The Disadvantages of Smoking: What’s Really in a Cigarette?

disadvantages of smoking

Have you ever taken a puff of a cigarette and wondered what’s inside of them? This may shock you, but the answer isn’t just tobacco.

Each cigarette you smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals. Hundreds of those chemicals are harmful to humans in some way, and around 70 chemicals in cigarettes are known carcinogens.

Every time you smoke, you’re putting thousands of harmful chemicals into your body. If you want to quit smoking for good, a lesson on the disadvantages of smoking that come from chemicals may be what you need.

The Chemical Disadvantages of Smoking

Some people think that the act of smoking does damage to the lungs. Inhaling smoke is never good for you, but the true dangers of smoking come from the chemicals you inhale with each puff.

Going over each harmful chemical or chemical compound in cigarettes would take an entire series of posts. That’s why we’re just going to focus on a few for now.

After you learn about the chemicals you’re putting into your body each time you smoke, you’ll be eager to finally take the steps to quit.


The dangers of arsenic have been known for some time. This chemical has been used to poison people, and it’s also found in cigarettes.

Arsenic is by far one of the most dangerous chemicals found in cigarettes. Aside from being a carcinogen, it causes significant damage to the heart and blood vessels over time.

The chemical also damages our body’s ability to repair DNA. This can lead to other health problems, and lessen people’s life spans.


Benzene is found in crude oil, pesticides, and makes up a variety of other petrochemicals. It also happens to be a chemical that’s found in cigarettes.

Benzene’s use in industrial manufacturing is only one of the reasons why it’s alarming that it’s found in cigarettes. Benzene is a carcinogen and is known to cause leukemia and other blood cancers.

In some cases, the chemical has also been known to cause anemia, excessive bleeding, and even genetic abnormalities.


Chromium has been used to make paints, dyes, and color metallic alloys. The problematic chemical can also help make carcinogens easily stick to DNA and cause damage.

Chromium is also a carcinogen by itself. That means this chemical helps other compounds give you cancer, and can also give you cancer on its own.

Hydrogen Cyanide

One of the main disadvantages of smoking is lung damage. Smoke can do damage to your lungs, but there’s something else in cigarettes that can also do them harm.

Hydrogen cyanide is a chemical compound that does significant damage to cilla in the lungs. Cilla helps protect lungs against toxins and other harmful things. Once cilla is destroyed, the lungs become much more vulnerable to toxins.

Every puff you take invites more chemicals into the body and helps harm your body’s defenses.

More Chemicals Found in Cigarettes

  • Acetone – found in nail polish remover
  • Acetic Acid –  an ingredient in hair dye
  • Ammonia – a common household cleaner
  • Butane – used in lighter fluid
  • Cadmium – active component in battery acid
  • Carbon Monoxide – released in car exhaust fumes
  • Formaldehyde – embalming fluid
  • Hexamine – found in barbecue lighter fluid
  • Lead – used in batteries
  • Naphthalene – an ingredient in mothballs
  • Methanol – a main component in rocket fuel
  • Nicotine – used as insecticide
  • Tar – material for paving roads
  • Toluene – used to manufacture paint

Time To Quit

Now that you know about the chemical disadvantages of smoking, you feel eager to quit. Remember, it only takes 10 days for your body to rid itself of the toxins you’ve ingested after you quit smoking.

It’s never too late to stop. If you want to start protecting your body from toxins, consider using coconut oil to flush your system or go to or call their HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872).

Share with Us!

Do you have other tips to share about quitting smoking and staying healthy?

If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or success stories, please share them with us in the comments below!

Leave a Comment Below

Written by Cary Byrd

Cary Byrd, owner of is on a mission to help people feel better using natural remedies and making wise choices into healthier lives, they love (and truly desire).