Why is arsenic in cigarettes

Tobacco products - the ingredients

Nicotine content of cigarettes

The substance that smokers are most interested in tobacco is nicotine. The highly toxic alkaloid occurs naturally in tobacco plants. The salary varies from brand to brand.

However, the EU has defined limits for nicotine as well as tar and carbon monoxide, which manufacturers must adhere to:

  • Nicotine: 1 mg per cigarette
  • Tar: 10 mg per cigarette
  • Carbon monoxide: 10 mg per cigarette

The decisive factor for the dose of nicotine in the body is not only the nicotine content, but also how much and how intensely you inhale the smoke. So how much nicotine a cigarette contains is less important than you might think.

For this reason, the designation “light” has now been banned for tobacco products. It has been found that smokers compensated for the lower nicotine content of such products by smoking more frequently and more intensively. In the end, they actually absorbed more nicotine and larger amounts of the many other pollutants in tobacco smoke.

Additives make it easier to get started with addiction

Certain substances are added to cigarettes to make it easier for young people and other newcomers to smokers to start a smoking career:

  • ammonia increases the effect of nicotine.
  • Sweeteners improve the taste.
  • cocoa dilates the bronchi so that smokers can inhale the vapor more deeply.
  • menthol ensures that the smoke is more easily absorbed in the lungs.

Other problematic ingredients in cigarettes

Nobody denies that smoking causes cancer. The substances that are most dangerous to health arise during the combustion process - often from previously harmless raw materials such as sugar.

At temperatures between 500 and 950 ° C, more than 4,800 different substances are formed, which enter the lungs as gases or solid particles. Of these, 70 are highly toxic and either proven or possibly carcinogenic (carcinogenic).

The most important ingredients at a glance

The main toxins include:

Insight into the list of ingredients

In the case of cigarettes, the quantitative composition is a closely guarded secret of the tobacco companies. However, the Tobacco Product Ordinance obliges manufacturers to notify the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture at least about the type and effect of the additives used. These ingredient lists for each tobacco brand can be accessed online on the Ministry's website (www.bmel.de).

Dangerous passive smoking

A lit cigarette gives off two types of smoke: Mainstream smoke is produced when you pull on the glowing stick; the sidestream smoke forms between the puffs. Both types of smoke contain the same ingredients, but in different concentrations.

Many toxins such as carbon monoxide, benzene, cadmium and lead are represented in much larger quantities in sidestream smoke. Since its particles are also much smaller than those of mainstream smoke, they penetrate more easily and deeply into the lungs, where they are deposited. Therefore, passive smoking is also particularly harmful to health. In a room where several people are smoking, almost 85 percent of the tobacco plumes are sidestream smoke.

Cigars, water pipes & Co

Cigarettes make up around 90 percent of all tobacco products. In addition, the narcotic drug nicotine is also consumed in the form of cigars, cigarillos, pipe, water pipe, chewing and snuff tobacco. Recently there have been devices in which tobacco is only heated but not burned.

Regardless of how the toxins get into the body and whatever is mixed in with the tobacco, there is no tobacco product that is not harmful to health.

This also applies to smokeless chewing and snuff tobacco. It contains more than 20 carcinogenic substances that enter the body through the mucous membranes. Long-term consumption can cause oral and pancreatic cancer.

E-cigarettes

E-cigarettes contain an electric nebulizer that is fitted with a cartridge. Inside there is a liquid, the so-called liquid, that evaporates. Liquids are available in nicotine-containing and nicotine-free variants and in a wide variety of flavors. No tobacco is burned in them - which is why consumption is presumably less harmful. However, no data are yet available on the long-term effects of consumption. The healthier option remains to do without e-cigarettes entirely.

Finally non-smokers! The 9 best tips

  • This is how you become a non-smoker

    It is not that easy to completely banish the glowing stick from your life. But giving up cigarettes is the easiest way to prevent diseases such as high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. We'll show you nine tips on how to quickly become a non-smoker!
  • 1. Proper motivation

    More beautiful skin, shiny teeth, no musty feet in your clothes, less bad breath, better taste when eating, less cough and, last but not least, increased life expectancy: there are many reasons to quit smoking. Write down your personal motivation on a piece of paper and place it clearly visible - so that you can read it if you are tempted to light a “last” cigarette.
  • 2. Celebrate farewell

    Celebrate the goodbye to the glowing stick! If you think it is better for you, remove everything from the apartment that reminds you of smoking: ashtrays, lighter, cigarettes, etc. Perhaps it will also help you to leave a full ashtray somewhere as a deterrent?
  • 3. Avoid stress

    Stress and time pressure - many resort to the dump. You should therefore ensure a relaxed everyday life, especially in the initial phase, when you are also physically dependent. Many people find it easier to say goodbye to cigarettes in quiet periods of work.
  • 4. New rituals

    Suddenly something is missing: Many people don't quite know what to do with their hands when they can no longer hold a cigarette. Try to find replacements and enjoy the new. Smell flowers instead of lighting a cigarette. Or how about, for example, an apple instead of the good morning cigarette - or a short walk around the block instead of the stress cigarette?
  • 5. Change your diet

    Women in particular are afraid of gaining weight if they stop smoking. It can actually happen. Think about your diet in advance. Instead of cigarettes, many instinctively choose the wrong substitute, such as chocolate. You should avoid foods rich in sugar and fat, especially at the beginning. But be careful: do not try to lose weight and become a non-smoker at the same time. This only makes it twice as difficult for yourself.
  • 6. Pamper yourself

    Reward yourself. Define subgoals and celebrate them when you have achieved them. Some have a piggy bank just for this purpose, to keep in mind how much money they save every day. Buy something nice with the money you save: New music or new clothes can also symbolize the new phase of life and strengthen your self-esteem.
  • 7. Get moving

    The lungs can breathe again down to the last branching of the bronchi, and your fitness increases. Therefore do sport - you will quickly celebrate successes here and at the same time you can face possible weight problems.
  • 8. Playing through relapses

    Think beforehand when it is particularly difficult for you to give up a cigarette. How could you cover yourself so that they are not tempted? What could you do instead? Anyone who has a plan B for such cases is better able to hold out. “Just pull it briefly” is not a strategy, however. Because that increases your risk of relapse considerably. If you should slip up - don't panic, it's normal. Just try not to let it get that far again.
  • 9. Make bets

    It is best to inform those around you about your project right away - this increases the pressure to keep it up. In addition, your family and friends can show you appropriate consideration. If friends try anyway to seduce you with cigarettes and get you back into the smokers' club - make bets. This increases your chances of winning with every rejected cigarette.

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