A cigarette is a small roll of finely cut tobacco for smoking, enclosed in a wrapper of thin paper. The main ingredient in cigarettes is tobacco, although the tobacco is not the most toxic part of the cigarette. Farmers use many chemicals to grow tobacco. They use fertilizers to make the soil rich and insecticides to kill the insects that eat the tobacco plant. After the tobacco plants are picked, they are dried, and machines break up the leaves into small pieces.

Artificial flavorings and other chemicals are added. There are over 4,000 chemicals in cigarettes. 51 of them are known to be carcinogenic. Three of the most widely known chemicals are nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide. Nicotine is a strong poisonous drug. It is the main ingredient in insecticides or bug sprays. In its pure form, just one drop on a person's tongue would kill him/her.

Most people know that smoking causes lung cancer and heart attacks. What they may not know is that smoking causes many other diseases and illnesses such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, cataracts, gum disease, ulcers, colds, tuberculosis, leukoplakia and tooth decay. It is also the single most preventable cause of death in the U.S. Mentholated cigarettes are particularly dangerous because the smoke is pulled deeper into the lungs.

Recipe for a cigarette

  • Nicotine: a powerful and fast-acting addictive drug
  • Carbon monoxide: poisonous gas given off by car exhausts
  • Tar: black, sticky liquid like that used in road surfacing
  • Ammonia: found in toilet cleaners
  • Cadmium: a highly poisonous metal used in batteries
  • Vinyl chloride: used to make PVC
  • Cyanide: deadly poison used in the gas chambers
  • Formaldehyde: used for preserving dead bodies
  • Arsenic: found in rat poison
  • Ethanol: used in anti-freeze
  • Plus, sprinklings of 3985 other chemicals

Tobacco causes about 435,000 deaths or 1 out of 6 deaths in the U.S. each year. 20,000 flu and pneumonia deaths are tied to smoking. Every year 174,000 smokers will die from heart disease. Smoking increases the risk of dying of a heart attack by 60%. Every year 143,000 smokers will die from different cancers, 83,000 from lung cancer alone, and 26,000 from strokes. According to the Surgeon General Report of 1985, "Smoking has killed more people in the U.S. alone than the number of Americans killed in battle or who died of war related diseases in all wars ever fought by this nation." The total number of U.S. deaths in the Vietnam War was 58,151.

The best option is to identify why you smoke at all! Just because you have been doing it a long time? You need it to curb hunger, keeps your stress levels down … then get some help for the addiction and live without being a slave to the cancer stick. If you insist on smoking, use our remedies and detox options, but also look for organic cigarettes or herbal cigarettes. Herbal cigarettes, while nicotine free, ultimately every time you inhale, they also contain toxins. But if you must smoke, herbal cigarettes may be a safer alternative.

One smoke-free herbal alternative to cigarettes are herbal supplements which claim to help you quit. Two of the most popular are Avena sativa and Lobelia. Avena sativa has been used in India to cure certain drug addictions and is reported to help with the anxiety and nervousness that accompany withdrawal. Lobelia is reported to have nicotine-like effects and when taken in small doses, may help ease withdrawal. Warning: it should be used in very small doses and only under the care of an herbalist because it can be toxic.

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