15 Chemicals You Probably Didn’t Know Are In Cigarettes


Have you ever wondered how many chemicals there are in ONE cigarette?

A hundred? Thousand?

Definitely not. According to Quit Smoking Support, there are 4,000 chemicals in a cigarette. They range from being addictive to being outright dangerous for your life.

Typically, nicotine is known to be the only dangerous chemical in a cigarette. However, people are unaware of the other chemicals that pose the same amount of danger.

Teenagers and young adults are unaware or, in most cases, choose to ignore the adverse effects of these chemicals. The National states that a study conducted in the UAE in 2013 found that one in every five boys aged 13 to 15 smoked cigarettes. Experts blame insufficient education of health risks caused by the chemicals in a cigarette to be the core reason of the increasing rate in smoking.

Therefore, it is important for you to learn about the chemicals that are present in cigarettes. Here is a list of 15 of those shocking chemicals:

1. Acetone


Acetone is an organic solvent that is used in nail polish removers and paint thinners. It is also used in laboratories for cleaning purposes due to its destructive capabilities. Even a small amount of exposure to acetone can cause headaches, increased pulse rate, nausea, vomiting, and possibly coma.

Via HealthyLivingNow

2. Ammonia

Ammonia is a compound of nitrogen that is mostly used to make household/toilet cleaners. And that same chemical is used in cigarettes so that nicotine is absorbed through your lungs in a shorter time. It also slowly destroys your immune system.

Via QuitSmokingSupport, HealthyLivingNow

3. Arsenic


Arsenic is a cancer causing chemical that is used to make pesticides, insecticides and rat poisons. Its poisonous nature is known to be dangerous for human beings when consumed through cigarettes.

Via QuitSmokingSupport, HealthyLivingNow

4. Benzene

Benzene is a chemical used to produce dyes, synthetic rubber and plastics. It is known to be a cancer causing chemical and is famously linked to leukemia.

Via QuitSmokingSupport

5. Butane

Butane is essentially a flammable and colorless gas. It is used as fuel in cigarette lighters and stoves. It is mostly accounted for creating an overjoyed and ecstatic feeling in smokers to help them deal with depression. However, inhaling butane causes unconsciousness, excessive sleepiness, and insufficient supply of oxygen to the body resulting in difficulty in breathing.

Via HealthyLivingNow

6. Cadmium

Cadmium is used to make batteries and is also used in the aircraft industry. It is able to resist corrosion and is linked to causing lung and prostate cancer.

Via QuitSmokingSupport, HealthyLivingNow

7. Carbon Monoxide


Carbon monoxide is a deadly and poisonous gas found in cigarettes. It is found in car exhausts and portable generators. Carbon monoxide restricts the red blood cells from carrying oxygen through your entire body.

Via QuitSmokingSupport

8. DDT

DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) is a banned insecticide. Its exposure can cause cancer and damage the reproductive system.

Via CigaretteKills

9. Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is one of those chemicals that is used to make glues. It is also used as a preservative for dead specimen in medical laboratories and morgues. It is a cancer causing substance that can affect your immune system destructively.

Via HealthyLivingNow

10. Hydrogen Cyanide

Hydrogen Cyanide is another poisonous chemical that affects iron containing respiratory enzymes. It is used in a death sentence as a form of poison for the prisoners.

Via HealthyLivingNow

11. Lead


Lead is a toxic, and malleable metal. It is used in the construction of buildings, lead-acid batteries and bullets. It is poisonous in heavy doses. Lead poisoning includes reduced attention span and hearing and behavioral issues.

Via QuitSmokingSupport, IvyRoses

12. Methanol

Methanol is used as rocket fuel. The fuel is also used for race cars. If it is consumed in a large amount then it can lead to blindness.

Via HealthyLivingNow

13. Naphthalene

Naphthalene is a hydrocarbon which is found in mothballs. It is considered a cancer causing substance whose prolonged exposure leads to anemia, nausea and headaches.

Via QuitSmokingPlace

14. Radon


Radon is a radioactive noble gas that is found in rocks and dirt. It can cause severe damage to the lungs of those who inhale it or come in close contact with it.

Via HealthyLivingNow

15. Tar

Tar is produced primarily by the destructive distillation of the wood and roots of pine. It accumulates in the lungs of a smoker with time and damages them by various chemical processes. It is also responsible for blackening teeth, and damaging gums and eye vision.

Via HealthyLivingNow

These dangerous chemicals have forced countries like UAE to initiate steps to not only raise awareness but also implement smoking bans at universities and schools.

Interested to know what are the diseases caused by these chemicals? Read the next article: 6 Health Risks Of Smoking Cigarettes To Give You a Wake Up Call


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