tobacco use

Harmful Toxins Present in Tobacco: Harmful Effects of Smoking

Smoking can be rightfully acknowledged as one of the most popular yet dangerous habits prevailing in the modern world. Smoking is known to cause cancer, respiratory and breathing problems among other severe complications. Other than nicotine, the cigarette smoke consists of 4000 toxic chemicals.

Know the Toxins

Even though most of the 4000 chemicals in cigarette smoke are dangerous, some bring about significant and undesirable changes in the body. Other than nicotine, which is a highly addictive and dangerous chemical, these following chemicals constitute the major part of the inhaled tobacco smoke:

  1. Tar – This chemical is a mixture of toxic chemicals and is responsible for lung cancer and respiratory problems.
  2. Carbon Monoxide – This is a poisonous gas which reduces the oxygen carrying capabilities of red blood corpuscles.
  3. Arsenic – This chemical is generally used in wood preservatives and is one of the most toxic chemicals present in the inhaled cigarette smoke. It causes cancer and damages the heart and the blood vessels.
  4. Benzene – It is made from crude oil and is used as an industrial solvent. It has been well established that it causes leukemia.
  5. Cadmium – This is a metal which is used to make batteries. When inhaled, it causes cancer and can damage kidneys and the linings of the arteries.
  6. Formaldehyde – This chemical is used to preserve dead bodies and is an effective chemical used for killing bacteria. This chemical causes severe complications in the lungs and airway passages.
  7. Polonium – 210 – This is a radioactive element which emits a harmful radiation known as alpha radiation. When polonium gets deposited inside the body of smokers, it gives out radiation which directs affects the cells.
  8. Hexavalent Chromium – This is one of the many forms of chromium. It causes lung cancer and plays a major part in damaging the DNA.
  9. BDE or 1, 3- butadiene – This chemical is used in the manufacture of rubber. It is present in huge quantities in the smoke of tobacco and is responsible for casing cancer.
  10. Acrolien – This chemical is found in huge quantities in tobacco smoke. It has a strong irritating smell and is known for causing cancer and damaging the DNA.
  11. Hydrogen Cyanide – This is a highly toxic gas which can cause great damage to heart and blood vessels. It also adversely affects the lungs and the airways.

Smoking adversely affects unborn babies as well. It reduces the passage of oxygen to the fetus due to the presence of cyanide, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons of aromatic nature. It causes a reduction in placental flow of blood, thereby reducing the delivery of oxygen to the unborn baby.

The Government Wants You to Stop

With the constant airing of anti-smoking commercials and pictorial warning messages on tobacco products, more and more people have decided to stop smoking. Besides levying heavier taxes on tobacco based products, smoking has been banned in public places. The ban on advertising tobacco products has been a welcome step by the government and a steep contributor to the decline of smoking.

Smoking Cessation for Better Health

Quitting smoking will be the biggest and most rewarding change one can bring to his life. Smoking cessation will bring lasting and wonderful changes in one’s lifestyle and would put him on the path to a healthy and fulfilling life.