The 10 Most Fatal Chemicals in Cigarettes

By:Bhadra Kamalasanan, Onlymyhealth Editorial Team,Date:Apr 05, 2014

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We have all been told a lot about the presence of nicotine in cigarettes, but not about the other harmful chemicals. Know about all of them, here.
  • 1

    Why Cigarette Smoking is as Bad as They Say

    For a lot of non-smokers, to see a friend or dear one smoking cigarette when overthrown with anguish or other such mental pain appears like as if smoking is cathartic. Thanks to Bollywood for helping us nurture this assumption. Well, my friends, smoking does not make us all find answers to life’s biggest dilemmas. But, this is nowhere close to being true. Not only do cigarettes have addictive nicotine in them, they also have a complete package of other chemicals that can throw our systems into a fit if we do not quit already.

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  • 2


    This is one of the most dangerous compounds that are present in a cigarette. It can cause cancer and also damage the blood vessels as well as heart. Over a period of time, arsenic accumulates inside the body of a smoker, worsening the effect of other chemicals by hindering the body’s efforts in repairing DNA.

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  • 3


    This is a compound that is most likely to cause blood cancer or leukemia in human. It is a well known carcinogen that is one of the most basic petrochews and is also present in crude oil. This compound is commonly used in pesticides as well as gasoline. Smoking a cigarette causes anaemia, excessive bleeding and genetic damage. About half of the exposure one has to benzene is through smoking cigarette.

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  • 4


    Cadmium is popularly known as a compound that is used to make batteries. It is a toxic metal that causes cancer, but also damages the kidneys and the linings of the arteries, causing heart problems.

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  • 5

    Carbon Monoxide

    Carbon monoxide, which is a colourless, odourless gas makes up at least 3-5 percent of the smoke that comes out of tobacco. This chemical sticks to the red blood cells instead of oxygen, thus getting the amount of oxygen getting transferred to the cells to fall

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  • 6


    Chromium is a harmful compound that lets carcinogens to stick to the DNA and cause complete damage to it overtime. Chromium is used to make dyes, metallic alloys, paints, etc. Therefore, inhaling it can lead to cancer.

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  • 7


    Formaldehyde is a disinfectant that is responsible for killing microbes. It is also used in the preservation of dead bodies. Among all other problems to health, formaldehyde causes irritation to the eyes and coughing problems not only in those smoking the cigarette but also those around them.

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  • 8

    Nitrogen Oxide

    Nitrogen oxide is an air pollutant that causes the lungs to inflame. When a smoker stops smoking, the internal production of nitrogen oxide shuts down completely. Precisely, why regular smokers experience heavy breathing from time to time.

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  • 9


    Tar is the residue that is produced when tobacco is burnt. Chemicals thus produced lead to cancer. Moreover, the residue that smoking leaves in the mouth causes the teeth to become yellow.

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  • 10


    The reason why one gets more addicted to cigarette is because of the presence of ammonia in it. Ammonia is most often used as an ingredient in toilet cleaners.

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  • 11

    Hydrogen Cyanide

    A compound that is responsible for increasing the risk of cancer by damaging the cilia is called hydrogen cyanide. Cilia is a hair-like substance that lines the airways and helps it to clear toxins away. So, when cilia gets destroyed, the lungs become several times more vulnerable allowing more toxins to enter the air passages.

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