With every puff taken from a cigarette, cigar or pipe, over 4000 chemicals are produced. Of these 4000 chemicals, 43 are positively identified as cancer-causing. If you were to consult this list of chemicals, you might be surprised to see what other substances share some of the same ingredients with tobacco smoke-like gasoline, bathroom cleaners and nail polish remover. Whether you are trying to protect your own health or the health of non-smoking family members, it is important to know exactly what chemicals are left in the air after smoking and what you need to do to remove them.
Your furniture, draperies, carpets and walls are also affected by the chemicals found in cigarette smoke. You may have noticed that your walls are yellow, or that there is an extra build-up or dust and ash particles on furniture. Worst of all, the scent created by smoke seeps into porous surfaces, and is re-emitted over years and years. If it ever came time to resell your house, it would literally cost you thousands of dollars to undo the damage from tobacco smoke.
To give you a better idea of what hazardous chemicals are produced by a burning cigarette, here are some of the notably toxic ingredients in smoke-as well as some of the other substances that use these same chemicals:
Benzene aka Gasoline Additive – a highly potent cancer-causing chemical. Used as a solvent in fuels, it is a carcinogen as well as a chemical directly linked to leukemia.
Butane aka Lighter Fluid – a highly flammable chemical known to cause narcosis, asphyxia and cardiac arrhythmia.
Cadmium aka Battery Contents – most of the time, cadmium is used in producing batteries. It is known to cause cancer and is an occupational hazard that is very harmful if inhaled.
Formaldehyde aka Embalming Fluid – this is the extremely poisonous chemical used to preserve dead bodies. It is known to cause cancer, respiratory, skin and gastrointestinal problems.
DDT aka Illegal Insecticide – a synthesized chemical that kills pests as well as non-pests. It is linked to cancer, (especially breast cancer), developmental and reproductive problems in humans.
Lead aka Wall Paint – a poisonous metal that was at one time used in paint. Lead paint is no longer made because of danger of lead poisoning.
Naphthalene aka Moth Balls – large amounts or exposure damage or destroy red blood cells.
Ammonia aka Toilet Bowl Cleaner – this chemical is found in many cleaning products and is used in cigarettes as a sort of "flavor enhancer" that helps deliver more nicotine to the bloodstream.
Acetone aka Nail Polish Remover – a very toxic and volatile chemical present in cigarette smoke
Tar aka Ashy Particulate – a powdery particulate that is found in every puff of a cigarette. 70% of the tar inhaled into lungs holds there (for good).
Nicotine aka Insecticide / Addictive Substance – nicotine is claimed to be the most addictive substance to man and is considered a medical and non-medical poison.
Carbon Monoxide aka Car Exhaust – an odorless, tasteless poisonous gas that is often used for suicides (running a car in a closed garage) because of its rapid, fatal effects.
Arsenic aka Rat Poison – cancer causing element found in poisons and insecticides (the farmers who used arsenic as an insecticide spray for fruit trees treated from brain damage)
Hydrogen Cyanide aka Gas Chamber Poison – this gas is so effective at killing humans that it was used in executions and mass murders, like those from the Holocaust. It is no longer used for executions, because it is speculated to be a very painful way to die.
The easiest way to keep the people you care about safe from these chemicals is to place an air filter, like those made by Dynamic in the room with you to neutralize smoke as soon as it is produced. By employing an air filter along with an air purifier, like a Biozone or Air Oasis, you will remove particulate and reduce odors dramatically.
This same two-step technology is perfect for commercial smoke removal applications like bars and nightclubs, where air that is too smoky drives away customers.
What's the best way to avoid the health risks? Find a quitting method that will work for you. The most important thing that you can do is make the decision to quit. Set a quitting date in the near future. Need some support? Call the American Cancer Society's Quitline: 1-800-ACS-2345