Tuesday, July 9, 2013

So How Exactly Does Smoking Cigarettes Cause Cancer

About Cigarettes and Cancer

Cigarette smoking is the number one cause of death in the United States today. It is the cause of 30% of all cancers. One type of cancer caused by smoking, lung cancer, is one of the most deadly types there is. Not only does smoking cigarettes cause cancer, it is also responsible for disease and illness related to other body systems including the circulatory system. Smoking cigarettes can harm those near a smoker, including the unborn child of a pregnant smoker.

Different Types of Cigarettes and Cancer

Getting cancer from smoking cannot be avoided by smoking light cigarettes, hand-rolled cigarettes, or fewer regular cigarettes. People that smoke light cigarettes are more likely to smoke more cigarettes. This is done to get the same amount of nicotine in fewer regular cigarettes. Menthol cigarettes and cigarettes marketed as being natural are also just as dangerous if not more dangerous than regular cigarettes. This is due to the fact that the smoke is held in longer and inhaled more deeply, allowing the harmful smoke to do more damage.

What's In Cigarettes That Causes Cancer?

What makes cigarette smoking cause cancer are ingredients known as carcinogens. Carcinogen literally means "cancer-causing." Cigarettes also contain nicotine, but this is not what causes cancer. Nicotine is the substance in cigarettes that one becomes addicted to. The other cigarette ingredients are what make it deadly. Tar is one of the many carcinogenic substances found in cigarettes. Tar contains over 4,000 chemicals. Over 60 of those chemicals are known carcinogens, all of which are deadly. On the list of carcinogens in cigarettes are:

Cyanide: Poisonous to brain and heart.

Benzene: Used to make plastic and rubber products.

Formaldehyde: Used to preserve dead bodies and body parts.

Methanol: Wood alcohol.

Ammonia: Used as a cleaning agent and to fertilize crops.

Acetylene: Used to fuel welding torches.

How Carcinogens Cause Cancer

When a cigarette is lit, all the chemicals in it react with one another in such a way that alters the way a healthy cell behaves. Healthy cells grow, make new cells and then die. Cells grow faster during childhood, but this process slows down by the time we reach adulthood. By then, most cells in the body are made only to take the place of the ones that die. However, carcinogens affect a cell's DNA, causing damage that causes the cells to behave differently. The damaged DNA in cancer cells is not fixed and causes cells to grow and make new cells in a way that is not orderly and healthy, but out of control. The damaged cells make new damaged and unhealthy cells that can spread throughout the body causing death and disease.

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