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Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Nicotine & Strength

Nicotine is a naturally occurring organic compound in the same family of substances (alkaloids) as caffeine. Nicotine is found in tobacco plants, and to a lesser degree in tomatoes, green peppers, potatoes, and eggplant*. The general effects of nicotine are biphasic: initially it is mentally invigorating, and then it leads to a relaxing effect.

Like alcohol and caffeine, nicotine can be addictive and its effects will vary depending on the user and delivery method. Cigarette smokers are typically the most dependent users of nicotine. By design, cigarette smoke is acidic and meant to be inhaled into the lungs where it is easily absorbed in large amounts. Alternately, cigar and pipe tobacco smoke is alkaline and is not meant to be inhaled into the lungs. Therefore, the overwhelming majority of pipe and cigar smokers do not exhibit nicotine addiction because they do not inhale and ingest significantly less nicotine than cigarette smokers.

* The fact that nicotine is found in vegetables is simple proof that 'the dose makes the poison' and not all methods of consuming nicotine are addictive (e.g. cigars and pipes).

Nicotine Strength

Nicotine is something we feel. As with caffeine and alcohol, every person has a different tolerance level to nicotine: too much nicotine can induce nausea and light headedness.  If this ever happens to you, consume a little sugar and the feelings will subside. Consequently, cigars and pipes should be smoked on a full stomach when the body is properly fortified. 

The effects or quantity of nicotine are what determines the strength of a cigar or pipe tobacco. It can be said that a particular tobacco has strong spice or strong body, but these are, more accurately, flavor and sensation descriptions. 

The true strength of a balanced cigar or pipe tobacco comes from the nicotine, not the flavor.

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