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A colorless, oily liquid alkaloid primarily obtained from the dried leaves of the tobacco plant (Nicotiana tabacum). Nicotine was named in 1550 for Jean Nicot after he sent tobacco seeds to Paris. It is a highly additive drug that is toxic in large doses. Commercially, purified nicotine is used as an insecticide, parasiticide, and fumigant. Nicotine turns brown when exposed to light or air.

Synonyms and Related Terms

1-methyl-2-(3-pyridyl)pyrrolidine; 3-(1-methyl-2-pyrrolidinyl)pyridine; Nikotin (Deut.); nicotina (Esp., It., Port.); nicotine (Fr., Ned.); nikotyna (Pol.); nikotin (Sven.); Black Leaf 40; Ortho-N4 dust; Niagara P.A. dust; Nicocide; Nico-dust; Nico-fume; Nicotina; Destruxol orchid spray; Emo-n; Flux MAAG; Fumetobac; Mach-Nic;

Chemical structure


Other Properties

Miscible with water. Soluble in alcohols, chloroform, ether, kerosene, oils.

Hygroscopic. Turns brown with exposure to air and light.

Composition C10H14N2
CAS 54-11-5
Melting Point -8.0
Density 1.01
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 162.23
Boiling Point 123-125

Hazards and Safety

Toxic by inhalation, ingestion and skin absorption.

Combustible. Flash point = 95 C Gives off toxic fumes.

LINK: International Chemical Safety Card


  • The Merck Index, Susan Budavari (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Whitehouse Station, NJ, 12th Edition, 1996 Comment: entry 6365; b.p.=123-125C

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