What Are Cigarettes Made Of? (Do You Really Want To Know?)

We all know how bad smoking is for the health, but who knew that the average cigarette contains around 4000 chemicals? I thought I would find out about them and list them, in the hope that once smokers see this, it will shock them so much, that it will help them quit!

A cigarette is a made from dried and fermented tobacco tightly rolled in a bundle and covered in a paper case. They are also given many additives designed to make cigarettes taste nicer and keep smokers hooked.

First off, as everyone knows, cigarettes contain nicotine, a highly addictive drug, which occurs naturally in the tobacco. Nicotine of itself is not all that harmful, which is why quitting-smoking aids like nicotine patches can be safely used. Here is the rundown of just some of the other additives (brace yourselves!!):

Tar: a mixture of solid chemicals, which when inhaled, form a sticky brown carcinogenic residue which collects in the airways and lungs

Arsenic: used in wood preservatives and also a deadly poison!

Benzene: an industrial solvent, refined from crude oil

Cadmium: a metal used in batteries

Formaldehyde:  used in paint manufacturing, in mortuaries (how appropriate!) and for preserving organic specimens

Polonium-210:  a highly radioactive element

Chromium: a metal used in the manufacture of dyes, paints and alloys

1,3-Butadiene:  used in rubber manufacturing

Acrolein:  formerly used as a chemical weapon

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons:  a dangerous group of chemicals which damage DNA

Nitrosamines – ditto

Hydrazine:  a very toxic chemical used mainly in rocket fuel!

Carbon monoxide: a colourless and dangerous gas, found in car engines, which has a very adverse effect on the lungs

Hydrogen cyanide: used as an industrial pesticide

Ammonia:  used to make fertilisers and explosives

Hydrogen cyanide:  a poisonous gas

…….And a few thousand more!

As if that list isn't enough to put you off, a lot of brands also contain pig's blood in the filters! Apparently the haemoglobin in the blood helps to trap a lot of the harmful substances before they are inhaled (only clearly, they don't trap enough of them, do they? Considering smoking causes so much illness and death!) They also contain other animal-derived products, like glycerine, so if you are a vegetarian or vegan, like me, that is another great reason to stop smoking!

Hope you got something out of reading this blog, and I appreciate your votes and comments.

 

Picture courtesy of www.biocaretherapy.com

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