a combination of genetic, environmental, and pharmacological factors.  The delivery system is also relevant; cigarettes are the most addictive tobacco product.

Thanks to decades of research, we know more about the biological effects of nicotine than almost any other psychoactive molecule.

Nicotine raises blood pressure and causes arteries to constrict, but both effects are slight, especially among the general population. Of course, youth, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and people with severe high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes should not use tobacco or nicotine products.

Doctors were initially concerned about prescribing the nicotine patch and other nicotine replacement therapies for smokers with heart disease; but several short-term studies in the mid-1990s showed that they didn’t increase the number of heart attacks or strokes in these high-risk patients.

As Michael Russell, the grandfather of tobacco harm reduction once said, “People smoke for the nicotine but die from the tar .”

While not free from harm, nicotine itself does not directly cause cancer.

Nicotine is one of thousands of chemicals found in tobacco.  Dozens of these chemicals, particularly tar, which give cigarettes and chewing tobacco their distinctive flavors, are known carcinogens.

 Unfortunately, numerous data sources indicate that there is a growing number of individuals who incorrectly believe that nicotine is the primary cause of cancer .

Nicotine improves mood and concentration, decreases anger, and can suppress appetite. Additionally, it increases alertness while promoting a sense of relaxation and calm. While these effects may seem contradictory, one possible explanation is that the effect varies with the user’s initial state. For someone who is agitated, nicotine has a calming effect. For someone who might be at rest or sluggish, nicotine may increase alertness. This difference may also explain why the effects of nicotine are not linear as the dose increases.

 Over the course of several decades, research has continued to show that  nicotine product users had lower rates of Parkinson’s disease than non-consumers of nicotine.

Similarly, epidemiologists confirm that the smoking rate among people with schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety disorders is far higher than average. It is widely believed that people with certain mental health problems self-medicate with cigarettes because nicotine may temporarily reduce their symptoms and help their mental capacities. 

Researchers are exploring whether nicotine could be used to treat Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, ADHD, schizophrenia, ulcerative colitis, and other health conditions, including obesity.

“Unlike alcohol, which is linked to serious health risks, nicotine is not a cause of serious disease in its own right.”

Clive Bates

“E-cigarettes and other replacements that provide smokers with the nicotine in a form they can enjoy with the habit, but without the toxic ingredients in cigarettes, have enormous potential for saving millions of lives.”

Jed Rose, Ph.D

Data Dashboards

Understanding Nicotine Dashboards

what is Nicotine

Introduction to Understanding Nicotine

Jed Rose, PHD, President & CEO of Rose Research Center, co-inventor of the nicotine skin patch, outlines the importance of Understanding Nicotine.

Looking for something specific?

Please submit a request to access our platform and we’ll help you find what you need.