What makes tobacco bad for you?

What makes tobacco bad for you?

Tobacco is inherently bad for you, and we have always been told that tobacco is bad for us. But what about tobacco makes it bad for you?


Tobacco also contains nicotine, which is a highly addictive psychoactive drug. When tobacco is smoked, nicotine causes physical and psychological dependency.

Scarred Lungs

“Smokers’ lungs experience inflammation in the small airways and tissues of your lungs. This can make your chest feel tight or cause you to wheeze or feel short of breath. Continued inflammation builds up scar tissue, which leads to physical changes to your lungs and airways that can make breathing hard. Years of lung irritation can give you a chronic cough with mucus.” reports Smokefree.gov 


“Smoking destroys the tiny air sacs, or alveoli, in the lungs that allow oxygen exchange. When you smoke, you are damaging some of those air sacs. Alveoli do not grow back, so when you destroy them, you have permanently destroyed part of your lungs. When enough alveoli are destroyed, the disease emphysema develops. Emphysema causes severe shortness of breath and can lead to death.” reports Smokefree.gov


Cancer is a big risk of smoking, there are a lot of chemicals in tobacco products that are very similar to pesticides and are extremely bad for you not only to breath but to be around.


There are about 600 ingredients in a cigarette when burned there are about 7,000 chemicals. 69 percent of that 7,000 are known and proven to cause cancer.

Here are a few of the chemicals in tobacco smoke and other places they are found:

  • Acetone—found in nail polish remover
  • Acetic acid—an ingredient in hair dye
  • Ammonia—a common household cleaner
  • Arsenic—used in rat poison
  • Benzene—found in rubber cement and gasoline
  • Butane—used in lighter fluid
  • Cadmium—active component in battery acid
  • Carbon monoxide—released in car exhaust fumes
  • Formaldehyde—embalming fluid
  • Hexamine—found in barbecue lighter fluid
  • Lead—used in batteries
  • Naphthalene—an ingredient in mothballs
  • Methanol—a main component in rocket fuel
  • Nicotine—used as an insecticide
  • Tar—material for paving roads
  • Toluene—used to manufacture paint
List curtsy of Lungs.org

Smoking has a clear effect on your health. When looking at the absolutes of smoking is it really worth it? Tobacco is not only harming your body but also the bodies of the people around you, your friends, your family, and your partner. Smoking can help relieve stress for some people. But is shaving decades of your life off worth it?

To learn more about the harmful effects of cigarettes and tobacco products visit the CDC to learn about more negative affects of tobacco use.

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