Tobacco Category: Stimulants
Also called: smokes, fags, cigarettes.
How it’s used
Nicotine is a stimulant drug (‘upper’). You can smoke tobacco in a cigarette or pipe, chew or sniff it (snuff). It comes from the leaves of the tobacco plant. They contain nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide.
- Increases your pulse rate and blood pressure
- Helps you cope with anxiety and stress
- You may have less appetite
- The more you smoke, the higher your risk of lung and other cancers, heart diseases, bronchitis, bad circulation and ulcers
- For women, smoking while on the pill increases your risk of heart and circulatory problems
- Tolerance – you need to take more to get the same effect
- Higher risk of getting coughs and chest infections
- Chronic breathing problems such as emphysema
- Heart attack
If you are pregnant
Smoking during pregnancy increases your risk of miscarriage, premature delivery, stillbirth, low birth weight baby and cot death.
Highly addictive both physically and psychologically, so your body craves it and you feel you can’t cope without it.
In the first few weeks after you stop you may get cravings and a bad cough. You may be irritable and find it hard to concentrate.
What help is available?
- National Smokers Quitline 1850 201 203
- Counselling or psychotherapy
- Complementary therapies, such as acupuncture
- Support from your doctor to withdraw, keep off
- Contact the Drugs Helpline 1800 459 459 to find out about options in your area
- Visit www.quit.ie