What makes cigarettes harmful?

Pollutants in tobacco products

Thermal decomposition of tobacco and paper takes place in the glowing zone of a cigarette at very high temperatures of around 900 ° C. If the smoker draws on his cigarette, the so-called mainstream smoke is formed, which the smoker inhales. On the other hand, the so-called sidestream smoke arises between the individual puffs or when the burning cigarette is put down in the ashtray.

In addition to the addictive substance nicotine, nicotine is found in cigarette smoke
There are several reasons that the addiction-inducing substance in cigarettes is nicotine:
* Nicotine penetrates the central nervous system (CNS) and is psychoactive.
* The physiological effects of smoking and injected nicotine are identical.
* Nicotine works as a "positive amplifier". Humans (and animals too) add nicotine to themselves in experiments.
* It is easier to get rid of the addictive substance (tobacco abstinence) if nicotine is administered (substituted, i.e. replaced) with medication.
* Smokers tend to adapt their smoking behavior to the different nicotine contents of tobacco products
around 4,800 chemical substances, of which more than 70 are carcinogenic or suspected to be. These include: tar, chromium, benzene, arsenic, lead and radioactive pollonium. Examples of toxic (highly poisonous) substances are: carbon monoxide, hydrocyanic acid, nitrogen oxides and the Seveso poison dioxin. For those interested, the most important compounds in the gas phase or particle phase of the main flow of a cigarette without a filter are listed in a table.