What's in a cigarette?
Do you realise that a lit cigarette and its smoke contain over 70 chemicals including 10 that are known to cause cancer?
Here are just a few:
Nicotine – Highly addictive, as addictive as heroin or cocaine! And one of most abundant chemicals in a cigarette.
Tar – A mixture of solid bits breathed in from a lit cigarette, which become a sticky brown layer that stains teeth, fingers and lungs.
Hydrogen cyanide – A poisonous gas used as an industrial pesticide, which damages the heart and blood vessels.
Chromium – A toxic metal used to make paints, dyes and metal alloys. It causes lung cancer.
Formaldehyde – Used to preserve dead bodies, and kill bacteria. Known to cause cancer in airways and the back of the nose.
Polonium 210 – A radioactive element. It causes cancer and damages DNA.
Other chemicals in cigarettes are even more dangerous when mixed together. For example Chromium allows other cancer-causing chemicals to stick more strongly to DNA and increases damage.
Other additives are there to improve the effects of nicotine. Some make the tobacco taste better.