The chemicals used in a cigarette are mostly never disclosed by the manufacturing companies. They do not care about their harmful effects on a customer’s health, as long as they remain addicted and keep buying them.
The chemicals contained in a cigarette are some of the most poisonous ones, ever known to mankind. Smoking is all about getting addicted to this poison and slowly dying in the process. You have a feeling that the smoke gives you a high, but actually, you are sinking with every puff of smoke in your lungs.
Many young people start smoking as they like aping the movie stars who have made it a glamorous and ‘cool’ thing. Have no illusions; it has been proven to cause ‘Lung cancer’ and other types of cancer. Suffering from cancer is the last thing you want to do and it’s certainly not cool. Our noses and mouths were not meant to be smoke chimneys. They were meant for breathing fresh clean air.
When a cigarette starts burning, very harmful chemicals are created through oxidation. Its smoke is one the deadliest poisonous concoctions, ever made. It is more harmful, than even automobile pollution.
List of Chemicals
Nicotine: This is the prime ingredient and also the root cause of smoking addiction in humans. Nicotine is contained in the tobacco leaves, from which, cigarettes are manufactured. It mixes with the blood and bypasses the blood-brain barrier. Therefore, it’s true that nicotine, inhaled in small amounts, stimulates the brain. It also acts as a painkiller and stress buster. However, if inhaled in large quantities, it has the opposite effect. It acts as a severe depressant, causing a slow down in nerve signal transmission.
If consumed in even greater amounts, it acts as a poison. It basically raises blood pressure and causes the contraction of blood vessels. It also causes the release of the body’s store of cholesterol, increasing the risk of heart disease.
It increases the possibility of a stroke. In short, it does give you a high and relieves your stress temporarily, but it creates new stresses in your system. You become dependent on it and smoking becomes an addiction. It ultimately doesn’t relieve stress, it creates more.
Tar: Tar is particulate matter in the cigarette, which is deposited in the lungs, causing problems in the respiratory system. A chain smoker’s lungs are totally blackened, instead of being pinkish white, which is their natural color. The blackening is due to this tar deposition. Smoking turns your lungs into a carbon dump.
Lead, Cadmium, and Nickel These metals are also contained in trace amounts in cigarettes. Nickel is known to cause respiratory problems in smokers and cadmium is carcinogenic. Lead is another poisonous substance found in the smoke.
Benzene: Benzene (C6H6) is contained in the smoke and is a colorless hydrocarbon. Its primary use is, as a solvent, in chemical manufacturing. It is a known carcinogen. Carcinogen is any substance that causes cancer. It is known to contribute to a type of cancer called leukemia.
Formaldehyde: This is a very poisonous substance which is used in preservation of dead bodies and is contained in cigarette smoke. It is a known carcinogenic agent. It also causes stomach problems, along with respiratory problems.
Ammonia: Ammonia, normally used as a toilet cleaner and an ingredient of dry cleaning fluid, is also contained in cigarette smoke. It is used for flavoring and smooth release of the gaseous form of nicotine.
Carbon Monoxide: A product of incomplete combustion,contained in the smoke, carbon monoxide, is a highly poisonous gas, which combines with the hemoglobin in the blood and reduces oxygen supply. This is the reason why addicted smokers have weaker lungs and fall short of breath, too soon. Twenty some things, who start heavy smoking, find it difficult to scale a small mountain as their lungs just can’t supply enough oxygen. Their lung’s oxygen intake capacity and its distribution through the blood, is compromised.
Arsenic: Arsenic contained in the smoke is a very harmful chemical. In fact, it is used as rat poison.
Acetone: Normally used as a nail polish remover, acetone is contained in cigarette smoke .
Besides these chemicals, cigarette smoke also contains trace amounts of hydrogen cyanide, which is a toxic chemical.
All in all, the chemicals number around 4000. Out of these substances, 43 are proven carcinogenic agents. Besides these, the smoke has 400 toxins. As you can see, a burning cigarette is a veritable toxin and carcinogen factory. A smoker should think before he exposes himself and other people to such toxins.
Say ‘No’ to Smoking, say ‘Yes’ to Life
There are a lot more things in life that can give you a high. Life itself is beautiful enough to give you a high. Go mountaineering, listen to music, go work out, go for a swim, or do anything that you enjoy and which acts as a stress buster for you.
The thing about cigarette smoking is that people take to it to relieve stress or sometimes just for glamor. It only relieves stress temporarily, but in the long term, the chemicals contained in it only cause more stress and health problems.
If you are a smoker, remember this list of chemicals and understand what you are subjecting your beautiful body to. Smoking is really not worth it. Period. Everyone of us is going to die someday anyway, why hasten the call of death? What is the hurry?