September 17, 2021 | Written By: Haris Asyraf
Smoking is a habit that has become a habit not only among Malaysians but in the whole world is also affected by this trend. Smoking is considered a symbol of masculinity or greatness for some people. Some even use cigarettes as a source of relief from the pressure in life. We already know the dangers of smoking, yet there are still many who smoke. So why don't smokers quit when they already know about the dangers? What are there in cigarettes? How does it affect smokers and people around them? Let's look deeper into the contents of a cigarette and find out why they are so dangerous.
It has been reported that there are 7000 chemicals in a cigarette and as many as 70 ingredients are known to be the cause of cancer or carcinogenic. Among the main harmful ingredients of cigarettes are:
3. Carbon monoxide
9. Hydrogen cyanide
What’s In A Cigarette & How It Affects You
Nicotine is a substance in cigarettes that is no longer foreign. Studies show that nicotine is a cancer-promoting agent. More importantly, addiction. How does that happen? Nicotine stimulates dopamine production in the brain. Dopamine is a happy hormone that causes a person to feel good. Are you dependent on nicotine? Take this quiz to find out!
Like drugs, dopamine will train the brain to repeat nicotine intake. Which makes the person actually dependent on it. The longer a person smokes, the harder it is for him to quit. Smokers who want to quit will experience withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms can be quite disabling which includes:
Nicotine can also affect our body by:
Tar contains various chemicals that cause cancer. 60 chemicals found in tar are carcinogens. When a smoker smokes, tar which is a sticky substance will coat the surface of the lung’s inner wall. This can lead to cancer and chronic respiratory diseases. Tar also causes the lungs to turn black which also reduces the carbon dioxide and oxygen gas exchange. It doesn’t only causes lung disease, but also oral cancer, tooth decay, and affects your appearance.
3. Carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas. The presence of this gas increases in the smoker’s blood. As carbon monoxide enters the bloodstream, oxygen will combine with this gas and prevent oxygen absorption into the body's cells. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are:
Arsenic is another substance in cigarette which is also carcinogenic. It can cause:
A study has shown that even in small amounts arsenic is fatal due to blood vessel obstruction and heart disease.
Formaldehyde is a colorless gas but has a strong odor. It is a byproduct of the combustion of the cigarette. Exposure to formaldehyde can cause:
Long-term use of cigarettes can cause nasal cancer and formaldehyde has been shown to be a form of carcinogen.
Exposure to lead can cause serious complications to the brain and red blood cells.
Benzene reduces the number of red blood cells and damages the bone marrow. This can lead to anemia. Lack of red blood cells will cause a lack of oxygen delivered to the cells. Benzene is also associated with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, which is a cancer of white blood cell.
Cadmium also can be found in large amounts in cigarettes. It can damage the lungs, kidneys, liver, and red blood cells. Cadmium is also a carcinogen. Symptoms of cadmium poisoning are:
9. Hydrogen cyanide ( Hydrogen cyanide )
The level of hydrogen cyanide in a cigarette is about 10 - 400 micrograms. Hydrogen cyanide will prevent the body cells from using oxygen. As oxygen is vital for the cell to live, hydrogen cyanide can cause cell death.
Acetone is a liquid that has a strong odor and is flammable. Acetone can be found in trees and plants, and even our bodies produce acetone when you eat a low-fat diet.
Low acetone levels will not harm your health, but this is not the case for a smoker. At moderate levels, acetone can irritate the nose, throat, lungs, and eyes. It also can cause dizziness, increased heart rate, nausea, and vomiting.
At a higher amount, acetone can cause coma. Women can experience irregular menstruation. It also damages the skin on the mouth walls.
In conclusion, cigarettes harm your body. If you are smoking to relieve some stress, there are a lot of other ways of getting peace of mind without harming your body. You have the right to live a healthy life and so do the people around you. The cigarette doesn’t only affect you but also harms the people around you. Quitting smoking can save you and your loved ones. Stop smoking now, you can do it. Get help from a doctor or an expert today.
*The free doctor consult initiative is supported and fully funded by DoctorOnCall