Skip to main content

Chemicals in cigarettes are killers

  • Author:
  • Updated:

RAPID CITY, S.D. -- The long, white and brown-tipped cigarette, known to
many people by many different names -- "coffin nail" is only one -- looks
benign enough in the package or in between someone's fingers, smoke
swirling off the tip.

That cigarette, cigar or pipe tobacco contains more than 40 known

Among those carcinogens are cadmium, also found in car batteries; ammonia,
used in cleaning products; styrene, used in insulation; vinyl chloride, a
product in garbage bags; benzene, or rubber cement; and acetone, nail
polish remover, just to name a few.


In addition to the health risk to adults, such as heart disease and lung
cancer, children are most vulnerable.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, children are more
vulnerable because they are still growing physically, have higher breathing
rates than adults and have no control over their environment.

Secondhand smoke may cause asthma in children, they may suffer from
pneumonia or bronchitis and infants may suffer sudden infant death

Parents are 90 percent responsible for their children's exposure to
secondhand smoke. On a national average, 11 percent of all children under
the age of six are exposed to secondhand smoke. In Indian country, although
actual statistics are not available, that percentage is much higher.


* Cigarette smoking is considered the cause of a tenfold increase in the
risk of dying from chronic obstructive lung disease.

* Cigarette smoking has adverse reproductive and early childhood effects,
including an increased risk for infertility, preterm delivery, stillbirth,
low birth weight and SIDS.

* Postmenopausal women who smoke have a lower bone density than women who
never smoked.

* Cigarette smokers are two to four times more likely to develop coronary
heart disease than nonsmokers.

* Cigarette smoking doubles a person's risk for stroke.

* Cigarette smoking causes reduced circulation by narrowing the blood

* Cigarette smoking increases the risk for many types of cancer.