What’s in Cigarette?

Cigarettes are more than tobacco being wrapped in paper. There are over 5000 chemical toxins that get released from the smoke of a cigarette. About 70 toxins that get released from the combustion process causes cancer. Most of us smoke to get relaxed for a while, but when the nicotine dies down, we will be able to feel the effect of the chemicals in the cigarettes.

The following are some of the major compounds that are found in a cigarette:


About 70% of the tar that is inhaled by the smoker remains in his/her lungs. You can find this out from an experiment. Take a handkerchief and fill your mouth with smoke but do not inhale the smoke. Now you need to blow the smoke through the hand handkerchief, and you will be able to find a brown sticky stain on the scarf. You can repeat the process and check how tar gets accumulated in the cloth. Just imagine if the same tar gets accumulated in your lungs.

Carbon Monoxide:

As carbon monoxide is a colour-less and order less gas, our body will not be able to differentiate between oxygen and carbon monoxide, and thus both the gasses get absorbed into the bloodstream. If you happen to inhale excess carbon monoxide, there are chances that you might even die or get into a coma. Your muscles will be fatigued as there is no supply of oxygen and you will be dizzy all the time.


Nicotine is an addictive drug, it is the substance which makes smokers to smoke again and again, but it is not carcinogenic. Nicotine reaches the brain within seconds of inhaling, and it provides a relaxed sensation. People often feel refreshed after taking in nicotine, and our brains act in such a way that it would keep giving out signals for you to consume more nicotine.



Toluene is often associated with permanent brain damage. It initially causes memory loss and weakness then later it causes anorexia and nausea.


Ammonia is used in cigarettes by manufacturers to boost the impact of nicotine. Ammonia causes asthma, and it also increases the blood pressure.


Cadmium is a carcinogenic agent, and it causes damage to the brain, liver and kidney.


Acetaldehyde is also a carcinogenic and these are responsible for the absorption of toxic chemicals into the bronchial tubes.


Formaldehyde is very harmful to the digestive system, and it also is responsible for causing nasal cancer.


Chromium is known to cause lung cancer, and they are usually used to treat wood and preserve them.


If you take a closer look at all the ingredients that are used in a cigarette, you will know that plenty of toxic chemical substances are used to make a cigarette, and most of these chemicals are used for coating metals, foam insulation, resins, glues, chemical solvents etc. Thus it is very important for you to quit smoking as lots of carcinogenic and toxic substance enters your body.

About the author: Joyce R. Brown