According to McMillan et al (2013), the addictive substance in tobacco smoke that makes smokers addicts is nicotine. Addicted smokers will always feel inactive until they smoke enough nicotine. Along with nicotine, smokers also inhale over 7,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke. Most of these chemicals come from burning tobacco leaf. A number of of these compounds are chemically active and brings about damaging changes in the body. Tobacco smoke contains about 60 chemicals causing cancer. Smoking causes harm to almost every body organ hence causing most diseases and generally poor health.
The most damaging components of tobacco smoke are:
It is a term that refers to a mixture of particles which are suspended in tobacco smoke. These particles contain chemicals, as well as cancer-causing substances. Tar is brown and sticky posing stains on fingernails, teeth, and lung tissue.
Carbon monoxide This gas is deadly if consumed in large amount because it replaces oxygen in the red blood cell. Red blood cell contains haemoglobin that transports oxygen molecules from the lungs to other parts of the body. On the other hand, haemoglobin has higher affinity to carbon monoxide as compared to oxygen. This shows that less oxygen reaches the brain, muscles, heart and other organs
The lungs have tiny hair that help in moving foreign substances out. Hydrogen cyanide prevents this lung clearance system from functioning properly hence poisonous chemicals in tobacco smoke can pile up inside the lungs. Other chemicals in cigarette smoke that harms the lungs include nitrous oxide, hydrocarbons, organic acids, oxidizing agents and phenols.
These are extremely reactive chemicals that can destroy the blood vessels and the heart muscles. They react with the cholesterol therefore leading to the build-up of fatty material on the walls of the artery. Their effects lead to
References: Edlin, G. Golanty, E. and McCormack, B. (1999). Essential for Health and Wellness, Toronto: Jone and Bartlett Publishers. Pp280 McMillan, B and Starr, C. (2013). Human Biology, Belmont: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning Pp 179 Starr, C., Ever, C. and Starr, L. (2009). Biology Today and Tomorrow with Physiology, Belmont: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning pp 432