Cigarettes Harmful Chemicals | Chemistry of Cigarette

8,400 - 10,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke!

Cigarettes Harmful Chemicals -  WorldOfChemicals

How many chemicals could possibly be packed in one tiny cigarette that you so casually smoke every hour?

Its 8,400 -10,000 chemicals present in cigarettes

Cigarettes look deceptively simple, consisting of paper tubes containing chopped up tobacco leaf and it will deliver a steady dose of nicotine. In addition to nicotine the following components also present

  • Tobacco blend
  • Paper
  • PVA glue and
  • Cellulose acetate-based filter

Additives are used to make tobacco products more acceptable to the consumer.

  • Humectants [glycol or glycerol]
  • Cocoa solids
  • Licorice
  • Tobacco extracts

Some of the above components are harmless, but along with that 600 permitted additives are burned in cigarettes.

Every smoker should see the following list of chemicals that are present in smoke

How much can these dangerous chemicals harm you?


Positive effects

In low doses stimulates

  • Central nervous system
  • Increases the heart beat rate and blood pressure which further leading to the heart needing more oxygen

Adverse effects

  • Stimulate abnormal proliferation of vascular endothelial cells
  • Induces potentially atherogenic genes in human coronary artery endothelial cells
  • It causes microvascular injury

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is the main poisonous gas in car exhausts as well as present in cigarette smoke

It binds to haemoglobin much more readily than oxygen, thus causing the blood to carry less oxygen.

Not just tobacco, there are several harmful chemicals in cigarettes, some of which are poisonous

Other chemicals effect include

Chemicals Normal usage
Arsenic Used in rat poison
Methane It is a component of rocket fuel
Ammonia It is a component of rocket fuel
Cadmium Used in batteries
Formaldehyde Body tissue preservation chemical

Lighter fluid

Hydrogen Cyanide the poison used in gas chambers

First, Second & Third hand smoking types

Firsthand smoke

The inhalation of smoke of burning tobacco encased in cigarettes, pipes, and cigars.

Smoking will shorten life and leads to cancer as it blackens lungs

Secondhand smoke

Secondhand smoke is the combination of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette and the smoke breathed out by smokers. Secondhand smoke contains more than 7000 chemicals.

It has immediate adverse effects on

  • Cardiovascular system
  • Blood and blood vessels
  • Lungs

Thirdhand smoke

Thirdhand smoke is contamination by tobacco smoke that lingers following the extinguishing of a cigarette. Studies show that thirdhand smoke clings to hair, skin, clothes, furniture, drapes, walls, bedding, carpets, dust, vehicles and other surfaces, even long after smoking has stopped. Thirdhand smoke residue builds up on surfaces over time and resists normal cleaning.


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