This eye-opening graphic highlights exactly what goes into cigarettes. They contain more than 4,000 chemicals – and that many are similar to substances found in toxic waste dumps.
Cigarettes contain acetone, which is nail polish remover, and ammonia, which is a household cleaner, as well as the sewer gas methane and barbecue lighter, hazamine. They also contain arsenic, which used to be used in rat poison, butane which is used in lighter fuel and vinegar. Carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas, paint, and cadmium, which is used in batteries, are also included.
Then there’s the deadly poison cyanide and a banned insecticide called DDT. Cigarettes also contain formaldehyde, which is used to preserve dead animals, and hydrazine – a rocket fuel – as well as an acid found in candle wax. They also contain lead, which is poisonous in high doses, and polonium – a cancer-causing radioactive element.
The American Lung Association says that at least 69 of the chemicals found in cigarette smoke are known to cause cancer and that many are poisonous. The organisation says smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. and that secondhand smoke causes about 50,000 deaths each year.