What Is In Cigarette Residue

Cigarette residue constitutes what is left behind after you finish smoking a cigarette. Smoking not only affects one individual but passive smoking impacts other people also.

Some of the stuff found in cigarette residue include:

Arsenic: This is a poisonous substance and found as arsenide and in several arsenate compounds. It is used as pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and also used in rat poison.

Lead: this is a heavy metal responsible and can cause poisoning in humans. Like other heavy metals, lead, it can accumulate in soft tissues and bone, and act as a neurotoxin, especially in children. Long term exposure to lead and its compounds can cause weakness in joints, adversely affect the nervous system, cause anemia and damage the brain.

Carbon Monoxide: CO is a poisonous gas, harmful to live forms. Since it is odorless and colorless and hence cannot be detected easily, it can be fatal if inhaled in significant amount. Inhaling carbon monoxide causes light headedness, headache, nausea, and weakness. This is because carbon monoxide interferes with the availability of oxygen in the blood and thus hampers respiration.

Hydrogen Cyanide: This gas has a faint bitter odor which is hard to detect, and inhaling this gas in large amount can lead to poisoning in animals and humans. Some fruits are known to releases small amounts of HCN, and it is also found in exhaust gases released from cars, in wood smoke, and smoke from burning plastics. The toxicity is actually caused by the cyanide ion which acts by inhibiting an important respiratory enzyme and thus affects respiration.

Toluene: this is an aromatic compound commonly used as a solvent and associated with paint thinners. Inhalation of this compound is intoxicating and if taken in large amounts can be extremely harmful. Low amounts of toluene can cause tiredness, weakness, nausea, confusion and adversely affect kidney function. When present in high amounts, this compound also causes unconsciousness and death.

Polonium: this chemical compound is found both in cigarettes smoke and residue. Polonium is a radioactive compound and its isotopes are used as a neutron source for nuclear weapons, and source of energy for thermoelectric generators. When inhaled, polonium is more harmful than hydrogen cyanide and causes serious tissue damage and even cancer.

Carcinogens: these are cancer-causing substances that bind to DNA and result in mutations and may even cause cell death. There are several types of carcinogens associated with cigarette residue.

Cigarette smoking is injurious to health and causes several lung and heart diseases including stroke, and cancer.


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