In 2004 lung cancer killed more people than breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer combined. Lung cancer accounts for 31% of all deaths from cancer, and 90% of these could have been prevented if people had not smoked cigarettes or other products containing nicotine and tar. In 2005 according to the American Cancer Society and the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) approximately 555,312 people died of lung cancer in the USA which accounted for about 22.8% of all deaths in the US.
The American Cancer Society and the CDC estimates that in 2008 over 215,020 new cases of lung cancer will exist. Within these stats around 114,000 men and 100,000 women will be involved. Lung cancer is the second biggest killer among people. And in 2008 out of 745,180 men tested, 15% have lung cancer and out of 692,000 women tested, 14% lung have some form of cancer. The top killer for men is prostate and the top for women is breast cancer.
Nicotine is highly addictive, smoke containing nicotine is inhaled into the lungs, and the nicotine reaches your brain just six seconds. Nicotine in small doses ask as the stimulant to the brain. In larger doses of lethal poison affecting the heart, blood, and hormones. One of the reasons people smoke is to calm their nerves.
Unfortunately for the user this calm is not natural and the only reason they are feeling the calm is because of the drugs inside the cigarette. This figure is smoked the amount of car inhaled into the lungs increases. Carbon monoxide makes it harder for red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body which is one of the main reasons why we may feel "out of breath" when we smoke.
Filters don't work. Just because a cigarette has a filter does not mean its safer. The companies only use this as a ply in order to make you the consumer feel "safer" about smoking cigarettes. Chemicals are added to cigarettes to make the cigarettes taste blander.
Chemists found that tobacco was too bitter tasting. So that decided to add "taste improving" chemicals. Unfortunately some of these chemicals also cause cancer. A chemical very similar to rocket fuel is used in cigarettes to keep the end of the cigarette burning at extremely high temperatures. The actual list of ingredients in a cigarette is too long to even list in this article, however here are a few that you can take a look at:
Fungicides and pesticides - these cause many types of cancers and birth defects
Cadmium - ingredient linked to lung and prostate cancer
Benzene - ingredient linked to leukemia
Formaldehyde - ingredient linked to lung cancer
Nickel - causes increased susceptibility to lung infections
Of course all cigarettes aren't the same, over 5000 ingredients are in a cigarette besides the actual tobacco. Some of the most common additives are yeast, wine, chocolate (yes chocolate), caffeine, and beeswax. Just to list a few more ingredients so you can get an idea of how bad cigarettes really are for you:
Angelica root extract: Known to cause cancer in animals
Arsenic: Used in rat poisons
Cyanide: Deadly poison
Ethyl Furoate: Causes liver damage in animals
Lead: Poisonous in high doses
Megastigmatrienone: Chemical naturally found in grapefruit juice
Maltitol: Sweetener for diabetics
Napthalene: Ingredient in mothballs
Methyl isocyanate: Its accidental release killed 2000 people in Bhopal, India in 1984
Polonium: Cancer-causing radioactive element
According to Phillip Morris International they state that "In addition to tar, nicotine and CO, nearly 5,000 chemicals have been identified in tobacco smoke to date. Public health authorities have classified between 45 and 70 of those chemicals, including carcinogens, irritants and other toxins, as potentially causing the harmful effects of tobacco use."
Well gee, then why are they used? This isn't an answer I can give you, in fact I don't even think it's an answer that the cigarette companies can answer for you. It seems like it's just one of those "it is what it is" answers. Ridiculous. That's my answer. I don't know how all cigarette companies work, but if you are interested I know that Phillips Morris International does offer a full list of the additives, yes all 5000 of them, of course I can't seem to find the USA listed on the site anymore.
But if you are living in any place from Algeria to Venezuela you can find the list, plus you can even check your specific brand as well as components of the cigarette such as the ink, sleeve, filter, etc.
If you would like more information on lung cancer including treatments, stats, symptoms, tests, etc, please visit the following websites:
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
American Cancer Society