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OMFG!You'reActuallySmart! Offline
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Re: Eek, Um. cigarettes. - May 27th 2011, 09:45 AM

Headaches from nicotine can occur in two main ways.

First, severe headaches are common symptoms of withdrawl from nicotine. Although the mechanism is different from alcohol, when you get a hangover, it is often due less water in the system. A similar idea applies, the nicotine's absence can cause headaches.
Second, nicotine induces vasoconstriction (reduced diameter of blood vessels) along with higher concentrations of cholesterol in the system (usually found in long-term smokers).

More detailed answer (no need to worry if you don't understand it):

The half-life of nicotine is 2 hours with PPB <5%, BAmax 45% and increased CYP450 sub-types CYP2A6 and CYP2B6. Although its half-life is only 2 hours, it takes ~ 20 hours for complete metabolisation (methanol cigarettes take longer). Even after this time, depending how long you've smoked for, neurochemical changes take months to return to normal. I'm not sure how long it would take from just a single usage.

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