Friday, October 11, 2013

5 Primary Elements Of Tobacco Smoke

Cigarette smoke
is 10,000 times more potent than rush-hour car pollution.

Cigarette smoking kills more than 440,000 Americans every year and causes chronic disorders such as lung and heart disease. Of the 4,000 chemicals in cigarettes, 43 are known carcinogens and at least 250 of them are harmful to health in other ways. Smokers on average die up to 14 years sooner than non-smokers and the Surgeon General has called it "the leading preventable cause of disease and deaths."


Cigarette tobacco is the dried leaves of the Nicotania Tabacum plant, the active ingredient of which is nicotine. Tobacco leaves have a significant radioactive content that comes from the soil the plant was grown in and any fertilizers used. Smokers inhale these radioactive particles which build up in the lungs the longer someone smokes. Tobacco smoke causes nearly 90 percent of all cases of lung cancer and according to the American Cancer Society "there is no safe way to use tobacco."


Nicotine is highly addictive and one of the hardest addictions to beat. Additionally, the Surgeon General has concluded that getting off nicotine can be as hard as breaking heroin and cocaine habits. Nicotine sends smokers' heart rates and blood pressure soaring while narrowing the arteries. When inhaled through cigarette smoke, nicotine takes just six seconds to reach the brain. Large doses act as a depressant, inhibiting the flow of signals to nerve cells, as well as an appetite suppressant.


Tar is a mixture of chemical substances forming a sticky mass in the lungs. As a cigarette is smoked, the amount of tar inhaled rises exponentially, making the last puff the strongest of all. It leaves a tacky brown residue when it settles, staining smokers' teeth and fingers and coating their lungs. Low-tar cigarettes offer no protection against the dangers of smoking -- because there's also less nicotine, smokers take longer drags to compensate. They're also likely to smoke more cigarettes in a day to satisfy cravings, inhaling more tar than if they were to smoke a high-tar brand.

Carbon Monoxide and Other Poisons

This is a colorless, poisonous gas inhaled by cigarette smokers. It flies straight to the lungs and then into the bloodstream, restricting the amount of oxygen in the red blood cells. It causes cholesterol to increase in the arteries which harden over time leading to heart disease. A person's hearing and night vision is also affected by carbon monoxide and it's the same substance found in automobile exhaust fumes. Other poisons found in cigarette smoke include hydrogen cyanide, nitrogen oxide and ammonia.

Cancer Causing Chemicals

In addition to the chemical mix found in tar, there are numerous other dangerous substances inhaled by smokers with each cigarette. The most hazardous of these is arsenic which can cause cancer and damages blood vessels and the heart as well. Others include benzene, a solvent derived from crude oil; cadmium, a chemical used in batteries; and formaldehyde, which is a paint ingredient and is used by undertakers.

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