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  • How many chemicals in cigarettes?
    Cigarettes include over 4,000 chemicals. Out of those 4,000 chemicals 69 of them are carcinogenic. Carcinogen means that it causes cancer such as Benzene and TSANs.
    Other chemicals in cigarettes can be: toxic metals (arsenic, cadmium), radioactive toxic metals, poisons
    The chemicals in cigarettes cannot only cause cancer but also serious health problems. These are some examples of the main chemicals in cigarettes:

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There are also alot of main Harmful Chemicals inside the cigarretes most are listed below with description:

(petrol additive)
  • A transparent hydrocarbon (cyclic) which could be taken from petroleum and coal. It is a solvent (mixture of liquid or solid to a solute) in which used for fuel for vehicles to operate and it could also be used for chemical production. This chemical appears in the excrete of smoke from the cigarette.
  • Contains carcinogen (a substance that causes cancer) which is related to leukemia (disease)
(embalming fluid)
  • A transparent liquid, it is highly poisonous, its functioned for preserving dead bodies. This chemical appears in the excrete of smoke from the cigarette
(substance for toilet cleaning)
  • This substance is for the flavors of the cigarettes, separates nicotine from the tobacco transforming substance to a gas.
  • Ammonia is also discovered in dry cleaning fluids.
  • This chemical is used for the nail polish remover (solvent). It is inside cigarette smoke.
  • It is a substance in which you inhale from smoke (dark)
  • About 70% of tar is inhaled in the cigarette and the other 30% gets excreted.
  • This chemicals is most well-known for its addictive substance, it is named as the most addictive known to mankind. It is a rapid acting medical or non-medical poison.
  • This chemical is rat poisoning
Hydrogen Cyanide
  • Gas used in gas chambers (gas chambers are chambers that were used by the Nazis to kill off millions of Jewish people)>

Three main ways smoking hurts your lungs:

  1. The smoke is hot
  2. The smoke has a drying effect
  3. It contains many harmfuchemicals

The hotness and dryness of smoking causes irritation of the lungs. There are so many chemicals in the cigarettes that can cause many diseases. For example, tar is a chemical that causes cancer. Other examples of chemicals that are harmful are: carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, nicotine, arsenic and plutonium.

Table to show what is harmed & how it is harmed for nicotine, carbon monoxide and tar

What is harmed?
How is it harmed?
Nicotine harms blood vessels, long- term damage to the circulation, heart muscle.
Nicotine is the substance that causes the user to be so addicted. Nicotine also causes the blood vessels to be narrow and makes the heart beat faster which then creates raise blood pressure. The raise blood pressure creates long-term damage to the circulation. Due to the increase heart rate the heart needs more oxygen but carbon monoxide decreases the amount of oxygen which then cause the heart muscle to be harmed.
Carbon Monoxide
Aerobic respiration, reduces oxygen transport across the placenta.
Carbon Monoxide causes the reduction of oxygen supply. This is because, after oxygen and haemoglobin join to create oxyhaemoglobin in red blood cells; the carbon monoxide reduces the oxyhaemoglobin. This affects the aerobic respiration which is bad for sport and babies born to smokers have low birth-weight.
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Tissues, lungs
Tar is a substance that causes the uncontrollable division of cells which is called cancer. The divided cells usually those lining the lower part of the bronchus, grow through the membrane and invade other tissues. Tar also causes coughing as it is irritant and causes damage to the lungs. It also makes emphysema worse.

  • Explain how smoking causes bronchitis and emphysema
How does smoking cause emphysema?
Emphysema is a long-term lung disease, which occurs when alveolar walls are destroyed, which causes the capillary blood vessels to be destroyed as well. Alveoli are air sacs in the lung. Emphysema not only causes trouble breathing, chronic coughs may be experienced as well. Emphysema are caused when the walls of air sacs are destroyed due to smoking. The air sacs are destroyed when the smoke affects the white blood cells and then cause the destruction of lung tissue. Once the walls of the air sacs break there is less surface area for gas exchange and breathing is hard. People with emphysema can usually only walk 2 or 3 meters before becoming breathless! More specifically, smoking triggers inflammatory cells inside the lung. The inflammation causes the bronchioles to swell; proteases (type of enzymes) to be activated, which attacks or destroys the alveolar wall structures. The air sacs in the lungs are not able to fill the sacs with fresh air, which affects the oxygen supply for the body.

How does smoking cause bronchitis?

When cilia are destroyed more mucus is able to stay in the respiratory system. The mucus might contain microbes and dust which are able to move down into the lungs. The microbes and dust cause the person to cough a lot which inflames t3he lining of the bronchi. If you continue to smoke, the damage may prevent the cilia from functioning normally, which increases the chances of developing chronic bronchitis or long-term bronchitis. Heavy smokers would have an inflamed membrane and cilia that stops working. The mucus is clogged, which the lungs become vulnerable to bacterial infections. These infections can permanently destroy the lungs’ airways overtime. The condition is called COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Bronchitis Diagram by WebMD

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Why are smokers more likely to develop lung cancer than non-smokers?

Smokers are 10 times more likely to develop lung cancer than non-smokers. This is because some of the substances in cigarettes are carcinogen such as tar which cause the uncontrollable division of cells (cancer). The tumor when lung cancer starts attacks other tissues and this causes pain and loss of the function of other tissues, sometimes causes death.

Video 1: The Effects of Smoking on Your Lungs - 5 min Video
  • What smoking does to the alveoli, crucial air sacs to help maintain life inside the lungs.
  • The outcomes/effects such as disease (cancer).
  • Evidence (comparison of real lungs: a healthy and a smoking lung).

Video 2: Smokers' Lungs - A Real Life Representation
This person on Youtube has used a real life model to represent the damage of smoking towards the lungs (1min30s).

The process of how chemicals in cigarette goes into the respiratory system:

The cigarette's harmful chemicals are produced as a smoke that can be inhaled from the nose, or can be swallowed directly into the mouth. An average person takes in 6L of air per minute, meaning that they will inhale about 6L of chemicals into their lungs. The inhale by nose gets filtered by the nasal hairs, to prevent large and solid particles to get stuck. But the lumps of chemicals that are burnt goes through this, to the cartilages - which causing the inhaled chemicals to swirl around, and which later can cause the chemical particles to be exhaled from the nose using its moisture in the nasal route. Some of the chemicals then to get exhaled, but as there is so much chemicals that got absorbed, 95% of chemicals do not leave the body. The chemical then enters the pharynx. There are two tubes in the pharynx, which ones goes to oesophagus, and one goes to the trachea. The chemical that goes into the oesophagus can dissolve itself with other metabolic reaction that happen in the stomach. However, when the chemical goes into the trachea, it goes to the lungs, by each bronchus. When the chemical is in the lungs, the bronchus starts to branch, which the tiniest tubes are called the bronchioles. Obviously, the chemical will transport through the bronchioles to the alveoli, and carry these particles into the blood, harming the tissue of where-ever place they are located.

"How Do Particulates Enter the Respiratory System?" CCOHS. N.p., 4 July 2011. Web. 2 Mar. 2012. <


A video about smoking and the respiratory system:

YouTube. Dir. Smokingfactsanswered. YouTube. YouTube, 28 Feb. 2011. Web. 03 Mar. 2012. <>.

Works Cited:

Benjamin, Wedro. “Emphysema Symtoms, Causes, Treatments.” MedicineNet. N.p., 2012. Web. 4 Mar. 2012. [[‌emphysema/‌page3.htm]].

Blaivas, Allen J. “Emphysema - Symptoms, Diagnosis.” The New York Times. The New York Tims Co., 2012. Web. 4 Mar. 2012. [[‌health/‌guides/‌disease/‌emphysema/‌overview.html]].
"Cigarettes Exposed." Blogspot. N.p., 9 Nov. 2011. Web. 15 Feb. 2012. <[[ h8IazYxRtW0/TcWYCQsITPI/AAAAAAAAAAc/9zJWorYg8Pk/| h8IazYxRtW0/TcWYCQsITPI/AAAAAAAAAAc/9zJWorYg8Pk/]]s1600/1290312971-49.jpg>.

"Chemicals in Cigarettes - Harmful Chemicals in Cigarettes." Quit Smoking | Quit Smoking Support | Smoking Cessation. Web. 08 Feb. 2 012.<>.

"Does Refusing to Hire Smokers Amount to “Discrimination”? | WhiteCoat's Call Room."
Home. Web. 15 Feb. 2012. <>.

“Emphysema.” MedlinePlus. U.S. National Lib. of Medicine, 24 Feb. 2012. Web. 4 Mar. 2012. <‌medlineplus/‌emphysema.html>.

Gelfand, Jonathan L. “Understanding Bronchitis.” WebMD. Lilly, 2011. Web. 4 Mar. 2012. <‌lung/‌understanding-bronchitis-basics>.
Kartha, Deepa. "Chronic Dry Cough."
Buzzle Web Portal: Intelligent Life on the Web. Web. 15 Feb. 2012. <>.

Pickering, W R. "4.3 Smoking and disease." Complete Biology . Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 2000. 80 - 81 . Print.