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Tobacco - A Toxic Soup!

Tobacco is a motherload of toxins 

Research is showing that nicotine may not be the only psychoactive ingredient in tobacco. Using advanced neuroimaging technology, scientists can see the dramatic effect of cigarette smoking on the brain and are finding a marked decrease in the levels of monoamine oxidase (MAO), an important enzyme that is responsible for the breakdown of dopamine13. This change is likely caused by some tobacco smoke ingredient other than nicotine, since we know that nicotine itself does not dramatically alter MAO levels. The decrease in two forms of MAO (A and B) results in higher dopamine levels and may be another reason that smokers continue to smoke - to sustain the high dopamine levels that lead to the desire for repeated drug use.

Recently, researchers have shown in animals that acetaldehyde, another chemical constituent of tobacco smoke, dramatically increases the reinforcing properties of nicotine and may also contribute to tobacco addiction. The investigators further report that this effect is age-related, with adolescent animals displaying far more sensitivity to this reinforcing effect, suggesting that the brains of adolescents may be more vulnerable to tobacco addiction.

Most smokers are aware of the dangers of tar and nicotine, but do not realize that some 4,000 chemicals have been identified in cigarette smoke. Of these, more than 40 are carcinogens (they are known to cause cancer).  Many more wreak havoc on the respiratory system.

Among the many ingredients identified in the chemical cocktail of a cigarette are the pesticide DDT, the poison arsenic, and the toxic preservative formaldehyde.

Ambient smoke is a serious health hazard!

About 85 percent of the smoke in a room comes from the burning end of a cigarette, not the end the smoker is inhaling directly. This smoke carries many toxins in greater concentrations.


Tar is one of the toxic substances in cigarettes that can cause cancer, as well as hurt your lungs and cause breathing problems.It's a brown, sticky substance that winds up being deposited in your lungs and other areas of your respiratory system from where it is absorbed by the body. It is what stains smokers teeth and fingers.

Tar is actually a chemical cocktail all on its own, made up of chemicals that are toxic. A substance in cigarette tar, benzopyrene diol epoxide, has been found to damage DNA in a tumor-suppressing gene. A cellular link between smoking and lung cancer!