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Smoking and Tobacco




what is in a cigarette?


As reported by the tobacco industry, there are approximately 600 substances that may be added to different cigarettes during manufacturing - such as flavor-enhancing agents, and bicarbonate to modify acidity.  

When a cigarette burns, about 4000 substances are released.  The commonly reported substances are nicotine, carbon monoxide, and tar.  Several of the other components include:  benzopyrene, acetaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde, and nitrosamines from tobacco.  The nitrosamines break down into several forms and have the potential to lead to cancer.  (National Cancer Institute Monograph, 1996). 

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Response by:

Karen L Ahijevych, PhD, RN, FAAN Karen L Ahijevych, PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor Emeritus
College of Public Health
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University