Posted by Tatiana Rodriguez | Filed under Smoking Side Effects
For some people who have thought about quitting smoking, learning about the carcinogens found in tobacco products can help them finally make the decision to quit for good. Quitting is incredibly hard, even with some of the most tried and true quitting smoking methods. But the work is worth the benefits of quitting.
Of the 7000 identifiable chemicals in tobacco, about 69 of them are known carcinogens. There are a number of suspected carcinogens as well as more than 250 harmful chemicals that we know cause other diseases and problems in the body. And cancer isn’t the only deadly disease that is caused or exacerbated by smoking cigarettes or using tobacco. These include heart disease, pulmonary disease, asthma, chronic bronchitis, aortic aneurysm, stroke, and pneumonia.
Some of the known carcinogens in tobacco include heavy metals like nickel, beryllium, cadmium, and chromium, toxic gases like 1,3-butadiene, and well-known poisons like arsenic, ethylene oxide, and benzene. In addition, some suspected carcinogens found in tobacco products include formaldehyde, benzoapyrene, and toluene.
Common Cancers Caused by Carcinogens Found in Tobacco Products
Most people think of lung cancer when they think of cancers caused by smoking tobacco, but it turns out that lung cancer is just one of many possible cancers you can be diagnosed with as a result of smoking. Esophageal cancer as well as cancer of the larynx, throat, and mouth are also common among tobacco users. Other common cancers caused by smoking include cancer of the pancreas, kidney, cervix, bladder, and stomach. However every single organ can be effected by smoking and tobacco use, and the health of the entire body and especially the immune system is negatively effected as well.
What About Nicotine?
Nicotine is the highly addictive substance found naturally in the tobacco plant. Tobacco leaves are poisonous to eat and nicotine is poisonous to consume in any form. However, nicotine is not known to be a carcinogen on its own. The major problem with nicotine is that it effects a smoker’s ability to quit, and therefore it turns the carcinogens found in tobacco products into an irresistible treat to people who are addicted to tobacco.
Nicotine products, such as nicotine gum, lozenges, patches, or electronic cigarettes, are used to help people to quit smoking because changing the delivery system of the nicotine can have beneficial effects. There are a number of benefits that can be seen immediately when you stop smoking, even if you continue to use a nicotine product. These include lowered levels of carbon monoxide in the blood within just a few hours, which means more oxygen will travel throughout the body. Within a few weeks, smokers will find their sense of smell improves as well as their ability to taste the food they eat.
Lung function and the ability to exercise and do other physical activity returns within a couple of months. While most people focus on the carcinogens found in tobacco products, there are many other reasons to quit smoking. Overall quality of life improves once you quit.
We used this source when writing this story: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Tobacco/cessation