Toxic Emissions Statements

Whenever a tobacco product is burned, people are exposed to these chemicals, either directly through smoking or through exposure to second-hand smoke.

Facts

Cancer Causing Chemicals

Tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, including at least 70 known carcinogens (chemicals that cause, initiate or promote cancer).Footnote 1,Footnote 2 Many of these same chemicals are present in second-hand smoke.Footnote 3 Repeated exposure to carcinogens increases the risk of developing cancer.Footnote 4,Footnote 5

For more information, visit our fact sheet on carcinogens in tobacco smoke.

Benzene

Benzene is one of the many chemicals present in tobacco smoke.Footnote 6,Footnote 7 Benzene is an organic chemical compound that has been declared toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.Footnote 8 The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies benzene as carcinogenic to humans.Footnote 9

For more information, visit our fact sheet on carcinogens in tobacco smoke.

Fine Particles

Tobacco smoke is a major source of indoor air pollution, where a smoker resides, and comprises a complex mixture of chemicals in the form of gases and particles.Footnote 2,Footnote 10 Tobacco smoke particles are very small and can enter deep into the lungs. These fine particles contain many carcinogenic chemicals such as tobacco specific nitrosamines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons as well as many heavy metals.Footnote 11 When inhaled, these fine particles can enter deep into the respiratory system, increasing the risk of severe health effects including worsening of asthma symptoms, decreased lung function, infection and inflammation of the lungs, and the increased risk of mortality from lung cancer.Footnote 12,Footnote 16

Hydrogen Cyanide

Hydrogen cyanide is one of the many chemicals present in tobacco smoke.Footnote 6,Footnote 17 Hydrogen cyanide interferes with the use of oxygen in the body and may cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.Footnote 18

References

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