I know all of us past smokers know this, but here are a just a few chemicals found in cigarettes, but new to me, is there are chemicals found in the actual smoke itself, which is harmful to the non smoker! Guess I didn't think about this way before, although I knew second hand smoke can cause harm in the non smoker as well! Do you still want to smoke, and better yet, around others? Things to ponder......
Chemicals found in cigarettes
There are so many chemicals in a single cigarette that it makes it impossible to list them all in this article. It is estimated that an average cigarette contains approximately 12.000 different chemicals. Tobacco smoke alone contains over 4,000 different chemicals. This is why there is a severe health concern associated with second-hand smoking. Many of these chemicals are poisonous, and around 50 of them are known as carcinogens – chemical compounds able to trigger cancerous diseases in humans. Here is the quick review of some chemicals contained in a cigarette.
Tar is the most destructive component in habitual tobacco smoking. Tar is a particulate matter produced by the burning of tobacco in the process of smoking. It gets accumulated in the smoker’s lung, damaging them gradually. Tar also damages the mouth by rotting and blackening the teeth, damages the gums and blocks the papillae and taste buds and the eye's vision.
Lead, Cadmium and Nickel are poisonous substances found in the cigarette smoke. Cadmium may cause cancer in humans while Nickel causes respiratory problems.
Benzene is another carcinogen found in cigarettes. About 50% of the entire nationwide exposure to benzene results from smoking tobacco or from exposure to tobacco smoke. Benzene damages the bone marrow, lowering the red blood cells and triggering anemia. Benzene causes leukemia and is associated with other blood cancers and pre-cancers of the blood.
Formaldehyde is associated with the development of leukemia, particularly myeloid leukemia.
Carbon Monoxide is a highly poisonous gas that reacts with hemoglobin and reduces oxygen supply to the living cells. Carbon Monoxide also lowers the capacity of smoker’s lungs.
Arsenic, which is found in cigarette smoke, is actually a lethal substance used as a rat poison