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Smoking and Tobacco

Cigarette Chemicals

06/29/1999

Question:

What is the effect of the numerous chemicals in a cigarette? Are cigarettes with none of these additives better? Are "light" cigarettes better? Are "Cloves" or cigarettes with non tobacco, natural additives better?

Answer:

Cigarette smoke contains literally thousands of chemicals which are harmful to health; for example, carbon monoxide, nicotine, arsenic, radioactive compounds, and "tar". They are responsible for the high risk of heart disease, lung disease, and cancers. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that cigarettes with or without additives (natural or otherwise), "light" cigarettes, or clove cigarettes are any safer.

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Response by:

Jerry   Friemoth, MD Jerry Friemoth, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati