The cigarette contains about 4000 chemicals. Although the cigarette at first glance seems to be harmless it is not. Among the 4000 chemists we can make a breakdown to classify them according to how they affect our health.
Harmful Cigarette Components:
- More than 70 are related to cancer.
- Hundreds are poisonous.
- Nicotine and additives that make the cigarette taste good and keep the smoker consuming.
Next we will try to define and show the most dangerous components of the cigarette. We will also present what health damage they cause and in which non-consumable products can be found so that you can compare what you are inhaling.
Carcinogens in the Cigarette (Incomplete):
- Tar – Mixture of various components harmful to the body.
- Arsenic – It is used as a preservative for wood.
- Benzene – Industrial solvent, is produced from crude oil.
- Cadmium – Used in batteries.
- Formaldehyde – A component that is used in morgues and in the paint industry (paint manufacturing).
- Polonium-210 – This is a highly radioactive chemical element.
- Chrome – Used in the manufacture of inks, paints and alloys.
- 1,3-Butadiene – For the manufacture of rubber.
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons – Group of chemicals that damage the DNA of cells.
- Nitrosamines – A group of chemicals that also alter DNA.
- Acrolein – This chemical is used as a chemical weapon.
Poisons in the Cigarette:
- Hydrocyanic acid – Used in industrial pesticides.
- Carbon monoxide – You find it in the exhaust pipes of cars.
- Nitrogen oxides – Easily found in places where there is a lot of air pollution (usually large cities).
- Ammonia – Component used to make fertilizers and explosives.
Tar is the compound that transports nicotine into your lungs. They are particles with many toxic components that adhere to stains dentures, fingers and lungs.
“The tar is not the only harmful thing of the cigarette, as some packages indicate and the cigarettes with diminished tar do not represent positive effects for the health”.
Arsenic is one of the most harmful components that cigarettes have. It can cause cancer, damage to the heart and blood vessels. Arsenic accumulates in small amounts in the body and gradually increases the amount in the body, for days, months and years. In addition, our in the presence of arsenic our cells reduce their ability to repair DNA.
Benzene is a solvent that is used to manufacture chemicals including petroleum. It is known that this substance causes cancer, especially leukemia. A large percentage of leukemia deaths are from smokers; and the benzene present in the cigarette is caused. Studies show that exposure to benzene by secondhand smoke increases the cancer risk of those affected.
Cadmium is a metal used in batteries. Studies show that the amount of cadmium present in the cigarette is capable of causing health problems. The way this metal does it is causing cancer and damage to the kidneys and the lining of the veins. It also prevents our cells from repairing damaged DNA.
Formaldehyde is used to kill bacteria, preserve dead bodies and make other chemicals. This substance causes lung and respiratory diseases. In addition, it is known to cause cancer and increases the chances that second-hand smokers may have cancer at some time in their life.
Polonium-210 is a radioactive chemical element present in cigarettes. The radiation produced by this element is known as alpha radiation, which is usually blocked by the skin. When this element is in cigarette smoke, the radiation has direct contact with the cells of the airways and lungs. Studies indicate that smokers who smoke a box and a half of cigarettes a day have a body radiation equivalent to if they had done 300 x-ray tests on their chest a year.
Chromium is a metal that is used to make alloys, dyes and paints. There are many types of chromium, some are not harmful. Unfortunately, the one found in tobacco smoke is chromium IV and this causes lung cancer and also makes it easier for other chemicals to cause cancer and / or cell damage.
1,3-buetadiene is used in the production of rubber and some scientists believe it is the most carcinogenic chemical in cigarettes.
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons:
These hydrocarbons damage the DNA and cause the cells to reproduce causing tumors. In addition, a hydrocarbon of this group affects the p53 gene that is responsible for protecting the body against cancer.
Nitrosamines are a group of chemicals that directly damage DNA. These chemicals are very strong cancer producers and are found, in greater amounts than other sources, in cigarettes.
Acrolein is an irritating gas and is one of the most abundant elements in cigarette smoke. Recent experiments indicate that this gas can cause cancer. It causes DNA damage and decreases the ability of our cells to repair it. In addition, it destroys elements in the lung that help it clean itself.
Hydrocyanic acid is a poisonous gas that causes damage to the heart and veins. This gas does not cause cancer, but it helps other substances do. This gas kills the cilia; some “hairs” that clean the respiratory system by removing toxins from it.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that the body produces on its own and the lungs have to expel it because it is poisonous. The large amounts can kill and in small prevents the blood is well oxygenated. The less oxygenated the blood the more likely the organism to malfunction. In addition, this gas kills the cilia, so, although it does not cause cancer, it makes it easier for other substances to do so.
These oxides are found in automobile exhaust. The body uses them to transport signals between cells but in large quantities it is an air pollutant. These gases damage the lungs and inflame them. When the smoker is smoking, this substance expands the airways to make nicotine absorption easier. When he is not doing so, the airways contract causing difficulty breathing.
Ammonia is a gas with a strong smell and very irritating to the respiratory tract. It is used in cleaning products for toilets. Some studies confirm that this gas increases nicotine addiction. This gas also kills the cilia. Remember that this list is not complete; there are many harmful components in the cigarette. That is why it is important to leave it, so that you and yours can live happily. Also look at the complexity of the matter and how harmful these components are. It would be good if you went to your favorite hardware store and look at the components of paints, cleaners, glue and others so you can see that what you smoke is present in many of these products. You wouldn’t even touch these chemicals with your hands, but you are smoking them if you know.