Top 6 Toxic Ingredients in Cigarettes

Many people think that cigarette smoking only concerns the health of the smoker. However, studies show that second-hand smoke produced by cigarettes is more harmful, affecting not only other people but also animals and the environment. There’s no wonder why cigarettes are considered cultural malaise.

Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals. Some are yet unknown while majority are found to be harmful to human’s health. 250 of these compounds were known to be toxic and 60 are carcinogens. Now, all these chemicals are ingested by a person every time he puffs. Research shows that an average smoker who consumes three packs a day at 10 puffs per cigarette get around 70,000 to 200,000 doses of smoke every year.

Here are some of the known harmful ingredients of cigarettes that both smokers and the people around them are being exposed to:


This chemical is often used in paving roads. This black, sticky substance contains highly dangerous combustion by-products that can greatly damage the lungs.  In every cubic inch of cigarette smoke, a person gets to inhale 150 BILLION tar particles! And because cigarettes smoke is concentrated, its tar levels are enormously high. Furthermore, smokers who finish their cigarettes are more prone to tar accumulation because the last puff contains the greatest amount of tar.


Carcinogens refer to any compounds that cause cancer to human beings. Unfortunately, cigarettes contain plenty of carcinogens. In fact, tobacco is classified as a carcinogenic substance. As mentioned, there are 60 known types of carcinogenic compounds in cigarettes, including chloride, ethylene, 2-naphthylamine, benzene, ethylene oxide, beryllium, nickel compounds, cadmium and chromium. Since not all cigarette ingredients have been identified yet, it’s possible that there are more carcinogens found in it…as in more!

Household Products

If cigarettes are just cleaning products, they could be a perfect (yet highly dangerous) cleaning solution! Did you know that tobacco contains compounds that are also used to clean floors and other surfaces? They also contain naphthalene (main ingredient in moth balls), nitrous oxide phenols, stearic acid (found in candle wax), and more.


As you know, pesticides are chemical compounds that are used to destroy pests. Well, tobacco manufacturers do not actually intend to put pesticides in their products. It’s just that massive amounts of the chemicals are sprayed on tobacco plants before they are harvested. Researchers from the Colorado School of Mines have identified three types of pesticides in cigarettes that are known carcinogens. These are trifluralin, pendimethalin and flumetralin. Furthermore, these compounds have been found to damage the endocrine system, and impede the body’s normal growth and development.


Who wouldn’t know about nicotine? It’s the blood that empowers cigarettes. Without it, no one will get addicted to smoking. According to experts, the behavioral effect of nicotine addiction is the same with the addictive effects of cocaine or heroin. Nicotine is also the reason why cigarettes are both depressing and stimulating. Consumption of this dangerous substance causes elevated blood pressure, thickened arteries, and muscular tremors. Nicotine is a carcinogen as well.



One Response

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