10 Most Dangerous Chemicals in Cigarettes

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking, side effects

Dr. Howell

If you’re among those people who think that cigarettes are just dried tobacco leaves rolled in paper then you have to read this article to better understand how dangerous cigarette smoking is. Unburned cigarettes alone have about 597 chemicals. And when burnt, this number amazingly expands to more than 4000 chemicals, 1% of which are known carcinogens and 10% are toxic. To give you an idea of how dangerous cigarette smoke is, here are 10 of the most dangerous chemicals found in cigarettes.

Benzene

This chemical is among the basic petro chemicals commonly found in crude TOXIC-AND-CARCINOGENS-8013493oil, and is used in most gasoline and pesticides. This carcinogen is most likely to cause leukemia. Fifty percent of exposure to this chemical is attributed to smoking. Continued exposure may lead to anemia, excessive bleeding, and genetic damage.

Formaldehyde

This chemical is used to preserve corpses. Basically, it is an antiseptic that kills all kinds of microbes and organisms. This chemical is responsible for the coughing and eye irritation you feel when someone is smoking.

Tar

It is responsible for the brown-sticky stains in a smoker’s teeth, fingers, and lungs. Tar is actually a combination of chemicals produced by a burning tobacco. All chemicals found in tar are all cancer-causing agents. If you think that this is the only most dangerous chemical, as what most smokers believe and what tobacco companies want you to believe by selling low-tar cigarettes, then you got it all wrong. Tar is only among the dangerous chemicals found in cigarette. You may lessen it, but other dangerous and toxic chemicals are still present in the smoke.

Arsenic

This is among the most dangerous chemicals found in cigarettes. Aside from cancer, arsenic is also responsible for cardiovascular diseases. And one of the most significant effects you need to know about arsenic is that it impairs your body’s capability to repair damages in your DNA.

Cadmium


If you’re a keen observer, you’ll know that cadmium is a metal used to make batteries. This toxic metal, aside from cancer, is also responsible for damaging kidneys and artery linings. Under normal circumstances, your body can expel this toxin but continuous smoking can overload your system.

Chromium

This element is used to make dyes, metallic alloys, paints, and wood preservatives. Aside from lung cancer, this chemical enables other carcinogens to attach to your DNA and destroy it.

Hydrogen Cyanide


This inorganic compound is an extremely poisonous gas that attacks your heart and the blood vessels. While it is not attributed to directly cause cancer, it increases your risk destroying your cilia – these are the tiny hair like structures found along your airways that keep toxins out of your body. Without these structures, you are more vulnerable to other poisonous chemicals entering your body.

Carbon Monoxide

This is a colorless and odorless gas that makes up 3 to 5 percent of cigarette smoke. What it does is to attach itself in your red blood cells instead of oxygen. As a result, the oxygen level in your body decreases and your body is deprived of this essential gas.

Nitrogen Oxide

This compound is normally found in car exhaust. Not only does it damage the environment (such as the ozone layer) but  your lung tissues as well, causing inflammation in your lungs. Though nitrogen oxide is normally produced by your body in small amounts to allow the lungs to expand, excessive amounts of this chemical makes your airways expand further more than the normal size which allows easier absorption of nicotine. This is the reason why long time smokers experience shortness of breath.

Ammonia


If you can recall, you have your first encounter with this chemical in your high school science laboratory. This foul-smelling chemical is used in most toilet cleaners. And when used in cigarettes, it enhances the addictiveness of nicotine. It also damages your cilia.

Now you see that cigarettes contain several of the most dangerous chemicals on earth. That little white stick contains thousands of chemicals that can kill, NOT only you, but also your daughter, son, wife, and all your love ones. Make the right decision and quit smoking now.

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