Maybe someone is interested in knowing what you’re really smoking?

Tobacco. Yes that too and also the cigarette paper and ultimately some additives, that are mixed in by the industry.

The numbers fluctuate- but it’s about 4800 additives, that can be found in cigarettes. People wanting to inform themselves quickly realize that these are not necessarily desirable. The legislature keeps up with their obligation to inform but either in a belittling manor like the conservatives or in a completely juridical way like the liberals. So researching is fun, which is clearly how it’s supposed to be.

Why is that so? We don’t know. But we are allowed to ask who is profiting. It’s obvious, that vendors of dangerous products develop a belittling character. They don’t want to scare away costumers. If the tricks used to make cigarettes “enjoyable” came out before the nicotine’s addictive effect is able to prevent the users from quitting their image would suffer.

Numerous associations and agents strive to influence the elected representatives to base their decisions on the wellbeing of the tobacco industry. As usual belittlingly these people are not referred to as manipulators but are known as the space where they historically practice their profession. As these spaces are the atriums of parliaments – also known as lobbies – they are called lobbyists. But these aren’t the only places they walk around in. They also like to do the legislatures job and unselfishly draw up complete bodies of law. In any case they successfully ensure that nothing works without them.

The Swiss quit smoking center has an informative article on the web that doesn’t mince words. We allow ourselves to quote from this article:

The effects of the nicotine in the tobacco on the brain are decisive for the psychological component. In the brain the nicotine binds to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and stimulates a release of the messenger substance dopamine in the rewards center. A big amount of dopamine triggers a sense of wellbeing in the brain. This is the first step towards addiction because this encourages further nicotine consumption. The brain quickly gets used to the regular consumption: the receptors become desensitized. This so called tolerance makes it increasingly difficult to stimulate the rewards center. Henceforth bigger dosages of nicotine are required to trigger the sense of wellbeing. Parallel to the development of the tolerance receptors are created. The resulting excess of receptors causes withdrawal effects like irritability, listlessness, stuffiness, inner unrest and anxiety as soon as a certain number of receptors are not engaged anymore (about four to six hours after the last consumption of nicotine.

Nicotine also stimulates parts of the brain (for example the prefrontal cortex) that are responsible for learning and the formation of memory. That is how the psychological addiction is developed: Smoking and the seemingly positively perceived effect (the sense of wellbeing) are associated with specific situations, perception, states of stress and sadness. The cup of coffee in the morning, a good meal or conversation with friends, the pulling out of a cigarette, the smoke’s smell, a smoking friend and a sad mood as well as stress evoke the longing for a cigarette in a smoker. The physically evoked withdrawal effects disappear a couple of weeks after quitting. The conditioning to outer stimuli and moods persists for years to come and makes the total withdrawal from tobacco addiction more difficult.


There are over 4800 chemical connections in a cigarette: most of which are respirable particulate matter particles.

According to the Süddeutsche (German newspaper) smokers inhale fume poison that are also used in batteries, rat poison or cleaning agents. Passive smokers barely live healthier. Nicotine is only one of the approximately 4800 chemicals in tobacco smoke. Of these about 90 are demonstrably carcinogenic. Examples are arsenic, led, cadmium, formaldehyde, benzene and nitrosamine. They can irreversibly damage the genetic material of cells and cause tumors and leukemia.

Other parts of the tobacco smoke increase the carcinogenic effect. Ammonia irritates the airways, even in small concentration, and acetaldehyde paralyses the cilia in the bronchial tract which are supposed to rid the airways of pollutants. The riddance of carcinogenic chemicals from the lung is impaired and they are able to act on the tissue longer.

In addition at least 250 of the smoke’s constituents are poisonous. Hydrocyanic acid is one of these toxic substances. When smoking tobacco, a small amount of the potentially deadly poison is released. This can lead to dizziness, vomiting and headaches.


There is no threshold as to the maximum number of puffs per day you can have without harming your health. Every single cigarette supplies a cocktail of poison with unpredictable consequences. For example studies show that three cigarettes a day already raise the risk of a heart attack by two thirds. The most important ingredients are:


Nicotine is the substance that leads to addiction. The “mood-lifter” is absorbed through the thin blood vessels. The more nicotine gets to the brain the more intensive the kick of the cigarette and the higher the risk of addiction.



When tobacco is burned a condensate known as tar is created. The viscous condensation accumulates in the airways and over the years colors the lung black. Those who smoke one pack of cigarettes daily inhale approximately one mug of tar a year. The condensate sticks together the inner linings of the airways (the so called ciliated epithelium). The airways lose their most important barrier to dirt, pathogens and pollutants. This leaves smokers more vulnerable to all kinds of respiratory diseases. The body tries to get rid of the tar with the typical smoker’s cough, but without success. The condensate is filled with carcinogenic components that can’t be stopped by any filters. According to a legal limit, a cigarette’s smoke is not to contain over 10 milligrams of tar. But that is already enough to damage the airways.



Carbon monoxide is invisible, odorless and poisonous. In the blood the gas represses the red blood cells oxygen. In order to compensate the shortage in the organs the heart beats faster and the blood pressure rises. Due to this effect carbon monoxide reduces the body’s efficiency and fosters cardiovascular diseases. The cigarette industry mixes hundreds of additives into the raw tobacco that aim to simplify smoking. When burning a cigarette harmless materials can turn into highly poisonous substances. The carcinogenic acetaldehyde is created out of the sugar that masks the tobaccos taste.

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