Nicotine and related disorders Definition Nicotine disorders are caused by the main psychoactive ingredient in tobacco. Nicotine is a physically and psychologically addictive drug. It is the most influential dependence-producing drug in the United States and worldwide, and its use is associated with many serious health risks. Description Nicotine is the most addictive and psychoactive chemical in tobacco, a plant native to the New World. Early European explorers learned to smoke its leaves from indigenous peoples who had been using tobacco for hundreds of years. They took tobacco back to Europe, where it became immensely popular. Tobacco became a major source of income for the American colonies and later for the United States. Advances in cigarette-making technology caused a boom in cigarette smoking in the early 1900s. Before the early twentieth century, most people who smoked had used pipes, cigars, or chewing tobacco. In the 1950s researchers began to link cigarette smoking to certain respiratory diseases and
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