The Health Risks Associated With Tobacco Use
By Terry Martin, About.com Guide
Cigarette Ingredients and Additives
The ingredients and additives in cigarettes were largely unknown until 1994, when five major tobacco manufacturers in the United States submitted a long list of ingredients that were used in the production of American cigarettes.
Chemicals in Cigarette Smoke
When burned, the ingredients in tobacco create toxic chemical compounds. Those chemicals, which number in the thousands, contain poisons and carcinogens that damage human health when inhaled directly or indirectly through secondhand smoke.
Secondhand smoke is a toxic brew of poisons and carcinogens. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Breathing in even a small amount is hazardous to human health.
Cigarette smoking is a loaded gun that can go off without warning. It is most often a slow killer, wearing us down over many years, but not always. It has been known to steal the young and novice smoker as well. Inhaled cigarette smoke leaves toxic deposits in our lungs and other organs, impairing function and poisoning our health. And smokeless tobacco products have been linked to many forms of cancer.
Worldwide, most people start smoking before the age of 18, with nearly one quarter of them trying tobacco for the first time before the age of 10. And, the younger a child is when he or she starts smoking, the stronger the odds are for long-term addiction. Educating our kids about the dangers of tobacco use needs to start at home. Talk to your kids early and often about smoking, and help them develop a healthy hatred for the habit.
- Smoking Facts for Parents and Kids
- Tips on How to Help Your Child Avoid Tobacco Use
- A Talk With Your Kids About Smoking - DVD Review
- Clove Cigarettes - A Safe Smoking Alternative?
- Conquering Nicotine Addiction - A Teen Smoker's Story
Smoking-related disease is snatching our beloved family members and friends away from us at an alarming rate. According to the World Health Organization, smoking related-diseases kill one in 10 adults globally, causing four million deaths a year. While some of the accounts in this section are heartbreaking and difficult to read, they are stark reminders of what may well lie ahead of us if we don't stop smoking. My heartfelt thanks go out to all who have shared their very personal and often painful stories here with us in the effort to help save lives...your life, dear reader.
- COPD - Jacki's Story
- Degenerative Disc Disease - Michelle's Story
- Emphysema - Christine's Story
- Graves Disease - Ronnie's Story
- Heart Disease - Walt's Story