Effects of nicotine on the brain

By: Grace Blumer-Lamotte

Nicotine is an addictive substance that can alter your mind and actions. It can also cause permanent brain damage. According to Drug Watch, “Nicotine can disrupt the part of the brain that controls attention, learning, moods and impulse control. People under the age of 25 are also more susceptible to becoming addicted to nicotine before the brain fully develops.” 

With nicotine, there are both short and long term effects. 

The short term effects are a reduced sense of taste and smell, bad breath, a decrease in energy, withdrawals, and fatigue. 

The long term effects and risks are the addiction aspect of it; it can lead to mood disorders, respiratory issues, lower life expectancy, and it permanently lowers your impulse control.

There are also effects of second-hand smoking. It can affect the health and well-being of anyone that’s exposed to it. According to Quebec Advice and Prevention, “These people are at high risk of developing health issues such as: heart problems, respiratory or lung problems, such as asthma or excessive coughing, and lung cancer.” Second hand smoke is one of the most dangerous environments to be around. To learn more about “The Effects of Smoking and Second-Hand Smoke” visit the website below.

I asked a freshman, a junior, and a senior these questions about nicotine and vaping. Have you ever vaped, and why did or didn’t you do it? What do you know about the effects of nicotine on the brain? If given the opportunity, would you wanna learn more about the effects of nicotine?

The freshman responded to the first question saying, “I have not vaped because I know it’s bad for me and I am not stupid.”

The second question they responded saying, “Doesn’t it have withdrawal-like symptoms? It also disrupts your attention span I have heard. Maybe you really want something and that could affect your brain the same way when you want nicotine.”

The third question they responded with, “Yes.”

The junior responded to the first question saying, “I have vaped before and I did it because I thought it would help my mental illness. But it ended up with me being addicted.”

The second question they responded saying, “I’ve first hand experience with withdrawal symptoms and let me tell you… it is not fun.”

The third question they responded with, “Yes, I would be open to learning more about how it was affecting my brain.”

The senior responded to the first question saying, “Yes, I have due to curiosity and peer pressure.”

The second question they responded saying, “Little to none.”

The third question they responded saying, “Oh for sure.”

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