Tag Archives: whats in cigarettes

Parts includes in a Cigarette

Do You Know What’s in Your Cigarette?

After manufacturing, a cigarette contains 20% expanded tobacco (tobacco puffed with carbon dioxide to be used as a filler), tobacco leaf stems, and reclaimed tobacco.

30% is made of reconstituted tobacco. The remaining 50% is tobacco treated with sugar to help cover up nicotine’s bitter taste, and to help enhance the absorption of the nicotine in the body.

There are also thousands of chemicals used in the cigarette manufacturing process, many of which are known carcinogens.

Tobacco By-Products

Creating a tobacco blend of flue-cured brightleaf, burley tobacco, and oriental tobacco produces a lot of tobacco by-products. As an added economic benefit for cigarette manufacturers, this waste is processed back into forms to be used again later on in the cigarette making process.

Reconstituted tobacco (“recon”) is made from a combination of stripped tobacco leaf stems, tobacco dust swept from the floor of the factory, and expired cigarettes sent back to the processing plant to be reclaimed.

Adding Chemicals to Cigarettes

Parts includes in a CigaretteChemicals are used in the manufacturing process of cigarette because they help with “nicotine manipulation.” Recon is treated with ammonia because it enhances the absorption of nicotine in the smoker’s body when the cigarette is smoked. Chemicals are added to the tobacco blend to also help with the burning process: without them, cigarettes would probably burn out.

Just a few of the chemicals added to cigarettes include:

  • carbon monoxide
  • arsenic
  • hydrogen cyanide
  • acetone
  • butane
  • formaldehyde
  • sulfuric acid
  • freon

Other Cigarette Additives

Cigarette manufacturers use other additives in the tobacco blend to smooth the taste or experience of smoking. If no add-ons were included, the cigarette when smoked would be very harsh to the smoker. Additives also help define the distinct brand of cigarettes.

Some add-ons include:

  • chocolate
  • butter fat
  • glycerol
  • sugar

Want to know more? Watch this History Channel video clip >

Anticorrosion Benefits for Steel Derived from Cigarette Butts’ Toxins

There are estimates that gauge more than 4.5 trillion cigarette butts litter the streets and ground across the world on an annual basis.

Aside from the displeasing aesthetics of these butts, there are numerous environmental consequences of this toxic litter, including the leaching of chemicals into our waterways.

A team of researchers led by scientist Jun Zhao discovered a new use for this harmful garbage, one that has great benefits for the steel industry.

Putting Those Butts to Use

Chinese researchers from Xi’an Jiaotong University extracted chemicals from cigarette filters and their residual tobacco. The result? A successful transformation of the cigarettes’ chemicals into an anticorrosion treatment for steel.

After soaking the butts collected off the street in water for 24 hours, the researchers were able to identify 9 compounds—including nicotine—in the liquid using infrared and mass spectrometry. Next, the scientists put the solution through an hydrochloric acid process. The resulting solution was then applied on steel disks.

Corrosion Inhibitors

The researchers subjected the steel disks—N80 grade, typical for use in the oil industry—to harsh conditions that should lead the way for corrosion. The steel remained protected by the cigarette butt solution.

In fact, the researchers were successful in preventing corrosion on 95% of the steel disks on which the cigarette butt solution was applied. Zhao speculates the chemicals in the corrosion inhibiting solution coat the metal in a protective surface.

Healthy Steel, Unhealthy Lungs

At last there is a practical application for the cigarette litter found everywhere—from the streets, to the parks, to our waterways, and even our forests. Due to the extreme toxicity of the cigarette butts, there has been no recycling program previously established.

Another benefit from this study is now the steel industry has a new weapon to use in its expensive struggle against steel corrosion.

This research raises another crucial observation: If cigarette butts soaked in water can produce an anti-corrosion solution strong enough to work for steel, just imagine what those same chemicals do to smokers’ lungs and bodies.

Reference: Cigarette Butts Yield a Chemical Rebuttal [http://pubs.acs.org/cen/news/88/i16/8816news3.html]

What Do Nicotine, Sugar, Urine, and Arsenic Have in Common?

Who would ever think of putting nicotine, sugar, urine, and arsenic in the same sentence?

If you have ever smoked a cigarette you may not have to speak the words in a sentence together to experience their relationship.

Here are a few cigarette facts!

The Power of Nicotine

When inhaling the smoke from a cigarette, the nicotine content reaches the brain in only ten seconds. The first time smokers can tell you that from the dizzy buzz they feel.

Also, researchers have found just after smoking a cigarette the nicotine is found in every part of the body. Women who smoke will also find it in their breast milk shortly after lighting up. So babies consuming breast milk are also consuming nicotine on top of being exposed to second hand smoke.

This makes a person wonder why many major manufacturers of cigarettes are increasing the amount of tobacco they put in their deadly sticks. It is a fact that Harvard University and the Massachusetts Health Department discovered that between the years of 1997 bad 2005 Camel, Doral, and Newport increased nicotine content by as much as eleven percent.

Cigarette makers also have found a way to make the nicotine more potent. They combine the tobacco with active ingredients which are further enhanced with special production methods to ensure the nicotine strength is many times more potent that the natural nicotine substance found in the tobacco plant.

Cigarette Additives Include 20% Sugar

pic-sugarWe all know how habit forming nicotine is and its ill side effects. But not many realize that cigarettes also contain sugar.

Up to twenty percent of a cigarette contains sugar, which is one of the most unhealthy substances for those already dealing with diabetes.

No one really knows what happens when sugar is burned and how ingesting its smoke can effect the body. So really diabetics are taking in sugar just by smoking. Maybe this is one reason why many smokers are diabetics who have struggling immune systems.

To top this off, cigarette makers blend in a few toppings to sweeten the pot.

Here is a list of some of the cigarette topping ingredients:

  • clove
  • licorice
  • orange oil
  • apricot stone
  • lime oil
  • lavender oil
  • dill seed oil
  • cocoa
  • carrot oil
  • mace oil
  • myrrh
  • beet juice
  • bay leaf
  • oak
  • rum
  • vanilla
  • vinegar

Next on the list are 43 known carcinogens plus arsenic and formaldehyde. We also have been warned of how dangerous of lead poisoning so why would cigarettes contain this heavy metal? Why is there lead in cigarettes? You will also find: hydrogen cyanide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide,  and ammonia. Yum!

Are You Inhaling Yellow Smoke?

Now this next ingredient is very strange! Urea is a a chemical compound that is a major component in urine. Yep, urea is also added to cigarettes to enhance their flavor? Personally we don’t really quite understand why any component found in Urine would taste good.

Rather than naming the more than 4,000 ingredients contained in cigarettes, we will stop here. When someone passes you who is smoking after reading these cigarette facts you may be inclined to run the other direction as fast as you can!

Cigarette Ingredients and Composition

Cigarettes look deceptively simple, consisting of paper tubes containing chopped up tobacco leaf, usually with a filter at the mouth end.

In fact, they are highly engineered products, designed to deliver a steady dose of nicotine.

Cigarette tobacco is blended from two main leaf varieties: yellowish ‘bright’, also known as Virginia where it was originally grown, contains 2.5-3% nicotine; and ‘burley’ tobacco which has higher nicotine content (3.5-4%).

US blends also contain up to 10% of imported ‘oriental’ tobacco which is aromatic but relatively low (less than 2%) in nicotine.

In addition to the leaf blend, cigarettes contain ‘fillers’ which are made from the stems and other bits of tobacco, which would otherwise be waste products. These are mixed with water and various flavorings and additives. The ratio of filler varies among brands.

For example, high filler content makes a less dense cigarette with a slightly lower tar delivery. Additives are used to make tobacco products more acceptable to the consumer.

They include humectants (moisturizers) to prolong shelf life; sugars to make the smoke seem milder and easier to inhale; and flavorings such as chocolate and vanilla. While some of these may appear to be quite harmless in their natural form they may be toxic in combination with other substances.

Also when the 600 permitted additives are burned, new products of combustion are formed and these may be toxic.

The nicotine and tar delivery can also be modified by the type of paper used in the cigarette. Using more porous paper will let more air into the cigarette, diluting the smoke and (in theory) reducing the amount of tar and nicotine reaching the smoker’s lungs.

Filters are made of cellulose acetate and trap some of the tar and smoke particles from the inhaled smoke. Filters also cool the smoke slightly, making it easier to inhale. They were added to cigarettes in the 1950s, in response to the first reports that smoking was hazardous to health. Tobacco companies claimed that their filtered brands had lower tar than others and encouraged consumers to believe that they were safer.

Tobacco smoke is made up of “sidestream smoke” from the burning tip of the cigarette and “mainstream smoke” from the filter or mouth end.

Tobacco smoke contains thousands of different chemicals which are released into the air as particles and gases.

Many toxins are present in higher concentrations in sidestream smoke than in mainstream smoke and, typically, nearly 85% of the smoke in a room results from sidestream smoke.

The particulate phase includes nicotine, “tar” (itself composed of many chemicals), benzene and benzo(a)pyrene. The gas phase includes carbon monoxide, ammonia, dimethylnitrosamine, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide and acrolein. Some of these have marked irritant properties and some 60, including benzo(a)pyrene and dimethylnitrosamine, have been shown to cause cancer.

One study has established the link between smoking and lung cancer at the cellular level. It found that a substance in the tar of cigarettes, benzo(a)pyrene diol epoxide (BPDE), damages DNA in a key tumour suppresser gene.

What is Cigarette Tar?

“Tar”, also known as total particulate matter, is inhaled when the smoker draws on a lighted cigarette. In its condensate form, tar is the sticky brown substance (filled with chemicals) which can stain smokers’ fingers and teeth yellow-brown. All cigarettes produce tar but the brands differ in amounts.

The average tar yield of cigarettes has declined from about 30mg per cigarette in the period 1955 to 61 to 11mg today. There have also been reductions in nicotine (from an average of about 2mg in 1955, 61 to about 0.9mg by 1996). Until January 1992, information about tar yields of cigarettes was given in a general fashion on cigarette packets and advertisements as a result of a voluntary agreement between the tobacco industry and the Government.

Due to labeling (Safety) regulations requirements for health warnings on tobacco, cigarette packets must include a statement of both the tar and the nicotine yield per cigarette on the packet itself. The same figures are printed on cigarette advertising, along with the health warning, as part of a voluntary agreement between the industry and health regulators.

Following the discovery in the 1950s that it was the tar in tobacco smoke which was associated with the increased risk of lung cancer, tobacco companies, with the approval of successive governments, embarked on a program to gradually reduce the tar levels in cigarettes.

Although there is a moderate reduction in lung cancer risk associated with lower tar cigarettes, research suggests that the assumed health advantages of switching to lower tar may be largely offset by the tendency of smokers to compensate for the reduction in nicotine (cigarettes lower in tar also tend to be lower in nicotine) by smoking more or inhaling more deeply.

Also, a study by the American Cancer Society found that the use of filtered, lower tar cigarettes may be the cause of adenocarcinoma, a particular kind of lung cancer. There is no evidence that switching to lower tar cigarettes reduces coronary heart disease risk.

Cigarette IngredientsNicotine, an alkaloid, is an extremely powerful drug. The Royal College of Physicians in England and the Surgeon General in USA have affirmed that the way in which nicotine causes addiction is similar to drugs such as heroin and cocaine.

Only 60mg of pure nicotine (contained in two packs of cigarettes) placed on a person’s tongue would kill within minutes.

Nicotine is contained in the moisture of the tobacco leaf: when the cigarette is lit, it evaporates, attaching itself to minute droplets in the tobacco smoke inhaled by the smoker. It is absorbed by the body very quickly, reaching the brain within 7-15 seconds.

It stimulates the central nervous system, increasing the heart beat rate and blood pressure, leading to the heart needing more oxygen. Carbon Monoxide, the main poisonous gas in car exhausts, is present in all cigarette smoke. It binds to haemoglobin much more readily than oxygen, thus causing the blood to carry less oxygen.

Heavy smokers may have the oxygen carrying power of their blood cut by as much as 15%.

Source: Emirates Hospital, Dubai – U.A.E

~CiggyBot

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