Posts tagged: cigarette smoking

Every Time You Smoke, This Is What You Are Actually Consuming

Every Time You Smoke, This Is What You Are Actually Consuming
Graphic © Image © (under license)

Cigarettes are bad for your health – this is common knowledge! But do you know the extent of the risks? Or the constituents of a single smoke? Based on the popularity of the habit, we’d like to assume that a significant number of smokers are not aware of what they’re actually consuming.

According to the Center for Disease Control [1] (CDC), cigarette smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable (emphasis on preventable) death in the U.S., accounting for nearly 1 in every 5 deaths annually. It actually causes more deaths than alcohol use, illegal drugs, HIV, firearm accidents, and motor vehicle injuries. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [2] approximates that smoking has claimed more American lives than all wars.

To make matters worse, over 3,000 teenagers [3] are initiated into the cigarette-smoking vice every day. With such heart-wrenching statistics, maybe peeling back a cigarette and exposing the smokes for what they really are might dissuade people from accelerating their death and suffering.

The Chemicals In A Cigarette

Did you know that there are over 600 ingredients [4] in a single cigarette stick? And no, these ingredients are not sugar, spice, or anything nice. In fact, 69 chemicals in a cigarette are either poisonous, carcinogenic or both.

Would you consume toilet cleaner (ammonia)? What about barbecue lighter (hexamine), battery components (cadmium), industrial solvents (toluene), or rat poison (arsenic)? Sounds like a hard pass, right? Well, all these – and more – cringe-worthy ingredients are used in cigarettes.

As shown in the figure above, cigarettes are a concoction of gross ingredients that collectively cause horrifying effects in the long term. Some of these health risks include lung cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, lung disease (chronic bronchitis and emphysema), asthma attacks, stillbirth, infertility, type 2 diabetes, immune function, and rheumatoid arthritis, to name a few.

Benefits Of Not Smoking

If you are not easy to scare, perhaps some positive reinforcement will do the trick. According to the American Cancer Society [5], you’ll experience the benefits of a smoking-free lifestyle as early as 20 minutes later. You’ll look and feel better as your fingernails and teeth regain their color, clothes lose the rancid cigarette stench, your breath improves, and you start tasting food for what it is again.
Internally, your blood pressure will stabilize, your heart rate drops, lung function increases, circulation improves, wheezing and coughing reduce dramatically, and the risk of cardiovascular decreases by half – not to mention the amount of cash you’ll save.

Quitting smoking is clearly a no-brainer. So, what is holding you back? Take a step towards better health today – it all starts with the initiative.


[1] Burden of Tobacco Use in the U.S. (2019). Retrieved 25 October 2019, from

[2] Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking. (2019). Retrieved 25 October 2019, from

[3] What Is In A Cigarette? Chemicals and Ingredient List Confirm How Dangerous Smoking Really Is. (2019). Retrieved 25 October 2019, from…/

[4] What’s In a Cigarette? (2019). Retrieved 25 October 2019, from

[5] Benefits of Quitting Smoking Over Time. (2019). Retrieved 25 October 2019, from

Your Body After You Stop Smoking

Your Body After You Stop Smoking
Graphic: © Image source – Pixabay (PD).

Smoking is a psychological habit and physical addiction. Most ex-smokers claim that overcoming their nicotine addiction was one of the hardest things in their lives. If you’re among the millions of people who are trying to quit smoking, here’s an extra incentive to push you the extra mile. Below are the health benefits you stand to gain in as little as 20 minutes of quitting smoking.

⦁ After 20 Minutes: You experience lower blood pressure, bronchial tubes start to move again, and circulation improves.

⦁ After 8 Hours: Blood oxygen increases as carbon monoxide levels drop – hence nourishing your cells.

⦁ After 24 Hours: Increase oxygen levels and reduced constrictions in your vessels reduce your risk of heart attacks.

⦁ After 48 Hours: Dulled senses (taste, smell, etc.) improve as nicotine leaves your body and damaged nerve endings begin to recover.

⦁ After 72 Hours: At the three-day mark, your breathing has improved tremendously. Lung capacity has increased, bronchial tubes are relaxed, and the exchange of air is much easier.

⦁ After 2-13 Weeks: For the next few weeks, you’ll notice a significant change in your health. This includes increased lung function (cardio will be easier), increased energy, and a decrease in most of the smoking-related symptoms. [1]

⦁ After 1 Year: As you celebrate your smoking-free anniversary, enjoy the fact that you’re 50% less likely to suffer from heart disease.

⦁ After 5 Years: The risk of cancers associated with the respiratory system will have dropped by half and your risk of stroke and cervical cancer would be the same as that of a non-smoker. [2]

⦁ After 10 Years: Your risk of lung cancer and smoking-related illnesses has drastically reduced.

Please note that this content should never be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.

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Your Body After You Stop Smoking
Graphic © Image source – Pixabay (PD).

Cigarette Butts Are The Most Polluting Items In The World

Cigarette Butts Are The Most Polluting
Cigarette Butts Are The Most Polluting Items In The World. Graphic © Photo – Pixabay (PD).

Worse even than plastic straws, food wrappers, beverage bottles, and plastic bags – cigarette butts (filters) are regarded as one of the most polluting items on our planet. According to National Geographic, trillions of cigarette filters (over 2 billion pounds of waste) are casually flung into the environment annually, leading to devastating environmental effects.

What makes Cigarette Butts Harmful

Contrary to popular opinion, conventional cigarette butts are not easily biodegradable. They are made from a plastic known as cellulose acetate, which takes several years to degrade. [1] As shown in a 2010 study, the littered cigarette butts also contain tons of chemicals (some of which as known carcinogens) that are harmful to various lifeforms. [2]

According to a study published in the Journal of Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, “littered cigarette filters reduce growth and alter short-term primary productivity of terrestrial plants.” [3] And as shown by this disturbing image, the butts are also hazardous to birds and marine life. [4] Aside from their negative effects on the flora and fauna, cigarette butts are an eyesore in our waterways, beaches, parks, and streets.

The Concept of Eco-Friendly Butts

Despite the increasing consumer awareness of the health repercussions of cigarette smoking and the enforcement of strict laws against cigarette manufacturing around the globe, the number of smokers is still staggering. Nearly 18 billion cigarettes are bought every day. [5]

Judging from the prevalence of cigarette smoking and the significant environmental and ecological impact of littered buds, the need to find a sustainable solution is more important than ever. With this in mind, a group of entrepreneurs developed eco-friendly cigarette filters (known by the brand name ‘Karma’) that decompose within a month, before sprouting into different varieties of trees.

The butts are made from a sustainable biodegradable pulp with seeds safely embedded into the paper. For those who are unable or unwilling to give up, after you’re done puffing on your cigarette, mindfully dispose of the filter and leave it to sprout new life.


[1] Comparison of cellulose vs. plastic cigarette filter decomposition under distinct disposal environments


[3] Cigarette butts have adverse effects on initial growth of perennial ryegrass (gramineae: Lolium perenne L.) and white clover (leguminosae: Trifolium repens L.)

[4] Disturbing Photo Shows a Black Skimmer Feeding a Cigarette Butt to Its Chick

[5] Cigarette butts are toxic plastic pollution. Should they be banned?