Smoking is responsible for about 480,000 deaths or 1 in every 5 deaths. The Centers for Disease Control reports more recent numbers, suggesting that about 36,500,000 American adults currently smoke cigarettes.
Little do these people know about the ingredients in a single cigarette… Namely, a cigarette contains about 600 ingredients. In addition, they create more than 7,000 chemicals when burned.
11 Cancer-Linked or Cancer-Causing Chemicals Found in Tobacco Smoke
Here are some of the chemicals found in tobacco smoke:
- Ammonia (a common household cleaner)
- Radioactive elements, such as uranium
- Lead (used in batteries)
- Benzene (found in rubber cement)
- Carbon monoxide (released in car exhaust fumes)
- Hydrogen cyanide
- Arsenic (found in rat poison)
- Nicotine (the addictive component of cigarettes; used as insecticide)
- Formaldehyde (embalming fluid)
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
The Science Behind 5 Types of Smoking & Their Health Effects
Despite the graphic heart-wrenching images on the pack, most people are still unable to quit smoking. What they do is look for other, seemingly less harmful alternatives. Here is what science has to say about the different types of smoking and their health effects.
In 2014, a study in Nicotine & Tobacco Research investigated how the propylene glycol nicotine solvent, the glycerin and the battery output voltage influenced the bonded carbon monoxide molecules in vapor. It was found that the vapor itself contains carcinogenic carbonyl components.
The traditional e-cigarettes burn the liquid prior inhalation, while the vaporizer e-cigarettes vaporize the liquid right away, skipping the burning process. Does this make vaping a better alternative, though?
According to a 2016 study in Preventative Medicine Reports, the “health risks associated with electronic cigarettes are largely unknown.” But, a review of twenty-six case reports suggests that vaping did have certain negative effects.
The most recent study on the topic, published in by PubMed Health, notes that “researchers found significantly lower levels of toxic chemicals and cancer-causing substances (carcinogens) in the samples of those of former smokers who had been using e-cigarettes or nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) compared to current smokers.”
Most people believe that the tobacco smoke contains little nicotine as the smoke is ‘filtered’ by water. In other words, it is generally believed that hookah is the least harmful way to smoke.
A 2015 study published in Tobacco Control studied literature related to waterpipe smoking. After reviewing the studies, the researchers concluded that hookah smoking “acutely leads to increased heart rate, blood pressure, impaired pulmonary function and carbon monoxide intoxication. Chronic bronchitis, emphysema and coronary artery disease are serious complications of long-term use. Lung, gastric and esophageal cancer are associated with WPS as well as periodontal disease, obstetrical complications, osteoporosis and mental health problems.”
4. Standard Cigarettes
A 2004 Surgeon General’s report confirmed the link between smoking and various cancers, such as leukemia, oral cavity, esophagus, bladder, kidney, liver, colorectal, cervix, acute myeloid, laryinx, and more.
In addition, a 2007 study published in The International Journal of Angiology associated cigarette smoking to cardiovascular diseases like coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis.
Compared to the alternatives discussed above, there is no doubt that more positive facts have been published about cannabis than negative, mostly due to the push for medical cannabis and its benefits.
In a survey published in the Hawai’i Journal of Medicine and Public Health, 100 patients who were getting recertified for cannabis were given surveys. The results were amazing!
“The response rate was 94%. Mean and median ages were 49.3 and 51 years respectively. 97% of respondents used cannabis primarily for chronic pain. Average pain improvement on a 0–10 pain scale was 5.0 (from 7.8 to 2.8), which translates to a 64% relative decrease in average pain. Half of all respondents also noted relief from stress/anxiety, and nearly half (45%) reported relief from insomnia. Most patients (71%) reported no adverse effects, while 6% reported a cough or throat irritation.”