The Nicotine Buzz: The Smoker’s High and Its Effects on Your Body (2022)

The Nicotine Buzz: The Smoker’s High and Its Effects on Your Body (1)

by Jeffrey Buckley

Updated: July 28, 2021

The Nicotine Buzz: The Smoker’s High and Its Effects on Your Body (2)

New smokers feel the nicotine buzz the most. People who have quit smoking for a while and then start again feel it hard as well. Anyone who smokes or takes nicotine feels the nicotine buzz even if they do not notice it.

The Nicotine Buzz: The Smoker’s High and Its Effects on Your Body (3)

Table Of Contents

  1. The Nicotine Buzz: What is it?
  2. The Nicotine Buzz: Long-Term Effects and the Chemistry behind It
  3. Chasing the Nicotine High
  4. Frequently Asked Questions About Nicotine Buzz
  5. Wrapping Up
(Video) What They Aren't Telling You About Nicotine

The Nicotine Buzz: What is it?

Some of the immediate effects of the nicotine buzz are:

The Nicotine Buzz: Long-Term Effects and the Chemistry behind It

There are strong feelings that come with the nicotine buzz. Here are some of the more subtle ways the nicotine buzz affects your body after you come down from the high:

  1. It raises you heart rate and blood pressure
  2. It makes more glucose in your body
  3. It dulls your senses
  4. Decreases your appetite
  5. Drops your skin temperature
Here is the process that produces the nicotine buzz:
  1. You take nicotine, either through smoking a cigarette, chewing tobacco or by inhaling nicotine vapor from the vape juice or e-liquid inside an e-cigarette.
  2. The nicotine takes only a few seconds to get to your brain.
  3. When it gets there, the nicotine attaches itself to things called acetylcholine receptors. These receptors control levels of dopamine in your body.
  4. Dopamine is released into your body, that is the beginning of the nicotine buzz.
  5. Serotonin is another pleasure causing chemical that gets released into your body by nicotine.
When the dopamine and serotonin levels go back down, and they do, you also go back down. You feel tired and without energy. Your body wants more of all those good feelings so you take some more nicotine and that is how addiction to nicotine begins.

Does nicotine addiction have any serious side effects? Yes, according to a study by the Indian Journal of Medical and Pediatric Oncology. It affects the health of the heart, kidneys, lungs, and reproductive systems.

There have been studies that show a possible link to cancer, though that needs more research. Besides the buzz, nicotine is absorbed and metabolized by the liver. Once metabolized, it leads to the formation of some carcinogens. Though much of it is excreted through sweating and urinating, there is an elevated risk of cancer because of this.

(Video) What Vaping Does to the Body

Chasing the Nicotine High

The Nicotine Buzz: The Smoker’s High and Its Effects on Your Body (4)
Deviney Designs/Shutterstock

If you are a heavy smoker, the nicotine buzz is the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning. You can already feel your body craving nicotine. This is a part of the nicotine buzz. The pleasing calmness that washes over you when you take a hit of nicotine is the cure to the craving and anxiety that nicotine addiction causes in your body.

Nicotine is both a stimulant and a sedative. It brings you up and then brings you down. If you are a regular smoker, the nicotine buzz is something you probably plan your day around. You probably have specific times during the day, when you know you will need a hit of nicotine:

  1. Maybe with your morning coffee
  2. Before you go to work
  3. Right after lunch
Then there are the things you do not plan. Maybe you get some bad news and you start to feel nervous or anxious, the nicotine buzz will calm you down. Maybe you get into a fight or argument with someone and you need to relax, the nicotine buzz comes to the rescue.

The point is you can use the nicotine buzz is so many different ways. You do not care that smoking causes cancer or that it puts you at a higher risk for strokes or heart attacks.You do not care if your vape is the best vape or not.

You just want to feel better because there is too much stress in your life. Of course, there are better ways to reduce stress, if a nicotine addiction is the route a person is taking, then it is best to not pick up a cigarette to get that balance. Vaping is not without risks, but there are science opinions that vaping might be far less dangerous than smoking. De-demonizing nicotine after decades of anti-tobacco campaigns is a bit of a challenge.

And the pendulum seems to be swinging towards nicotine being a benign addiction, similar to caffeine, as long as it isn’t ingested in smoking form. Though, there is an ongoing debate about whether nicotine is indeed benign.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does a Nicotine Buzz Last?

There is no single answer to this question because much depends on the person smoking or vaping. Usually, nicotine buzzes kick in quickly and fade quickly. New smokers or those who smoke socially might feel a buzz for only a few minutes.

However, people who smoke or vape frequently might feel a longer buzz that lasts twenty to thirty minutes after their first cigarette of the day.

(Video) 2-Minute Neuroscience: Nicotine

Still, each new cigarette results in less and less of the desired effects as the body’s receptors become full of nicotine. Further cigarettes throughout the day are smoked because a habit has been formed. Also, the smoker is trying to maintain nicotine levels in the bloodstream.

Why Does Nicotine Stop Giving a Buzz?

Regular users develop a tolerance to the effects of nicotine because the brain’s receptors are always filled, which prevents smokers from feeling a buzz. Once they are full, smoking more will not result in more dopamine being released.

Smoking more will only make a person feel sick. Addicts continue to smoke to maintain the buzz by keeping nicotine levels in their bloodstream at an optimum level.

Can You Get a Nicotine Buzz from Vaping?

Nicotine works the same no matter how it enters the body. If the user has never smoked or vaped, he or she will likely feel a buzz until the receptors are full. Someone who habitually smoked in the past will not likely feel a buzz unless his or her nicotine intake is reduced substantially by vaping or smoking less often.

This is why so many smokers crave their first cigarette of the day. After sleeping through the night, they have no nicotine in their body’s, so they are more receptive to the effects.

Does Nicotine Gum Give You a Buzz?

The same rule applies to nicotine gum as it does for smoking and vaping. The less dependent someone quitting becomes on nicotine, the more likely he or she is to feel a buzz.

However, someone who uses nicotine habitually is not expected to feel a buzz because the body’s receptors are always filled with nicotine.

On the other hand, someone who has never smoked or vaped and decides to chew the gum will undoubtedly feel a buzz, followed by feelings of nausea.

(Video) Your Brain on Cigarettes- Why Teenagers Smoke

Does a Nicotine Buzz Help You Sleep?

Even though nicotine is a stimulant, it can help people feel relaxed and calmer. Someone who is feeling jittery and anxious before bedtime may not be able to sleep without first smoking a cigarette.

Wrapping Up

Sure, the nicotine buzz makes you feel better, but it puts your health at risk. Here are some ways to beat the craving for the nicotine buzz:

  1. Breathing exercises. Taking deep breaths increases oxygen levels in your blood making you feel more at ease and relaxed.
  2. Drinking water. The worst part of the nicotine buzz is that it becomes a habit so replace that habit with something else. Drinking water is an easy way to avoid the nicotine buzz. It is good for you and it helps you avoid smoking.
  3. Exercise/Go for a walk. Maybe you need to work off all that nervous energy. Instead of reaching for your pack of cigarette go out and get some fresh air. Exercise, even a brisk walk, increases your blood flow.
Stress is unavoidable in life. How we deal with it is what is important. It may be more difficult to do than to just pick up a cigarette or vaporizer, but beating stress without nicotine is achievable with enough discipline.

Even though it is still not thoroughly researched if vaping is much safer than cigarettes, it is still best to try to decrease nicotine in your life one way or another. If the use of vaporizers is to quit smoking, then eventually the goal should be to wean off of vaping at some point to completely quit nicotine.

The Nicotine Buzz: The Smoker’s High and Its Effects on Your Body (5)

Jeffrey Buckley

(Video) what does a nicotine buzz feel like?

I was a smoker for over 25 years. In this time I also earned my medical degree with a specialization in addiction treatment and counseling. That period has led me to vaping, my interest started around 2011. I’m fighting the tide of hysteria and dis-information around vaping that emanates from various fronts legislative, cultural and scientific. Having scientific councils support, I’m happy to contribute my thoughts, articles, and expertise.



The Nicotine Buzz: The Smoker’s High and Its Effects on Your Body? ›

When nicotine is inhaled, the buzz you feel is the release of epinephrine which stimulates the body and causes your blood pressure and heart rate to increase, and makes you breathe harder. Nicotine also activates a specific part of your brain that makes you feel happy by stimulating the release of the hormone dopamine.

How long does nicotine buzz last? ›

Two hours after ingesting nicotine, the body will have removed around half of the nicotine. This means that nicotine has a half-life of around 2 hours. This short half-life means that the immediate effects of nicotine go away quickly, so people soon feel like they need another dose.

What happens if nicotine is high? ›

There are a number of symptoms you want to watch for if you are worried about a possible nicotine overdose. Within the first 15 minutes to an hour of being exposed, symptoms would create a stimulating effect such as: Nausea or vomiting. Stomachache and loss of appetite.

What happens during a nicotine headrush? ›

When you quit smoking and inhale nicotine after a period or during the withdrawal period, the nicotine head rush comes on even stronger. This head rush is what makes it difficult to quit. Nicotine produces a feeling of high, known as a head rush, by disrupting the chemical balance in the brain.

What damage does nicotine cause? ›

Nicotine is a dangerous and highly addictive chemical. It can cause an increase in blood pressure, heart rate, flow of blood to the heart and a narrowing of the arteries (vessels that carry blood). Nicotine may also contribute to the hardening of the arterial walls, which in turn, may lead to a heart attack.

What are the side effects of nicotine? ›

Common Side Effects: Nicotine is known to cause decreased appetite, heightened mood, increased heart rate and blood pressure, nausea, diarrhea, better memory, and increased alertness.

How do you feel better after too much nicotine? ›

Don't try to make someone who's swallowed nicotine throw up or give them antacids to settle their stomach. Do let them drink water. Make sure their airway is clear. They will probably start vomiting on their own.

How does smoking affect your body? ›

Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Smoking also increases risk for tuberculosis, certain eye diseases, and problems of the immune system, including rheumatoid arthritis.

Does nicotine make you tired? ›

While you're smoking: Nicotine disrupts sleep – and smoking can also raise the risk of developing sleep conditions, such as sleep apnea. But since nicotine is a stimulant, smoking can mask your exhaustion. After all, if you're feeling sleepy, a hit of nicotine can wake you up and make you feel alert the next day.

How do you get nicotine out of your system in 3 hours? ›

There are several things you can do to speed up this process:
  1. Drink water. When you drink more water, more nicotine is released from your body through urine.
  2. Exercise. This increases your body's metabolism rate, which may lead you to clear nicotine faster. ...
  3. Eat foods rich in antioxidants.

What are three effects of nicotine? ›

Nicotine on direct application in humans causes irritation and burning sensation in the mouth and throat, increased salivation, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. [17] Gastrointestinal effects are less severe but can occur even after cutaneous and respiratory exposure.

How much vaping is too much? ›

Even today, many high-profile sources list the toxic dose of nicotine (the LD50 – or the dose that will kill about half of people exposed) as between 30 and 60 mg. To put this in context of vaping, this would be about 4 ml of 12 mg/ml e-liquid.

Does nicotine damage your brain? ›

Brain Risks

These risks include nicotine addiction, mood disorders, and permanent lowering of impulse control. Nicotine also changes the way synapses are formed, which can harm the parts of the brain that control attention and learning.

What are the symptoms of vaping too much? ›

Consuming too much nicotine can cause negative side effects, including: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or stomach ache. Eye irritation. Headaches.

Is 5 nicotine a lot? ›

5% Nicotine May Be A Lot But Many Vapers Still Use It

Given that it's a very high concentration to be vaping, the only ones that should even consider it are heavy smokers that are trying to switch to vaping and feel as if they need a high strength e-liquid to successfully switch. Otherwise, 5% is probably too much.


1. how the cigarette nicotine buzz feels like
(Connie Ramos)
2. Is Vaping Better Than Smoking Cigarettes?
3. 6 Things to Expect When You Start Vaping
4. What happens if You are An Alcohol and Tobacco Addict? - Effects on Brain and Body
5. People Try Vaping For The First Time
6. How Vaping vs Smoking Dry Herb Affects Your Lungs - You Must See This!

Top Articles

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Tish Haag

Last Updated: 12/17/2022

Views: 6213

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (47 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Tish Haag

Birthday: 1999-11-18

Address: 30256 Tara Expressway, Kutchburgh, VT 92892-0078

Phone: +4215847628708

Job: Internal Consulting Engineer

Hobby: Roller skating, Roller skating, Kayaking, Flying, Graffiti, Ghost hunting, scrapbook

Introduction: My name is Tish Haag, I am a excited, delightful, curious, beautiful, agreeable, enchanting, fancy person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.