Cigarette smoking causes lung cancer, bronchitis, emphysema and heart disease
Cigarette smoke contains thousands of different compounds many of which are harmful to health and/or cause cancer (carcinogenic).
These compounds include carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, toluene, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, nicotine, oxides of nitrogen, phenol, and sulphur dioxide. Metals and metalloids, including arsenic, nickel, cadmium and chromium also occur in tobacco smoke.
Among the compounds, mainly bound to particles, which are proven or probably human carcinogens in cigarette smoke are n-nitrosamines, PAHs (benz[a]anthracene, benz[a]pyrene, dibenz[a,h]anthracene),aromatic amines and benzene.
Cigarette smoking causes lung cancer, bronchitis, emphysema, myocardial infarction and stroke. In people who do not smoke but are exposed to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) there are less marked but significant increases in the risks of these outcomes.
Infants and young children are particularly susceptible to the health effects of ETS. Exposure increases the frequency and severity of asthma attacks, and the risk of respiratory infections: bronchitis, pneumonia and other childhood infections such as those of the middle ear.