What Kind of Carcinogens Are Found in Cigarette Smoke?
Everyone should know by now that cigarette smoke is bad for you, but what many people may not realize is just how many carcinogens are found in cigarette smoke. Some of the more common names of these carcinogens are hydrogen cyanide, which is used to make chemical weapons, arsenic, which is used in pesticides, and carbon monoxide, which is found in car exhaust. All are poisonous and can kill on their own.
A carcinogen is substance that causes a series of genetic alterations to occur that lead to the formation of cancerous growths. The growths can develop years or even decades after exposure. A chemical that is labeled as a carcinogen has been deemed a statistical probability to lead to a cancerous growth after animal, human or cellular research has been concluded.
Carcinogens Known to be Harmful to Humans
In 1989, the United States surgeon general released a report listing 43 carcinogens in cigarette smoke. Now the count is more than 50. This is in addition to tobacco itself, which is considered a chemical carcinogen. There are eight chemicals found to be known carcinogens: 4-aminobiphenyl, benzene, cadmium, chromium, 2-naphthylamine, nickel, polonium-210 (radon) and vinyl chloride. Radon is a radioactive gas that is the second leading cause of lung cancer.
Carcinogens Know as Probably or Possibly Harmful to Humans
Some carcinogen chemicals might lead to cancerous growth in one species during testing but not another or there might not have had enough testing done to lead to conclusive evidence. Since humans are not used for testing of carcinogens, the following chemicals are listed as probable or possible to cause harm to humans: Acrylonitrile, benzo[a]anthracene, benzo[a]pyrene, 1,3-butadiene, dibenz(a,h)anthracene, formaldehyde, N-nitrosodiethylamine, N-nitrosodimethylamine, acetaldehyde, benzo[b]fluoranthene, benzo[j]fluoranthene, benzo[k]fluoranthene, dibenz[a,h]acridine, dibenz[a,j]acridine, 7H-dibenz[c,g]carbazole, dibenzo(a,i)pyrene, dibenzo(a,I)pyrene, 1,1-dimethylhydrazine, hydrazine, indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene, lead, 5-methylchrysene, 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), 2-nitropropane, N-nitrosodiethanolamine, N-nitrosomethylethylamine, N-nitrosomorpholine, N'-nitrosonornicotine (NNN), N-nitrosopyrrolidine, quinolineiv, ortho-toluidine and urethane (ethyl carbamate).
Secondhand smoke has been deemed a human carcinogen by the US Environmental Protection Agency, the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the National Toxicology Program. Secondhand smoke is considered an occupational carcinogen by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Both sidestream smoke, the smoke from the burning end of the cigarette, and exhaled smoke are considered secondhand smoke. Sidestream smoke has a higher concentration of the toxins because it is released at a lower temperature.
Health risks from the carcinogens of cigarette smoke are simple. The definition of a carcinogen says it plainly: Carcinogens cause cancer. Other health risks from smoking and breathing secondhand smoke include heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, nasal sinus cancer and asthma. For children, health risks include sudden infant death syndrome, middle ear infections and asthma and other various respiratory illnesses. Secondhand smoke has been causally associated with low birth weight, spontaneous abortion, cervical cancer and can cause cognitive and behavior problems.
Cigarette smoke is 10,000 times more potent than rush-hour car pollution.Cigarette smoking kills more than 440,000 Americans every year and causes chronic disorders such as lung and heart disease....
Facts on Cigarette SmokeCigarette smoke contributes to heart disease, hastens hardening of the arteries and narrows carotid arteries that carry blood to the brain. Ninety percent of lung cancer de...
Cigarette smoke residue is the noxious remains from the burning of tobacco, and it contains many dangerous chemicals. Smoke residue is not only dangerous to those with health issues but can also s...
Cigarettes Contain ChemicalsAlthough the primary ingredient in cigarettes seems to be natural tobacco, a number of natural and synthetic chemicals are added to cigarettes to make them more appeali...
Filter-less cigarettes let 30 to 45 percent more tar and nicotine into your body than cigarettes with filters.Smoking tobacco has been around for hundreds of years. Cigarette smoking became popula...