3DChem.com - Chemistry, Structures & 3D Molecules a visual and interactive website showcasing the beautiful world of chemistry

Nicotine (Molecule of the Month for November 2004)

Nicotine is an organic compound, an alkaloid found naturally throughout the tobacco plant, with a high concentration in the leaves. It constitutes 0.3 to 5% of the plant by dry weight, with biosynthesis taking place in the roots, and accumulates in the leaves.

It is a potent nerve poison and is included in many insecticides. In lower concentrations, the substance is a stimulant and is one of the main factors leading to the pleasure and habit-forming qualities of tobacco smoking.

Nicotine has limited carcinogenic effects, inhibiting the body's ability to destroy potentially cancerous cells; however, nicotine does not promote the development of cancer in healthy cells. In addition to the tobacco plant, nicotine is also found in lower quantities in other members of the Solanaceae (nightshade) family, which includes tomato, potato, eggplant (aubergine), and green pepper. Nicotine alkaloids are also found in the leaves of the coca plant.

Formal Chemical Name (IUPAC)



Picture of Nicotine 3D model

click on the picture of  Nicotine above to interact
with the 3D model of the
Nicotine structure
(this will open a new browser window)

Picture of Nicotine


Update by Karl Harrison
(Molecule of the Month for November 2004 )

Stacks Image 34 All the images on this web site are are made available with a Creative Commons Attribution license and so can be used as long as the attribution © Karl Harrison 3DChem.com is written with the image. High resolution images and illustrations are available on request.