However, if consumed in large doses, it�s a depressant, inhibiting the flow of signals between the nerve cells. In even larger doses, it’s a lethal poison, affecting the heart, the lungs, the blood vessels, and release of hormones.
Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, including 43 known carcinogenic (cancer-causing) compounds and 400 other toxins. These include nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide, as well as formaldehyde, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, arsenic, and DDT. As you continue to smoke a cigarette, the amount of tar inhaled into your lungs increases, as the last puff contains more than twice as much tar as the first puff. Tar is a mixture of substances that together form a sticky dark mass in the lungs of a smoker, making them appear black.
There is also strong scientific evidence that smoking is related to more than two dozen diseases and conditions. Fortunately, most of them start to reverse after an individual quits smoking. All smokers are at extra risk for heart diseases which can cause heart attacks, circulatory problems, a variety of cancers such as lung cancer, cancer of the mouth, throat and voice box, emphysema, infertility and many others. Smoking also causes bad breath and tooth decay.
Smoke produced by a cigarette lingers in the air, and may be inhaled by vulnerable individuals such as children, pregnant women, people with heart or breathing problems or even pets in form of second-hand smoke. It is very dangerous, and more than 1000 non-smoking Canadians die from second-hand smoke each year.
If you would like to learn more about tobacco’s uses and affects or the benefits of quitting, stop by one of our booths!