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What's in a Cigarette?

What Chemicals are in Your Cigarette?

Did you know there are more than 7000 chemicals in the tobacco smoke from your cigarette?

69 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer.

Just check out this list of some of the chemical nasties you may not have realised are in your cigarette.

Chemical name What else is it used for?

Hydrogen Cyanide

An agent used in chemical warfare


An ingredient of nail polish remover

Carbon Monoxide

A chemical found in car exhaust fumes

Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT)

A toxic pesticide


A chemical cleaner used to remove grime


A solvent used in paint thinner and fuel

Polonium 210

A radioactive agent used in machinery


An automotive fuel

Why are tobacco smoke chemicals toxic?

The chemicals found in cigarette smoke are toxic because they are foreign to the human body.

This means that when our bodies try to detoxify these chemicals, by-products are formed that can damage the DNA in the cells of our body. This can potentially trigger the process that causes cancer.

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