More Than Tobacco: Learn What's Really Inside Your Cigarettes
We’ve all heard about how dangerous cigarettes are, but did you know that many of the 4,000 ingredients used are rigorously regulated by OSHA, and some are even banned from industrial use?
The tobacco industry does not currently have to identify the exact ingredients of its products because of "trade secret" protection. If cigarettes become federally regulated (as are all other human consumables in the United States), then tobacco companies will be required by law to reveal these ingredients.
In the meantime, we know from scientific studies that cigarette smoke contains the following: acetaldehyde, acetone, acrolein, acrylonitrile, 1-aminonaphthalene, 2-aminonaphthalene, ammonia, benzene, benzo[a]pyrene, 1,3-butadiene, butyraldehyde, cadmium, carbon monoxide, catechol, chromium, cresol, crotonaldehyde, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide, hydroquinone, isoprene, lead, methyl ethyl ketone, nickel, nicotine, nitric oxide, phenol, propionaldehyde, pyridine, quinoline, resorcinol, styrene, and toluene.
Some of these ingredients are used for or found in acrylics, adhesives, asphalts, batteries, chemical warfare agents, cleaners, coal tar pitch, corrosion inhibitors, creosote, disinfectants, dyes, fiberboard, fuels, gas chambers, gasoline, glues, herbicides, inks, insecticide, insulation, laminates, latex, metal alloys, neoprene, oils, paint, particleboard, pesticides, plastics, plywood, polyester and synthetic resins, rubber products, solvents, stainless steel, tear gas, varnish, and wood preservatives.
Now for the fun part - what follows are some of the consequences we can suffer from ingesting these ingredients: Alzheimer’s disease, anemia, asthma, bladder cancer, brain damage, confusion, decrease in heart and muscle function, depression of the central nervous system, and developmental toxicity in fetuses.
These ingredients can also cause dizziness, fatigue, headaches, high blood pressure, Huntington’s disease, kidney damage, leukemia, liver damage, lung cancer, memory loss, nasal cancer, nerve damage, Parkinson’s disease, reproductive system damage, seizures, and skin cancer.
I do not believe that knowing all this information is likely to make you quit smoking immediately. But I am hopeful that it will be in the back of your mind the next time you light up.
Each time you think about quitting smoking, you get a little closer to trying to quit. And each time you actually try to quit, you get a little closer to success. Good luck on quitting for good so you can start ridding your body of these chemicals as soon as possible.