BPS 1101 Lecture Notes - Jean Nicot

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Tobacco is the most dangerous substance in the world
- kills more people than
- PBC’s
- industrial chemicals
- pesticides
- cocaine
- alcohol
- homicide
- suicide
- tobacco is basically linked to all forms of death listed above. In fact, 1/3 of all cancer deaths are associated with
the use of tobacco.
- the number one risk factor associated with stroke is tobacco smoke!
- tobacco kills 420, 000 per year in North America
- estimated that 6 billion deaths/year, more specifically in third world countries where as much as 70%
people smoke
History of Tobacco
Columbus discovers tobacco 1492
- Natives drank smoke from tobbagos (name of tobacco for the natives Colombus saw on his trip to the Caribbean)
- first shipments to Spain from Tobago
- theory that “tobacco” comes from the shipment to Spain from the island “Tobago”
Jean Nicot introduced tobacco to France
- “l’herbe nicotaine”
- Jean Nicot introduced tobacco to France. He used it as an herbal medicine in fact, one of the first treatments of
asthma was tobacco!
Tobacco was used to revive drowning victims
Tobacco smoking in clubs
- smoking a long time ago was expensive and unpleasant (tobacco was very harsh because of the acids in it).
- people consumed tobacco primarily using a pipe with a long stem
- point is to have the acid gas to cool down in the long stem to allow smoking to be possible
- crude processing of tobacco back then
Water pipes popular in Eastern countries
- water pipes is a way to smoke tobacco in Eastern countries.
- while it may prevent some organic substances going into the smoke, it is not MUCH safer
Snuff became popular with aristocracy
- snuff = powdered tobacco leaves
- you had to be rich because the supply of tobacco back then was low
Chewing tobacco popular with the masses
First depiction of cigarette smoking
- Cigarette is in fact a relatively new invention (late 1700s)
- cigarettes were originally rolled by hand
- making them expensive
- Bonsack machine reduced production cost
- first machine to manufacture cigarettes!
- drove down the cost dramatically
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Flue-curing reduced harshness of smoke
- flue-curing = heating up tobacco in an oven.
- when you heat it rapidly in this flue process, it is not acidic anymore (i.e. it does not hurt your throat
anymore). Now possible to smoke in a modern way (without the long stem!)
Cigarettes become dangerous!
- machine manufacturing reduced cost
- could afford to smoke a lot
- flue curing reduced irritants in smoke
- smoke brought deep into lungs
- cigarettes now addictive
- these two factors increase exposure to toxic substances
- risk = toxicity x exposure
- early cigarette ads emphasized “mildness”
Cigarette smoking today
Average smoker smokes 10, 000 cigarettes each year
- data from today
- cigarette consumption then and now:
- late 1800s:
- 80 cigarettes a year
- did not inhale
- today:
- 10,000 cigarettes a year
- inhale deeply
- hold smoke in lungs
How It Works
Nicotine is the addictive substance
- 2 mg per cigarette required to addict smoker
- as a result, cigarettes (or nicorette gums for ex) typically contain 2 mg per cigarette or per gum
- therefore cigarette delivers 2 mg nicotine to addict
Nicotine acts on acetylcholine receptors
- nicotine = acetylcholine agonist
- messenger-receptor interaction
- 2nd messenger system signal transduction to go from the receptor to the biological response
- agonist at low doses, resulting in excitatory signal without the presence of acetylcholine
- agonist sends message without the normal messenger
- antagonist at how doses
- blocks chemical messages
- smokers regulate the dose
- if you want to get stimulated, you puff on the cigarette, but to get relaxed, you inhale deeply
- nicotine stimulates dopamine release
- remember, dopamine is involved in the “reward” system of the brain
- part of the reason why nicotine is so addictive!
- smoking cues add to the addiction
- “ritual” or “cue” of smoking
- ex: coffee in the morning = cigarette!
- nicotine use as a pesticide
- lethal dose is 60 mg
- cigar, however, contgains 120 mg! Why people don’t die – temperature of the cigar smoke causes
thermal decomposition of nicotine to a biologically safe level
- common form of poisoning in children
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