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Nicotine-Related Disorders

  1. Sarah W. Feldstein Ewing,
  2. Kent Hutchison

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0604

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Feldstein Ewing, S. W. and Hutchison, K. 2010. Nicotine-Related Disorders. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1.

Author Information

  1. University of New Mexico

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Nicotine is a pale yellow, toxic liquid found in the leaves of 66 different species of plants. Nicotine is generally extracted from dried Nicotiana tabacum leaves, for the production of tobacco products and insecticide (nicotine sulfate). Nicotine falls within the category of chemical compounds called alkaloids, organic substances whose bitter taste (and often poisonous properties) discourage animals from eating the plants that contain them. Nicotine's first use dates back centuries (as early as the 1500s), during which nicotine was consumed for its stimulant and hunger-reducing properties. However, nicotine is extremely poisonous and can cause respiratory failure, convulsions, nervous system paralysis, and death if a single dose of 50 mg or more is consumed.


  • smoking;
  • tobacco;
  • nicotine;
  • health risk;
  • prevention