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Linné on line arrow Linnaeus and Pharmacy arrow Plants are important arrow Poisonous pages arrow Tobacco

(Nicotiana tabacum)

Photo: Gunnar Samuelsson.

In Sweden, tobacco is mainly cultivated in botanical gardens. Most cases of poisoning are with children who have eaten tobacco products such as cigarettes or snuff.

The active substance, nicotine, induces vomiting which can counteract severe poisoning.

Other symptoms are paleness and palpitations, possibly after a few hours.

Through smoking many people voluntarily poison themselves with nicotine. This is mainly because nicotine is addictive. Nicotine is a chemical substance that has both positive and negative effects on the body. The positive ones are that nicotine relieves anxiety and worry as well as improving the ability to think. The negative effects are that the blood vessels contract which results in reduced oxygenation of the body. Nicotine is therefore being used to develop new pharmaceutical products that are free of damaging effects. It is important to understand that by smoking, the body also absorbs many dangerous substances which include some that cause cancer.