You do when you light up a cigarette!
Cigarette and tobacco smoke release 4,000 known chemicals, of which at least 43 are known carcinogens. Here’s a short list of what someone is inhaling when they smoke:
- Tar: A black, sticky residue usually used to cover road surfaces. It sticks to lung walls, like tar. Among its cancer-causing products are: Benzopyrene (emitted for burned petroleum products; B-napthylamine (used in dye manufacturing); Cadmium (poisonous chemical used in car batteries); Nitrosamine (an engine degreasing agent).
- Nicotine: A powerful, addictive drug. Can act as both stimulant and depressant. Nicotine increases the "stickiness" of blood and decreases the size of blood vessels. Blood flows more slowly and the heart has to work harder to pump blood through your body.
- Carbon Monoxide: Gas found in car and exhaust smoke. Carbon monoxide corners the oxygen in your muscles, bloodstream and tissues, making your heart work harder.
- Acetone: Used in nail polish and paint stripper.
- Ammonia: Found in dry cleaning fluids and nail polish remover.
- Formaldehyde: Highly poisonous preservative – commonly associated with embalming fluid. Known to cause cancer.
- Benzene: Hydrocarbon produced from coal and petroleum. Used as a solvent in fuel and chemical manufacturing. Known carcinogen – particularly leukemia.
- Hydrogen Cyanide: Gas poison.
- Naphthalene: Mothball ingredient.
- DDT: Pesticide used to kill insects.
- Vinyl Chloride: Chemical used in making plastics.
- Polonium-210: Radioactive substance.
A few of the more notorious cancer-causing chemicals in cigarette and tobacco smoke: lead, mercury, nitric acid, nitrogen oxides, phenol, toluene, and urethane. Sorry, we’re not able to provide "sick bags" on this site.
Source Credit: Health Promotion Board