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Reading practice test 13 nicotine ielts reading sample people wouldn’t smoke tobacco

                                                          nicotine

If it weren’t for nicotine, people wouldn’t smoke tobacco. Why? Because of the more than
4000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, nicotine is the primary one that acts on the brain, altering
people’s moods, appetites and alertness in ways they find pleasant and beneficial. Unfortunately,
as it is widely known, nicotine has a dark side: it is highly addictive. Once smokers become hooked
on it, they must get their fix of it regularly, sometimes several dozen times a day. Cigarette smoke
contains 43 known carcinogens, which means that long-term smoking can amount to a death
sentence. In the US alone, 420,000 Americans die every year from tobacco-related illnesses.
Breaking nicotine addiction is not easy. Each year, nearly 35 million people make a
concerted effort to quit smoking. Sadly, less than 7 percent succeed in abstaining for more than a
year; most start smoking again within days. So what is nicotine and how does it insinuate itself into
the smoker’s brain and very being?
The nicotine found in tobacco is a potent drug and smokers, and even some scientists,
say it offers certain benefits. One is enhance performance. One study found that non-smokers
given doses of nicotine typed about 5 percent faster than they did without it. To greater or lesser
degrees, users also say nicotine helps them to maintain concentration, reduce anxiety, relieve
pain, and even dampen their appetites (thus helping in weight control). Unfortunately, nicotine can
also produce deleterious effects beyond addiction. At high doses, as are achieved from tobacco
products, it can cause high blood pressure, distress in the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems
and an increase in susceptibility to seizures and hypothermia.
First isolated as a compound in 1828, in its pure form nicotine is a clear liquid that turns
brown when burned and smells like tobacco when exposed to air. It is found in several species of
plants, including tobacco and, perhaps surprisingly, in tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant (though in
extremely low quantities that are pharmacologically insignificant for humans).
As simple as it looks, the cigarette is highly engineered nicotine delivery device. For
instance, when tobacco researchers found that much of the nicotine in a cigarette wasn’t released
when burned but rather remained chemically bound within the tobacco leaf, they began adding
substances such as ammonia to cigarette tobacco to release more nicotine. Ammonia helps
keep nicotine in its basic form, which is more readily vaporised by the intense heat of the burning
cigarette than the acidic form. Most cigarettes for sale in the US today contain 10 milligrams
or more of nicotine. By inhaling smoke from a lighted cigarette, the average smoker takes 1 or
2 milligrams of vaporised nicotine per cigarette. Today we know that only a miniscule amount
of nicotine is needed to fuel addiction. Research shows that manufacturers would have to cut
nicotine levels in a typical cigarette by 95% to forestall its power to addict. When a smoker puffs
on a lighted cigarette, smoke, including vaporised nicotine, is drawn into the mouth. The skin and
lining of the mouth immediately absorb some nicotine, but the remainder flows straight down into
the lungs, where it easily diffuses into the blood vessels lining the lung walls. The blood vessels
carry the nicotine to the heart, which then pumps it directly to the brain. While most of the effects a
smoker seeks occur in the brain, the heart takes a hit as well. Studies have shown that a smoker’s
first cigarette of the day can increase his or her heart rate by 10 to 20 beats a minute. Scientists
have found that a smoked substance reaches the brain more quickly than one swallowed, snorted
(such as cocaine powder) or even injected. Indeed, a nicotine molecule inhaled in smoke will
reach the brain within 10 seconds. The nicotine travels through blood vessels, which branch out

into capillaries within the brain. Capillaries normally carry nutrients but they readily accommodate
nicotine molecules as well. Once inside the brain, nicotine, like most addictive drugs, triggers the
release of chemicals associated with euphoria and pleasure.
Just as it moves rapidly from the lungs into the bloodstream, nicotine also easily diffuses
through capillary walls. It then migrates to the spaces surrounding neurones – ganglion cells that
transmit nerve impulses throughout the nervous system. These impulses are the basis for our
thoughts, feelings, and moods. To transmit nerve impulses to its neighbour, a neurone releases
chemical messengers known as neurotransmitters. Like nicotine molecules, the neurotransmitters
drift into the so-called synaptic space between neurones, ready to latch onto the receiving neurone
and thus deliver a chemical “message” that triggers an electrical impulse.
The neurotransmitters bind onto receptors on the surface of the recipient neurone. This
opens channels in the cell surface through which enter ions, or charged atoms, of sodium. This
generates a current across the membrane of the receiving cell, which completes delivery of the
“message”. An accomplished mimic, nicotine competes with the neurotransmitters to bind to the
receptors. It wins and, like the vanquished chemical, opens ion channels that let sodium ions into
the cell. But there’s a lot more nicotine around than the original transmitter, so a much larger current
spreads across the membrane. This bigger current causes increased electrical impulses to travel
along certain neurones. With repeated smoking, the neurones adapt to this increased electrical
activity, and the smoker becomes dependent on the nicotine.

Questions 15 – 21
Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer of Reading
Passage 2?
In Boxes 15 – 21 write:
YES if the statement agrees with the writer
 NO if the statement doesn’t agree with the writer
 NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
15 Although nicotine is probably the well-known chemical in cigarettes, it is not nessarily the
one that changes the psyche of the smoker when cigarettes are smoked.
16 In spite of the difficulties, according to the text more than thirty-five million people a
year give up smoking.
17 It has been shown that nicotine in cigarettes can improve people’s abillities to perform some
actions more quickly.
18 Added ammonia in cigarettes allows smokers to inhale more nicotine.
19 Snorted substances reach the brain faster than injected substances.

20 Nicotine dilates the blood vessels that carry it around the body.
21 Nicotine molecules allow greater electrical charges to pass between neurones.
Questions 22 – 26
Using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS OR A NUMBER from Reading Passage 2,
answer the following questions.
Write your answers in boxes 22 – 26 on your answer sheet.

22 What is the natural colour of nicotine?
23 By how much would cigarete companies have to cut the nicotine content in cigarettes to
prevent them from being addictive?
24 Name ONE of 2 things that first take nicotine into a smoker’s body?
25 According to the passage, by how many beats a minute can a cigarette raise a smoker’s
heart rate?
26 What type of cell in the human body encloses neurones?
Questions 27
From the list below choose the most suitable title for Reading Passage 2.

A How to Quit Smoking
B The Dangers of Smoking
C Cell Biology
D Why Smoking is Addictive
E Nicotine is a Poison


15. NO
16. NO
17. YES
18. YES
19. NOT GIVEN
20. NOT GIVEN
21. YES
22. Clear
23. 95%
24. Mouth lining
25. 10 – 20
26. None
27. D

 

nicotine ielts reading sample

nicotine ielts reading sample

nicotine ielts reading sample

nicotine ielts reading sample

nicotine ielts reading sample

nicotine ielts reading sample

nicotine ielts reading sample

nicotine ielts reading sample

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