could "nicotine patch" and similar pure nicotine dispenser thingies be used as stimulant?

reputedly, many people get into smoking because nicotine is a stimulant that makes them think or work better. Well, so smoking is bad because of the tar going into the lungs and the steep tobacco taxes, but how about the pure nicotine from nicotine patches and similar? How dangerous are they to our health in terms of impact of the pure nicotine? How effective are their stimulant properties?