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Cigarette Ingredients | Healing Talks
Published On: Wed, Apr 6th, 2011

Cigarette Ingredients

 Cigarette Ingredients

(Healingtalks ) Cigarette flavors have gone through many changes since cigarettes were first made. Initially, cigarettes were unfiltered, allowing the full “flavor” of the tar to come through. As the public became concerned about the health effects of smoking, filters were added. While this helped alleviate the public’s fears, the result was a cigarette that tasted too bitter.


Filters do not remove enough tar to make cigarettes less dangerous. They are just a marketing ploy to trick you into thinking you are smoking a safer cigarette.


The solution to the bitter-tasting cigarette was easy — have some chemists add taste-improving chemicals to the tobacco. Unfortunately, some of these chemicals also cause cancer. But not all of the chemicals in your cigarettes are there for taste enhancement.


  • A chemical very similar to rocket fuel helps keep the tip of the cigarette burning at an extremely hot temperature. This allows the nicotine in tobacco to turn into a vapor so your lungs can absorb it more easily.
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner? Most people prefer to use ammonia for things such as cleaning windows and toilet bowls. You may be surprised to learn that the tobacco industry has found some additional uses for this household product. By adding ammonia to your cigarettes, nicotine in its vapor form can be absorbed through your lungs more quickly. This, in turn, means your brain can get a higher dose of nicotine with each puff.
  • The complete list of chemicals added to your cigarettes is too long to list here.

Here are some examples that will surprise you:

Fungicides and pesticides — Cause many types of cancers and birth defects.

Cadmium — Linked to lung and prostate cancer.

Benzene — Linked to leukemia.

Formaldehyde — Linked to lung cancer.

Nickel — Causes increased susceptibility to lung infections.


If you are angry that so many things have been added to the cigarettes you enjoy so much, you should be. Many of these chemicals were added to make you better able to tolerate toxic amounts of cigarette smoke. They were added without regard to your health and with the intent to keep you addicted. As the tobacco industry saying goes, “An addicted customer is a customer for life, no matter how short that life is.” Make sure that you have the last laugh. Regardless of the countless chemicals in your cigarettes, quitting is always your option. Perhaps this list of ingredients that are found in cigarettes is enough to make you want to quit smoking for good!

There are more than 4,000 potential ingredients in a cigarette other than tobacco.

Common additives include yeast, wine, caffeine, beeswax and chocolate. Here are some more interesting ones.

Ammonia – Household cleaner
Angelica root extract – Known to cause cancer in animals
Arsenic – Used in rat poisons
Butane Gas – Used in lighter fluid
Carbon monoxide: -Poisonous gas
Cyanide – Deadly poison
DDT – A banned insecticide
Ethyl Furoate –  Causes liver damage in animals
Lead - Poisonous in high doses
Methoprene – Insecticide
Megastigmatrienone – Chemical naturally found in grapefruit juice
Maltitol - Sweetener for diabetics
Napthalene – Ingredient in mothballs
Methyl isocyanate - Its accidental release killed 2000 people in Bhopal, India in 1984
Polonium – Cancer-causing radioactive element

Related Articles on Smoking

What’s Not in a Cigarette

Smoking Illusions

What is Really in a Cigarette

US Releases Graphic Images to Deter Smoking

How to Fight Teen Smoking

Breaking News: Teen Smoking Skyrockets


Secondhand Smoke: Another Reason To Quit Smoking Cigarettes


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Based on an article by Lowell Kleinman, M.D., and Deborah Messina-Kleinman, M.P.H.   drkoop.com Health Columnists


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