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reviewed 5/27/2019

What's in cigarette smoke?

Arsenic, formaldehyde and lead are a few examples of what you breathe in with cigarette smoke.

  • Acetone. Found in nail polish remover.
  • Acetic acid. Found in hair dye.
  • Ammonia. Used in household cleaners.
  • Arsenic. Found in rat poison and pesticides. Known to cause cancer.
  • Benzene. Found in rubber cement and gasoline. Known to cause cancer.
  • Butane. Found in lighter fluid.
  • Cadmium. Found in batteries. Known to cause cancer.
  • Carbon Monoxide. Found in car exhaust fumes.
  • Formaldehyde. Used in embalming fluid. Known to cause cancer.
  • Hexamine. Found in barbecue lighter fluid.
  • Hydrogen cyanide. Used as a chemical weapon.
  • Lead. Used in batteries. May cause cancer.
  • Methanol. Found in rocket fuel and antifreeze.
  • Naphthalene. Found in mothballs. May cause cancer.
  • Nicotine. Used as insecticide.
  • Toluene. Used to make paint thinners. May cause cancer.

Source: American Lung Association; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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