Drugs Information, what you really should know about, drugs facts on and facts about Tobacco

A Guide for worried parents, teenagers who are using drugs or thinking about using drugs and anyone who wants to know more about the subject.

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Tobacco is the dried leaves of the plants nicotiana tabacum, nicotiana rustica and nicotiana persica, it comes in form of cigarettes, cigars, pipe, chewing tobacco, snuff, fags.

Common Street Names:
butts, coffin nails, fags, snuff, chew, nicotine, chaw, stogies, skag, gasper, cig, smoke, pill, dog turd

How they are taken:
Most tobacco is sold in the form of cigarettes which are smoked. Tobacco can also be chewed or sniffed in the form of snuff.


Tobacco contains the drug 'nicotine', which has a complex effect on the brain's activity. It claims to relax, help concentration and keep weight down. . Steady users feel a relaxed mood. Large amounts can cause appetite loss, nausea, and headache. Due to the addictive properties of the nicotine in tobacco, the body builds up a tolerance to the drug. The toxic effects develop rapidly but the damage to the body is cumulative. It can also cause bad breath and yellowing of both teeth and hands.

Nicotine is the active ingredient in tobacco that acts as a stimulant on the heart and nervous system. Nicotine itself is an oily alkaloid found in concentrations of approximately 2% to 5% in tobacco plants. In its pure form nicotine is colorless, has a potent odor, a strong acid taste and is highly poisonous; only one drop - approximately 50mg - can kill a person within minutes. In addition to nicotine, cigarette smoke contains some 4,000 other chemicals, several of which are known to cause cancer. Other toxins and irritants found in smoke can produce eye, nose, and throat irritation.


Long term effects increase the chances of lung cancer and other lung diseases such as emphysema, asthma, bronchiectasis, and lung abscesses. Other long term effects include heart and blood vessel disease that may result in a heart attack, coronary heart disease, and generalized hardening of the arteries.Heart disease, lung cancer, cancers of the mouth and throat, strokes and bronchitis. Associated with 110,000 deaths per yearin the United Kingdom alone. It may cause low birth weight in babies and may affect fertility in both males and females.

Physical risks associated with using tobacco:
increased heart rate and blood pressure sleeplessness and tremors cancer bronchitis

For information about other drugs, return to Drug Information Page.