The Chemicals In Tobacco

It’s no secret that tobacco is packed with a multitude of nasty additives and potentially lethal chemicals.


These chemicals derive from different sources along the journey of tobacco manufacture, from the soil to the act of burning the cigarette. During growth, radioactive elements like uranium and a host of toxic pesticides are used to treat the soil in order to deter insects and pests from destroying the tobacco plant. However, these chemicals inevitably end up being absorbed by the tobacco plant itself and ultimately, by the body as well.


There are as many as five-thousand chemicals present in cigarettes and the smoke which is produced from burning them, including (but not at all limited to) the following dangerous compounds:

Acetone – an extremely flammable liquid commonly used in nail polish remover. Known to cause damage to the nervous system with long-term use.


Acetic Acid – a carboxylic acid commonly used in the production of plastics, solvents, paints and household cleaners. Minor exposure can lead to damage of the eyes, nose, throat and lungs whilst repeated exposure is known to cause aging of the skin, tooth erosion and chronic inflammation of the respiratory system.


Ammonia – a colourless gas used in fertiliser, household cleaning products, refrigerant gas and in air-conditioning equipment. Exposure to high concentrations of ammonia can lead to discomfort and damage of the nose, throat and respiratory tract.


Arsenic – a highly-toxic component used in the manufacture of rat poison. Long-term exposure to arsenic can result in cancer, skin lesions, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.


Benzene – a chemical compound found in crude oil and petrol, often used in the manufacture of plastics, resins, synthetic fibres, rubber lubricants, dyes, detergents and pesticides. Benzene exposure can lead to damage to the bone marrow and red blood cells, with prolonged exposure linked to leukaemia and cancer of the thymus, lymph nodes and other blood-forming organs.


Butane – an organic compound used in lighter fluid and aerosol sprays. Some of the long-term effects on the body include chronic headaches, sinusitis, loss of muscle coordination, dizziness, nosebleeds, tinnitus and chronic coughing.


Cadmium – a carcinogenic component used in battery acid which, when inhaled, can lead to fatal respiratory and kidney issues.


Carbon Monoxide – a poisonous gas released in car exhaust fumes. Exposure can prevent blood from carrying oxygen around the body, leading to cell and tissue death.


Formaldehyde – a pungent gas used in embalming fluid, building materials, glues and insulation material. Exposure to formaldehyde can lead to respiratory irritation, chest pain, shortness of breath and cancer.


Hexamine – a type of fuel found in barbecue lighter fluid prepared by the reaction of ammonia and formaldehyde. Ingestion can cause nausea, vomiting, gastrointestinal issues and damage to the kidneys.


Lead – used in car batteries, pigments and ammunition. The toxic effect of lead can cause high blood pressure and kidney damage.


Naphthalene – produced when coal tar is distilled, naphthalene is commonly used in mothballs and exposure can cause headaches, dizziness and nausea.


Methylamine – used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, pesticides, fuel, explosives, solvents, cleaning products and tanning cosmetics. Exposure can cause an accumulation of fluid in the lungs known as pulmonary oedema.


Methanol – a chemical which forms one of the main components of rocket fuel. Ingestion can lead to irreparable damage to the nervous system, blindness and in some cases, death.


Tar – a flammable liquid used for paving roads and preserving timber. Tar is associated with skin, lung, bladder, kidney and digestive tract cancer.


Toluene – a solvent present in paint thinner, nail polish and glue. Exposure can lead to damage to the liver and kidneys.

All of these chemicals have a detrimental effect on health and likely account for the fact smoking is the cause of 15% of all cancer-related cases in the UK.


Tobacco itself is known to cause at least fifteen forms of cancer including lung, throat/oesophagus, bladder, bowel, liver and kidney cancer, which has in turn led to an estimated 484,700 hospital admissions and 77,900 deaths in the UK during 2016/2017 alone.


Let Vapestore help you make the change that makes the difference by swapping cigarettes
for an alternative your future health will thank you for.