FAQ & Articles on Cigarettes

Frequently Asked Questions


What's in a cigarette?

The term " cigarette" has a FRENCH origin and means a cylinder of tobacco rolled in paper for smoking as it is commonly known, but can apply to similar devices containing herbs.

Cigarette Ingredients
The ingredients and additives in cigarettes when burned, create toxic, harmful chemical compounds. Those chemicals, which number 4000 or more, contain poisons and carcinogens that damage our bodies when inhaled directly or indirectly through secondhand smoke. Scientists have yet to identify all of the chemicals present in cigarette smoke, but the body of knowledge on the deadly effects of smoking continues to expand.

It's chilling to think about not only how smokers poison themselves, but what others are exposed to by breathing in the secondhand smoke. The next time you're missing your old buddy, the cigarette, take a good long look at this list and see them for what they are: a delivery system for toxic chemicals and carcinogens.

Cigarettes offer people only a multitude of smoking-related diseases and ultimately death.

Tobacco is a plant grown for its leaves, which are smoked, chewed, or sniffed for a variety of effects. It is considered an addictive substance because it contains the chemical nicotine.

In addition to nicotine, tobacco contains over 19 known cancer-causing chemicals (most are collectively known as "tar") and more than 4,000 other chemicals. These include acetone, ammonia, carbon monoxide, cyanide, methane, propane, and butane.

Over 38 million people in the United States have successfully quit smoking. Yet there are still around 50 million Americans who smoke. The majority say they would like to quit.

And, while the number of cigarette smokers in the United States has dropped over recent years, the number of smokeless tobacco users has steadily risen. This trend is likely related to the false belief that smokeless tobacco is safe. It is NOT. Smokeless tobacco carries many of the same health risks as cigarettes. Some people who want to stop smoking, but who still crave the nicotine, turn to smokeless tobacco wrongly thinking that they are doing something good for themselves.

The Effects Of Nicotine

  • Nicotine acts as both a stimulant and depressant on your body. It increases your bowel activity, saliva, and bronchial secretions. It stimulates the nervous system and may cause tremors in the inexperienced user, or even convulsions with high doses.
  • After stimulation, there's a phase that depresses the muscles in your airways. As a euphoric agent, nicotine causes relaxation from stressful situations.
  • On average, tobacco increases your heart rate 10 to 20 beats per minute, and it increases your blood pressure reading by 5 to 10 mmHg (because it constricts the blood vessels).
  • Nicotine may also cause sweating, nausea, and diarrhea. Nicotine elevates the blood level of glucose (blood sugar) and increases insulin production. Nicotine also tends to enhance platelet aggregation, which may lead to blood clots.
  • Nicotine temporarily stimulates memory and alertness. People who use tobacco frequently depend on it to help them accomplish certain tasks at specific levels of performance. Nicotine also tends to be an appetite suppressant. (For this reason, fear of weight gain also influences the willingness of some people to stop smoking.)

Finally, tobacco is highly addictive. It is considered mood and behavior altering. Tobacco is believed to have an addictive potential comparable to alcohol, cocaine, and morphine.

The Health Risks Associated With Tobacco Use
By Terry Martin, About.com

Statistics tell us that tobacco steals approximately seven precious lives every minute of every day of the year, world-wide. From heart disease and many forms of cancer to lung diseases that steal our ability to breathe, tobacco is a vicious killer in sheep's clothing. An important step in the recovery process from nicotine addiction is to look closely at the damage smoking causes. As hard as that can be, it will help fuel your resolve to quit smoking, once and for all.

How Smoking Affects Your Health
Smoking and Your Health. From lung cancer to COPD; heart disease to diabetes, tobacco is bad news for our bodies. Worldwide, a person dies every 8 seconds from tobacco related disease.

The health risks associated with cigarette smoking play a part in many diseases. This article reviews how smoking affects your health, from head to toe.

What is a Pulmonary Embolism?
A pulmonary embolism is defined as the sudden blockage of an artery in the lung. Most often, a pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood clot originating in the leg or pelvis breaks loose and travels through the bloodstream to the lung.

Smoking and Degenerative Disc Disease
I was diagnosed with severe DDD in 1998 when I was 33 years old and still a smoker. My orthopedic surgeon discovered the DDD while he was performing surgery after I ruptured a disc in my lower back.

The Health Consequences of Smoking
The 2004 Report from the Surgeon General: The Health Consequences of Smoking details the risks not only to smokers, but to nonsmokers, unborn children, adolescents, and seniors.

Smoking and Obesity
While it's not surprising that obesity coupled with smoking is a recipe for trouble, it is important to highlight this growing problem in America today. Smoking and Obesity is a deadly combination of health problems.

Smoking and Migraine Headaches
If we want to control our headaches and/or Migraines, the kindest thing we can do for ourselves is to control and rid ourselves of the habit of and addiction to smoking.

Smoking and Arthritis
It's a well known fact that cigarette smoking increases the risk of lung cancer and heart disease. More evidence now exists which adds rheumatoid arthritis to the list of diseases linked to smoking.

Smoking and Cholesterol
Cigarette smoking lowers HDL-cholesterol levels and is directly responsible for approximately 20% of all deaths from heart disease.

Smoking and Your Digestive System
Smoking has been shown to have harmful effects on all parts of the digestive system, contributing to such common disorders as heartburn and peptic ulcers.

People who smoke a pack a day have almost two and a half times the risk for stroke as nonsmokers. Smoking increases both hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke risk. The risk for stroke may remain elevated for as long as 14 years after quitting, so the earlier one quits the better.

Today, smoking related illnesses among women and teenage girls is a full-blown epidemic. Certain cosmetic effects - like wrinkles, osteoporosis , all become evident in the short term.