Tag Archives: cigarette carcinogens

Tobacco Smoke Effects Moves From the Lungs to the Kidneys

“Some of the carcinogens (cancer-causing chemicals) in tobacco smoke are absorbed from the lungs and get into the blood.

From the blood, they are filtered by the kidneys and concentrated in the urine.” ~~ Dr Visal A Khan

Smoking is systemic, and the chemicals in tobacco do not stop effecting your body until after quitting smoking your immune system has a chance to restore your health.

“A cigarette is a euphemism for a cleverly crafted product that delivers just the right amount of nicotine to keep its user addicted for life before killing the person.”
~WHO

What’s in a Cigarette?

There are different risks with different forms of smoking, and cigarette smoking is associated with the greatest risks.

The most recognized are:

lung cancer

mouth cancer

chronic lung disease

But why is smoking so popular if smoking cigaretteare the leading cause of cancer?

Watch this video to learn how cigarettes are actually a drug delivery device and why they are so lethal.

You will learn that only about 1/2 of a cigarette is really tobacco, the rest is chemical add ons designed to manipulate you into becoming addicted and nicotine manipulation add ons to mellow the harshness.

The chemicals in cigarettes contain carcinogens that fill the body with toxins and lead to disease.

Four Million People Die Each Year From Smoking – Equal to 27 747’s Crashing Every Day

“Four million people die from tobacco related diseases yearly.

This is equivalent to twenty-seven 747 airplanes full of passengers crashing every day.”

“Every eight seconds someone in the world dies from a tobacco-related disease.”

“The number of tobacco related deaths are estimated to increase to 10 million in 2030; 7 million deaths will occur in developing countries, including the African region.”

WHO“Smokers and non-smokers are exposed to over 4,700 toxic substances in tobacco smoke and more than 50 of them are known human carcinogens, meaning cancer causing.”

~World Health Organization
Regional Office For Africa

Note: 4,700 toxic substances, that is an amazing smoking statistics to ponder. It is really almost daunting, and difficult to comprehend how our body is capable of handling this amount of toxicity. Makes a person think about the body’s abilities. Makes since if the body can handle this amount of abuse it must be pretty intelligent and capable of healing once a person stop’s their smoking habit

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

— *~ When fate closes a door go in through a window~*

Smoking Effects on Your Body

There are over 60 known cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco smoke.

While nicotine itself isn’t thought to be carcinogenic, the highly addictive drug is toxic and potentially lethal in large doses

Apart from its use in tobacco products, nicotine is a scheduled poison under the Therapeutic Goods Act.

Along with nicotine, smokers also inhale about 4,000 other chemicals. Many of these compounds are chemically active and trigger profound and damaging changes in the body.

Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body, causing many diseases and reducing health in general.

Picture of Lungs

Tobacco smoke contains dangerous chemicals. The most damaging compounds in tobacco smoke include:

Tar: This is the collective term for all the various particles suspended in tobacco smoke. The particles contain chemicals including several cancer-causing substances. Tar is sticky and brown and stains teeth, fingernails and lung tissue. Tar contains the carcinogen benzo(a)pyrene that is known to trigger tumor development (cancer).

Carbon monoxide: This odorless gas is fatal in large doses because it takes the place of oxygen in the blood. Each red blood cell contains a complicated protein called haemoglobin; oxygen molecules are transported around the body by binding to, or hanging onto, this protein.

However, carbon monoxide has a greater affinity than oxygen for binding to haemoglobin. This means that the heart of a smoker has to work much harder to get enough oxygen to the brain, heart, muscles and other organs.

Hydrogen cyanide: The lungs contain tiny hairs (cilia) that help to clean the lungs by moving foreign substances out. Hydrogen cyanide stops this lung clearance system from working properly, which means the poisonous chemicals in tobacco smoke can build up inside the lungs.

Other chemicals in smoke that damage the lungs include hydrocarbons, nitrous oxides, organic acids, phenols and oxidizing agents.

Free radicals: These highly reactive chemicals can damage the heart muscles and blood vessels. They react with cholesterol, leading to the build up of fatty material on artery walls. Their actions lead to heart disease, stroke and blood vessel disease.

Metals: Tobacco smoke contains dangerous metals including arsenic, cadmium and lead. Several of these metals are carcinogenic.

Radioactive compounds: Tobacco smoke contains radioactive compounds, which are known to be carcinogenic.

Effects of Smoking Tobacco on Body Systems

Smoking and the Respiratory system

The effects of tobacco smoke on the respiratory system include:

  • Irritation of the trachea (windpipe) and larynx (voice box).
  • Reduced lung function and breathlessness due to swelling and narrowing of the lung airways and excess mucus in the lung passages.
  • Impairment of the lungs’ clearance system, leading to the build up of poisonous substances, which results in lung irritation and damage.
  • Increased risk of lung infection and symptoms such as coughing and wheezing.
  • Permanent damage to the air sacs of the lungs.

Smoking Effects on the Circulatory system

The effects of tobacco smoke on the circulatory system include:

  • Raised blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Constriction (tightening) of blood vessels in the skin, resulting in a drop in skin temperature.
  • Less oxygen carried by the blood.
  • Stickier blood, which is more prone to clotting.
  • Damage to the lining of the arteries, which is thought to be a contributing factor to atherosclerosis (the build-up of fatty deposits on the artery walls).
  • Reduced blood flow to extremities like fingers and toes.
  • Increased risk of stroke and heart attack due to blockages of the blood supply.

Cigarettes Effect on the Immune System

The effects of tobacco smoke on the immune system include:

  • The immune system doesn’t work as well and is supressed.
  • The immune system can not keep up with attempting to detox your system while tending other priorities
  • The person is more prone to infections.
  • It takes longer to get over an illness.

Smoking and the Musculoskeletal System

The effects of tobacco smoke on the musculoskeletal system include:

  • Tightening of certain muscles.
  • Reduced bone density.

Other Effects of Smoking on the Body

Other effects of tobacco smoke on the body include:

  • Irritation and inflammation of the stomach and intestines.
  • Increased risk of painful ulcers along the digestive tract.
  • Reduced ability to smell and taste.
  • Premature wrinkling of the skin.
  • Higher risk of blindness.
  • Gum disease.

Effects of Tobacco on Men Smokers

The specific effects of tobacco smoke on the male body include:

  • Lower sperm count.
  • Higher percentage of deformed sperm.
  • Reduced sperm mobility.
  • Changed levels of male sex hormones.
  • Impotence, which may be due to the effects of smoking on blood flow and damage to the blood vessels of the penis.

Smoking Effects on Women’s Body

The specific effects of tobacco smoke on the female body include:

  • Reduced fertility.
  • Menstrual cycle irregularities or absence of menstruation.
  • Menopause reached one or two years earlier.
  • Increased risk of cancer of the cervix.
  • Greatly increased risk of stroke and heart attack if the smoker is aged over 35 years and taking the oral contraceptive pill.

Smoking Effects on the Fetus

The effects of maternal smoking on an unborn baby include:

  • Increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth.
  • Low birth weight, which may have a lasting effect of the growth and development of children. Low birth weight is associated with an increased risk for early puberty, and in adulthood is an increased risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
  • Increased risk of cleft palate and cleft lip.
  • Paternal smoking can also harm the fetus if the non-smoking mother is exposed to passive smoking.
  • If the mother continues to smoke during her baby’s first year of life, the child has an increased risk of ear infections, respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia, croup and bronchitis, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and meningococcal disease.

Diseases Caused by Long Term Smoking

A lifetime smoker is at high risk of developing a range of potentially lethal diseases, including:

  • Cancer of the lung, mouth, nose, voice box, lip, tongue, nasal sinus, oesophagus, throat, pancreas, bone marrow (myeloid leukaemia), kidney, cervix, ureter, liver, bladder and stomach.
  • Lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
  • Coronary artery disease, heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
  • Ulcers of the digestive system.
  • Osteoporosis and hip fracture.
  • Poor blood circulation in feet and hands, which can lead to pain, and in severe cases gangrene and amputation.

Source: http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au

Second-Hand Smoke Affects Pets Too

Second-hand smoke, also known as environmental tobacco smoke or ETS, is clearly associated with cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular disease in humans.

Several studies have shown that up to 20 different carcinogens contained in tobacco smoke can be inhaled by non-smoking bystanders.

Dr. Timothy Fan, veterinary oncologist at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, explains that although associations between ETS and diseases in animals have not been as extensively researched, a handful of studies show a correlation between ETS and certain forms of cancer in pets.

A Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine study found a strong correlation between ETS and an oral cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, in cats. Cats living with smokers had higher incidence of this type of cancer. Cats living with more than one smoker and cats exposed to ETS for longer than five years have an even higher incidence of this cancer.

Why mouth cancer? Since cats groom themselves quite diligently, cats in smoking households can lick up carcinogens that have been deposited on their fur. Daily grooming over a long period of time can expose the delicate skin in the mouth to hazardous amounts of carcinogens.

The University of Massachusetts in Amherst also found that cats exposed to ETS have a slightly elevated risk of developing malignant lymphoma, or cancer of the lymph nodes. Since the lymph nodes filter the blood, inhaled or ingested carcinogens can build up in these structures.

Dog with GlassesIn dogs, ETS is significantly associated with nasal sinus cancer and weakly associated with lung cancer. A study at Colorado State found a higher incidence of nasal cavity tumors in dogs exposed to ETS than in dogs that live in non-smoking households.

This higher incidence was specifically found amongst long-nosed breed dogs such as Collies, and there was no significant increase in nasal tumors amongst short- to medium-nosed dogs exposed to ETS.

Dr. Fan explains that longer-nosed dogs may have a higher incidence of ETS-induced tumors for two reasons. “Smokers inhale smoke through their mouths, and it ends up depositing in the lungs. Bystanders, on the other hand, usually inhale ETS through the nose.” Long-nosed dogs’ nasal passages have a greater surface area on which carcinogens may be deposited before reaching the lungs.

“In addition,” says Dr. Fan, “since a longer nose has nasal passages with a greater number of cells, there is a greater chance that one of these cells can be mutated by carcinogens into a cancer cell.”

Colorado State also found that although short- to medium-nosed dogs exposed to ETS dont have a greater incidence of nasal tumors than those unexposed, they do have a slightly higher incidence of lung cancer, possibly because their shorter nasal passages are less effective at filtering carcinogens out of inhaled air before it reaches the lungs.

Unlike humans, who can develop bladder cancer as a result of ETS exposure, dogs and cats generally don’t run a higher risk of bladder cancer when exposed.

As the human-animal bond becomes stronger, we share more of our lives, our leisure time and our living space with our companion animals, and they become exposed to the same environmental hazards that we do. Many of our habits, including smoking, can affect our pets as they would affect any other member of our household.

Designating a smoking area outside or in a physically separate room of the house may be on way to minimize ETS exposure for pets and other non-smoking family members.

For more information about environmental tobacco smoke and your pet, consult your veterinarian.

Source: Kim Marie Labak
Information Specialist
University of Illinois
College of Veterinary Medicine

Just Don’t Smoke!

At 2.6 years quit I rarely think of smoking anymore.

If I do entertain the concept of smoking I almost always cancel out the thought instantly.

The most important aspect of the quit process is to become educated about what smoking does to the human body.

As a young quit I forced myself to watch a Lung Bronchoscopy of a patient with lung cancer.

He was a 57 year old man who had a 75 pack year history, with carcinoma in the upper portion of his right lung. Or for those who think that you have a lifetime before you have to quit smoking, check out Brandon Carmichael.

In hospital settings I’ve watched patients struggle with oxygen tanks and gasp to catch even one breath. I have also stood helpless as a lung cancer patient coughed up bloody phlegm while choking on his own body fluids.

I’ve listened to the whistling and wheezing while calculating the buildup of bluish discoloration of oxygen starved faces and clubbed fingers. How much longer will they or you suffer from smoking-related diseases, gasping for the air that that is essential to every human in order to survive?

Hand Holding CigarettesReplacing wispy shrouds of romanticized longings for the daily cigarette ebbed; craves were slowly replaced over time with alpha iron armor structured in smoking-related disease research.

I began to see myself as a female combatant who existed in a world that was torn between personal inalienable rights and too much governmental control. I also learned that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness could not be achieved at the cost of human addiction.

Somewhere a line has to be drawn. Should we give the unborn, babies, toddlers, children, and nonsmokers who live on our planet the right to live and breathe in both private and public air space? Or should we simply delegate the right for smokers to pollute our air space and subject everyone to second-hand smoke?

In 2006 the Surgeon General released a new report on secondhand smoke, which stated that there is no safe level of exposure to the more than 4,000 chemicals, including 11 known human carcinogens in secondhand smoke.

The World Health Organization States:

Tobacco is the second major cause of death in the world. It is currently responsible for the death of one in ten adults worldwide (about 5 million deaths each year).

If current smoking patterns continue, it will cause some 10 million deaths each year by 2020. Half the people that smoke today -that is about 650 million people- will eventually be killed by tobacco.

If you choose to smoke, your smoke is a toxic air contaminant. Be kind to yourself, other people, and to our planet. Just don’t smoke.