What's in cigarette smoke? Find out in this video.

November 13, 2017 | by City of Hope

What do rat poison, rocket fuel and embalming fluid have in common? They all share ingredients found in cigarette smoke.
 
Once a cigarette is lit, it releases more than 7,000 chemicals into the air, many of them both toxic and carcinogenic. 
 
 
“We do not know all the chemicals that go into a cigarette,” said Brian Tiep, M.D., director of pulmonary rehabilitation and smoking cessation at City of Hope. “And a cigarette would not necessarily continue to burn if it weren’t for these additives that the tobacco industry puts in them.”
 
Some of the chemicals in cigarette smoke are also found in batteries, rocket fuel, toilet cleaners and rat poison.
 
More than 70 of those chemicals are known to cause cancer, according to the CDC. One of those, arsenic, which can also be found in rat poison, is not only carcinogenic, but causes damage to the heart and blood vessels. Another – the colorless, flammable formaldehyde – is used to kill bacteria and preserve dead bodies, and exposure to it has been linked to several cancers, according to the National Cancer Institute.
 
Cigarette smoke is also linked to around 85 percent of lung cancers. Check out our video to see what’s in cigarette smoke.
 
 
 

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