How Cigarettes can Harm You

2 min


We are all familiar with the notion, “SMOKING (Cigarettes) CAUSES CANCER OR SMOKING KILLS”, but most of us are pretty unfamiliar with what causes the tobacco to affect human beings so much.

It’s an established fact that tobacco (Cigarettes) contains more than 70 carcinogens or cancer-causing agents. Tobacco also contains more than 4000 compounds that are active and mutagenic.

Let us take a look at the most important stuff and how they act on the human body.

NICOTINE in Cigarettes

  • The most toxic constituent that acts at a great speed.
  • This is the reason why smokers tend to get addicted to smoking very easily. Nicotine can trigger the release of “DOPAMINE” aka “The FEEL-GOOD HORMONE”, which is associated with feelings of pleasure in humans.
  • Nicotine might cause increased blood pressure, many metabolic and hormonal changes, and damage to the lining of blood vessels in turn leading to coronary diseases.
  • Though Nicotine is not a carcinogen by itself it leads to the formation of a lot of potent carcinogens.

TAR in Cigarettes

  • The agent, which is responsible, for causing the “yellowish-brown” stains are found on a smoker’s fingers and teeth.
  • These contain a large variety of elements and compounds like hydrogen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and oxygen.
  • It affects the lining of the lungs targeting the cilia
  • The most abundant carcinogen present in tar is “BENZOPYRENE”.


  • “EMPHYSEMA” a condition frequently seen in smokers. It causes them to suffer from shortness of breath, heavy coughing, tightness in the chest, etc. It is attributed to the presence of gas which causes damage to the lungs.


  • Known to be one of the most harmful gases, this gas is odorless and tasteless and in large amounts rapidly fatal.
  • Acts by binding to hemoglobin, reducing the oxygen-carrying capacity of the cells to the body tissues and system, causing impaired oxygen transportation.
  • Responsible for the development of coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, etc.
  • The low birth weight of babies born to pregnant women who smoke is mainly due to carbon monoxide. The baby in the womb is deprived of oxygen.


  • Metals mostly present in tobacco are arsenic and arsenic compounds, apart from these lead, chromium, nickel, and cadmium are equally carcinogenic.


  • Predominantly present radioactive compounds include polonium-210 and potassium-40.
  • Radium-226, Radium-228, and Thorium-228 are well-established carcinogens.

Thus, having understood this, smoke (Cigarettes) in any form at any stage will prove harmful to the human body. So it’s time to say, “BE BRIGHTER, PUT DOWN THE LIGHTER”. 

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Dr Kavitha M

I am an undergraduate degree holder in dentistry. I have a great interest in music and reading. I am a linguaphile. My areas of interest lie in psychology, medical imaging, diagnostics, and oncology. I am a person who focuses more on the emerging areas of forensics.


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