British Columbia Ministry of Health and Ministry Responsible for Seniors
1998 Reports on Cigarette Additives and Ingredients and Smoke Constituents
December 16, 1998

 

Some of the Chemicals in Cigarettes


What leading health agencies have to say about these smoke constituents:

1,3 Butadiene
"Acute exposure in humans results in irritation of the eyes, nasal passages, throat and lungs, and causes neurological effects such as blurred vision, fatigue, headache and vertigo. Epidemiological studies have reported a possible association between exposure and cardiovascular diseases. [It is a] probable human carcinogen of medium carcinogenic hazard."
US EPA

Acetaldehyde
"The primary acute effect of inhalation exposure to acetaldehyde is irritation of the eyes, skin and respiratory tract in humans. Erythema, coughing, pulmonary edema and necrosis may also occur."
US EPA

Acetone
"Workers exposed to acetone vapours experienced transient eye and nose irritation."
US EPA

Acrolein
"Acrolein is extremely toxic to humans. The acute and chronic effects of acrolein in humans consist mainly of effects on the lung, such as upper respiratory tract irritation and congestion and eye irritation."
US EPA

Acrylonitrile
Acute exposure via inhalation "has been observed to cause low-grade anaemia, cyanosis, leukocytosis, kidney irritation, mild jaundice and irregular breathing, with symptoms that include mucous membrane irritation, headaches, dizziness, nausea, feelings of apprehension and nervous irritability. [It is a] probable human carcinogen of medium carcinogenic hazard."
US EPA

Ammonia
"Ammonia can increase susceptibility to viral illness and aggravate chronic respiratory conditions."
Health Canada.

Aromatic amines -    4-amino-biphenyl
"Acute inhalation exposure produces headaches, lethargy, cyanosis, urinary burning and hematuria in humans ..[it] is a known human bladder carcinogen."
US EPA

Benzene
"A substance declared toxic or carcinogenic to human health under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA)."
Health Canada

Benzo[a]pyrene
"There are multiple animal studies in many species demonstrating BAP to be carcinogenic following administration by numerous routes."
US EPA

Butyraldehyde
"Human health effects associated with breathing or otherwise consuming small amounts of butyraldehyde over long periods of time are not known… limited evidence shows that butyraldehyde may cause changes in cells important to the reproductive system of animals."
US EPA

Cadmium
"Cadmium is much more dangerous by inhalation than by ingestion. Repeated or long-term exposure to cadmium, even at relatively low concentrations, may result in kidney damage and an increased risk of cancer of the lung and of the prostate."
US EPA

Carbon Monoxide
"Acute effects are due to the formation of carboxyhemoglobin in the blood,   which inhibits oxygen intake. At moderate concentrations, angina, impaired vision and reduced brain function may result."
US EPA

Catechol
"Increased the carcinogenic effects of benzo[a]pyrene on the skin in mice when applied together dermally."
US EPA

Crotonaldehyde
"A possible human carcinogen."
US EPA

Formaldehyde
"Formaldehyde "causes acute eye burning and irritates mucous membranes and the respiratory trace. EPA has determined formaldehyde to be a probable human carcinogen."
US EPA

Hydrogen Cyanide
"It is among the most toxic chemicals found in tobacco smoke. Short-term exposure can lead to headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting."
Health Canada

Lead
"Lead is a highly toxic metal. Lead is capable of causing serious damage to the brain, kidneys, nervous system and red blood cells. Children are particularly vulnerable because lead is more easily absorbed into growing bodies and the tissues of small children are sensitive to its effects. Lead exposure in children can result in delays in physical development, lower IQ levels, shortened attention spans and increased behavioural problems."
US EPA

M,p and o-cresol
"Possible human carcinogen … based on an increased incidence of skin papilomas in mice."
US EPA

Mercury
"Adults exposed to metallic mercury vapour may develop shakiness (tremors), memory loss and kidney disease."
US Department of Health and Human Services

Methyl Ethyl Ketone
"Exposure to methyl ethyl ketone in humans, via inhalation, results in irritation to the eyes, nose and throat and central nervous system depression."
US EPA

Nickel
"Inhalation exposure to nickel compounds can increase susceptibility to respiratory infections."
US Department of Health and Human Services

Nitric oxide
"Produce(s) short term effects on airway activity. High concentrations can lead to acute lung dysfunction. Special risks exist for chronic bronchitis, emphysema and asthma in children under two years old. Chronic effects are not well established."
US EPA

p-Hydroquinone
"Exposure to hydroquinone dust has resulted in eye injuries, which varied from mild irritation and staining of conjunctivae and cornea, to changes in the thickness and a curvature of the cornea, loss of corneal luster and impaired vision."
US EPA

Phenol
"Phenol is highly irritating to the skin, eyes and mucous membranes in humans."
US EPA

Propionaldehyde
"Exposure to high levels of propionaldehyde caused anaesthesia and liver damage via inhalation exposure."
US EPA

Quinoline
"Acute inhalation exposure to quinoline vapours irritates the eyes, nose and throat and may cause headaches, dizziness and nausea in humans. EPA has classified quinoline as a group 3 possible human carcinogen."
US EPA

Selenium
"Hydrogen selenide is the most acutely toxic selenium compound. Acute exposure to hydrogen selenide by inhalation results primarily in respiratory effects, such as irritation of the mucous membranes, pulmonary edema, severe bronchitis and bronchial pneumonia."
US EPA

Styrene
"Chronic exposure to styrene in humans results in effects on the central nervous system such as headache, fatigue, weakness and depression; peripheral neuropathy and minor effects on some kidney enzyme functions and on the blood."
US EPA

Toluene
"Central nervous system depression has been reported to occur in chronic abusers exposed to high levels of toluene. Symptoms include ataxia, tremors, cerebral atrophy, nystagmus (involuntary eye movements) and impaired speech, hearing and vision. Chronic inhalation exposure of humans to toluene also causes irritation of the upper respiratory tract, eye irritation, sore throats, nausea, skin conditions, dizziness, headaches and difficulty with sleep."
US EPA

 


REFERENCE: British Columbia Ministry of Health