Warnings about smoking came long after the life of Jean Nicot, the man from whose name the word nicotine, a poisonous water-soluble alkaloid, was derived.
   Jean Nicot's role in popularizing tobacco began by chance. Nicot (1530-1600) was sent to Portugal in 1559 by Francis II of France to negotiate a marriage between the king's sister, Marguerite of Valois, six years old, and Don Sebastian, the king of Portugal, age five. The negotiations failed, but from this aborted visit came the seeds, literal and figurative, for a worldwide industry of huge proportions. Nicot was given a gift of strange seeds by Portuguese sailors who had recently returned from America. He cultivated the seedlings with great care and from them grew tobacco leaves, a sample of which he sent to Queen Mother Catherine de Medici, who loved to sniff the "powder." Other prominent persons followed suit. Tobacco became fashionable. Disputes over tobacco arose from many sources in many lands. James VI of Scotland (later James I of England) voiced bitter and blunt objections. He referred to smoking as "a custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs, and in the black, stinking fumes thereof, nearest resembling the horrible Stygian smoke of the pit that is bottomless." Amurat, a sultan of Turkey, ordered smokers to be shot. The czar punished smokers by having their noses snipped off. The Senate in Berne, Switzerland, added "smoking" to "stealing" and "killing" in the Ten Commandrhents. The use of tobacco might have been stamped out completely but for the marvel of commerce. The French imposed a state tax of two francs per hundred pounds of tobacco, which brought in about a million francs a year. Tobacco was back in favor.
   Nicot was a scholarly person who had hoped to leave a worthwhile legacy — a dictionary of the French language. Ironically, he received no fame for the dictionary he spent so many years compiling and is known instead for nicotine, a word that he hadn't even included in his dictionary.
   The Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus named the genus that includes the common tobacco plant Nicotiana in Nicot's honor.

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.

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  • Nicotine — Structure de la nicotine Général Nom IUPAC (S) 3 (1 méthyl 2 pyrrolidinyl)pyridine …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • Nicotine — Nic o*tine (? or ?), n. [F. nicotine. See {Nicotian}.] (Chem.) An alkaloid which is the active principle of tobacco ({C10H14N2}). It occurs in tobacco plants ({Nicotiana tabacum} and {Nicotiana rusticum}) to the extent of 2 to 8%, in combination… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • nicotine — (n.) poisonous alkaloid found in tobacco leaves, 1819, from Fr. nicotine, earlier nicotiane, from Mod.L. Nicotiana, formal botanical name for the tobacco plant, named for Jean Nicot (c.1530 1600), French ambassador to Portugal, who sent tobacco… …   Etymology dictionary

  • nicotine — nicotine. См. никотин. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • nicotine — ► NOUN ▪ a toxic oily liquid which is the chief active constituent of tobacco. ORIGIN named after Jaques Nicot, a 16th century diplomat who introduced tobacco to France …   English terms dictionary

  • nicotine — [nik′ə tēn΄, nik΄ə tēn′] n. [Fr < nicotiane, the tobacco plant < ModL nicotiana (herba), Nicot s (plant), after Jean Nicot (1530 1600), Fr ambassador at Lisbon, who first introduced tobacco into France (1560)] a toxic, addictive, water… …   English World dictionary

  • Nicotine — This article is about the chemical compound. For other uses, see Nicotine (disambiguation). Nicotine Systematic (IUPAC) name …   Wikipedia

  • nicotine — nicotined, adj. nicotineless, adj. /nik euh teen , tin, nik euh teen /, n. Chem. a colorless, oily, water soluble, highly toxic, liquid alkaloid, C10H14N2, found in tobacco and valued as an insecticide. [1810 20; < F; see NICOTIANA, INE2] * * *… …   Universalium

  • nicotine — 1 Methyl 2 (3 pyridyl)pyrrolidine; a poisonous volatile alkaloid derived from tobacco (Nicotiana spp.) and responsible for many of the effects of tobacco; it first stimulates (small doses), then depresses (large doses) at autonomic ganglia and… …   Medical dictionary

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