Difference Between Nicotine and Tobacco

Cigarette smoking is injurious for your health is a slogan that all of us read and see everywhere around us. This is because cigarette is primarily composed of tobacco leaves and inhaling its smoke causes a lot of harmful effects to our organs. Doctors have found a correlation between cigarette smoking and lung cancer, in addition to many other diseases being caused by this dreadful habit. Tobacco is also chewed, in addition to smoking, and is equally harmful for human beings as it causes oral cancers. There is a word that is used in connection with the habit of smoking, and that is nicotine. Many people, even those who use tobacco, are unaware of the relation between nicotine and tobacco. This article takes a close look at the difference between these two related products.


Tobacco is a plant that has been used since time immemorial by people to derive intoxication. This is because of the presence of ingredients in the leaves of tobacco plant. Tobacco, once it has been prepared from the dried leaves of the tobacco plant, becomes a drug that is abused by human beings, to get intoxicated. Two of the most common ways to consume tobacco are chewing and smoking. Tobacco contains lots of harmful ingredients and nicotine is one of them.


Nicotine is a harmful chemical that is found in tobacco. It is addictive in nature and makes one habitual of smoking or chewing of tobacco. Nicotine is one of the most abused and harmful ingredient of tobacco. This chemical is antiherbivore which is why it was initially used to kill insects in the form of a pesticide. It is stimulating in nature, and when an individual smokes or chews tobacco, he receives a kind of kick or high that is not available from any other product. Nicotine can be quite pleasing and stimulating when consumed in small doses, but it can be fatal when one consumes it in high dose. In fact, naturally occurring nicotine in tomatoes and eggplants is not harmful for human beings at all as it is found in very small quantities. Of all the intoxicating products, it is the addiction of nicotine that is believed to be the hardest to break. This is why people find it hard to give up on their habits of smoking and chewing.

Nicotine vs Tobacco

• Tobacco is a naturally occurring plant in the genus of nicotiana while nicotine is one of the active ingredients in tobacco.

• Nicotine is also found in other substances such as tomatoes and eggplants.

• In low quantities, nicotine acts as a stimulant but heavy doses can be fatal for human beings.

• It is nicotine in tobacco that is believed to be the major cause of lung and oral cancers.

• Nicotine is highly addictive and giving up on habit of tobacco chewing and smoking are considered most difficult.

• Tobacco contains many harmful ingredients and nicotine is only one of them.

• Nicotine is anti-herbivore which is why it was earlier used in pesticides.