Infographic: Tobacco - Behind the smoke

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Organization: Health Canada

Date published: January 2019

The Tobacco Plant (Nicotiana)

Naturally contains 2,500 chemicals including nicotine, the highly addictive substance responsible for tobacco addiction.

Anatomy of a cigarette

Cigarette paper, shredded tobacco, filter

Smoking cigarettes

The burning of the tobacco releases 7,000+ chemicals including 70+ that are cancer-causing.

Toxic chemicals are absorbed through the lungs into the bloodstream and to the entire body.

Exposure to smoke

Smokers, and everyone around them, are exposed to toxic chemicals, including:

  • Tar
  • Hydrogen cyanide
  • Formaldehyde
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Benzene

These can cause a number of adverse health effects, including:

  • Cancer
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Cardiovascular illnesses
  • Premature deaths

Take a closer look: Canada.ca/Tobacco

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