So, what’sin a cigarette? Chemicals are found in every puff of cigarette smoke.
If you smoke, or if you’re exposed to secondhand smoke, you inhale over 4,000 chemicals; at least 70 of them known to cause cancer.
They’re also known to cause disastrous health effects, such as lung and heart disease.
Here are a few of the chemicals in tobacco smoke and other places they are found:
- Acetone—found in nail polish remover
- Acetic acid—an ingredient in hair dye
- Ammonia—a common household cleaner
- Arsenic—used in rat poison
- Benzene—found in rubber cement and gasoline
- Butane—used in lighter fluid
- Cadmium—active component in battery acid
- Carbon monoxide—released in car exhaust fumes
- Formaldehyde—embalming fluid
- Hexamine—found in barbecue lighter fluid
- Lead—used in batteries
- Naphthalene—an ingredient in mothballs
- Methanol—a main component in rocket fuel
- Nicotine—used as an insecticide (the addictive drug that produces the effect people are looking for and one of the harshest chemicals in tobacco smoke)
- Tar—material for paving roads
- Toluene—used to manufacture paint
When you smoke, all of these chemicals mix together and form a sticky tar. The tar sticks to clothing, skin, and to the cilia (tiny hairs) that line the insides of your lungs.
The cilia help to clean out dirt and germs from your lungs. If the cilia are covered in tar, they can’t do their job properly, and germs, chemicals and dirt can stay in your lungs and cause diseases.