Acute nicotine poisoning
The history of the onset of the addictive habit, which even people continue to suffer in the twenty-first century, began long ago, from time immemorial, when the Indians chewed fresh leaves of a plant that later became known throughout the world as "tobacco." In Europe, he became known from the sixteenth century, when the French diplomat Jean Nico took tobacco from Spain to France, and recommended that it be used as a means of relief from migraines.
In those days, tobacco was used unrefined, isolating from it oils containing specific alkaloids. Snuff, chewing tobacco, various mixtures intended for smoking - there were a lot of ways to eat at that time. The power of getting used to this substance has made tobacco merchants rich people. And like any phenomenon that brings money, tobacco has become the object of close research and study. At the beginning of the XIX century, German researchers received a pure substance - a tobacco alkaloid, which they named "Nicotine" in honor of Jean Nico.
As it turned out, nicotine had a strong effect on all body systems, but the impact was far from the most favorable.
The effect of nicotine on the body
Nicotine - an alkaloid, which is part of the green parts of plants belonging to the group of nightshade. Such vegetable poison is contained not only in tobacco, but also in Bulgarian pepper, tomatoes, eggplant, potato (in a small amount).
In a small amount of nicotine, getting into the human body, has an exciting (stimulating) effect on certain body systems. But at significant doses, there is nicotine intoxication, which is accompanied by functional disorders of the cardiovascular, nervous system, as well as the system of hematopoiesis and respiration.
Now, for people who become hostages of nicotine addiction, cigarettes are the source of nicotine.
But, in addition to nicotine, cigarettes contain other substances. Such as:
- hydrocyanic acid;
- stearic acid;
- acetic acid;
Smoking cigarettes causes nicotine poisoning, which can occur both with one-time and regular use.
At the moment, medical practice distinguishes acute and chronic poisoning with nicotine.
Acute poisoning with nicotine occurs most often in non-smokers, whose body is not used to fighting a constantly acting poison. As a rule, in novice smokers such symptoms disappear in the first hours after poisoning. However, inhibition, attention disturbance and headache can accompany up to two more days.
Chronic poisoning is more common in heavy smokers who smoke more than a pack of cigarettes every day. The dose at which poisoning occurs, for everyone can be individual. A lethal dose is considered to be about 40-80 milligrams of nicotine, taken once.
Symptoms of nicotine poisoning
The first signs of acute nicotine poisoning are:
- coldness of limbs;
- increased sweating;
- pallor of the skin;
- superficial, irregular breathing;
- tremor (trembling) of limbs;
Symptoms of chronic nicotine poisoning are:
- cardiovascular disorders (arrhythmia, bradycardia, hypertensive crisis, spasm of large vessels);
- disorders of the digestive tract (hypersecretion of gastric juice, increased salivation, pain in the epigastric region);
- neurological symptoms (speech disturbance, blurred vision, trembling of hands, loss of consciousness, neurosis-like conditions);
- trophic disorders (weight loss).
Symptoms of acute nicotine poisoning most often occur with a change in the phases of inhibition and excitation of the nervous system.
If the first signs of nicotine poisoning occur, the victim should be given first aid.
First aid for nicotine poisoning
The first help in the poisoning of nicotine can be provided by any person nearby. To do this you need:
- if possible, bring the victim to the street or open a window;
- if a person in an unconscious state - bring to the nose moistened cotton wool ammonia;
- to wash the stomach with boiled water or weak saline solution;
- give enterosorbents (activated carbon, Smecta, Polyphepanum);
- provide an abundant alkaline drink (still water, sweet black tea, milk, broth of wild rose);
- provide the victim with peace, laid in a warm bed sideways (to prevent aspiration vomit).
In the event of life-threatening conditions for the patient, an ambulance team should be called immediately, indicating symptoms of nicotine poisoning. At loss of consciousness, the patient must be laid on one side, while bending one knee (for a stable position of the victim), provide fresh air, bring ammonia to the nose.
If cardiac activity is disturbed, an indirect cardiac massage should be performed immediately, while performing artificial respiration by mouth-to-mouth.
It should also be remembered that prolonged regular smoking leads to the development of chronic diseases. First of all, the nervous and cardiovascular system suffers because of constant hypoxia (insufficient intake of oxygen). As a result, neuroses, hallucinations, frequent changes in mood, stroke, frequent increase in blood pressure (up to the process chronicization), rapid heart rate, heartbeat, myocardial infarction, damage to vascular walls are developing. In addition to all this, in avid smokers in the vast majority of cases develop diseases of the respiratory system. The most common pathology among them is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). At which there is an irreversible restriction of airflow to the lower respiratory tract. If such a pathology occurs, the patient can no longer "breathe in full". In the morning she suffers from a seizure cough, but does not leave her breath even when she is calm.
Remember, when starting smoking, you expose yourself to the danger of the occurrence of nicotine poisoning. Even if this problem has passed you to this day, it is worth considering how much poison enters your body and whether it is worth risking your health for such dubious pleasure.