Tobacco: Behind the Smoke


How much do you really know about tobacco? Let’s take a deeper look. Tobacco is a plant
from the Solanaceae family, better known as Nicotiana. More than 2,500 chemicals are naturally
found in tobacco plants – including nicotine, the highly addictive substance
responsible for tobacco addiction. The harvested leaves are cured, shredded, and assembled with paper and filters
to produce cigarettes. When a cigarette burns, the tobacco
is transformed into ash and smoke. The burning of tobacco
releases more than 7,000 chemicals, over 70 of which are cancer-causing. Smokers, and everyone around them,
are exposed to toxic chemicals including tar, hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde,
carbon monoxide and benzene. Once absorbed through the lungs, the toxic
chemicals are transferred to the bloodstream and are distributed to the entire body. Exposure to the chemicals in tobacco smoke
can cause a number of adverse health effects including lung, bladder,
pancreatic and other forms of cancer, emphysema
and other respiratory diseases, heart diseases, strokes
and other cardiovascular diseases and premature death. Take a closer look. Visit Canada.ca/Tobacco A message from the Government of Canada.