10 Chemicals in Cigarettes that Cause Cancer #Most Harmful Compounds

Smoking has already been a habit that can not be separated from modern society. Pro and contra from cigarettes has been comes up a lot of time. Several fact of the harm effect from consuming cigarettes has been found. Even though many studies has been proven, but there are a lot of people that still consuming cigarettes without considering the disease that can happen cause of smoking. Cigarettes contains a lot of dangerous chemical compounds that can causing cancer. Here some chemical compounds found in cigarettes that can cause cancer.

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What is the material ingredients for cigarettes?

Cigarettes has been known since 9th century around Central America and Mexico. The Maya and Aztect, has been used cigarettes or its predecor the cigar for ritual purpose. The name cigarettes itself first announced when it is transported to France in 1830, since then cigarettes began manufactured.

Cigarettes is made by rolling tobacco leaves in a thin paper. One side being ignited and from the other side people can inhale the smoke. This tradition keep going and it is showing up that not only men that smoke but also women. The number of women who smoke keep increase from late 80s until now.

What’s make the cigarettes become an issue is because of the side effect from smoking cigarettess. From health issue until environment issue, many people has been contrary with cigarettes. Campaign mostly come up for health awareness. This happen because many studies already said that cigarettes composed by a dangerous component, which is nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide.

  1. Nicotine, is one of the most ingredients found in cigarettes. nicotine has a nature addictive. It can cause blood presure, surge of heart rate, and also adrenaline which cause addiction because it feels good. But this chemical compounds is easily absorbed in blood and brain making the smoker condition worsen day by day.
  2. Tar, is a sticky and thick substances. Tar will infect the tiny hair on the lungs called cilia. Cilia function is to protect and to filter lungs from dirt, but when sticky tar covered up cilia, it will not able to do their job.
  3. Carbon monoxide, usually found in car exhaust. It is categorized as dangerous because it can decrease the amount of oxygen in the blood which will cause heart to work harder than usual.

Not only that new studies have been proved that cigarettes is one of the important reason in increasing number of cancer and tumor patient. Because except those three dangerous chemical compounds there are exist several dangerous component that contain chemicals in cigarettes that cause cancer.

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  1. Nicotine-derived nitrosamine ketone ( NNK)

One of the important key in carcinogenesis or simply said as one of the most dangerous material that can cause cancer, also known as 4 – (methylnitrosamino) – 1 – ( 3 – pyridyl) – 1 – butanone. It is usually can be found in tobacco leaves. NNK needs to be activated first to exert its effect, mostly has been done by enzymes, such as metabolic genes, like myeloperoxidase ( MPO) and epoxide hydrolase ( EPHX1). It is basically created from nicotine that burn and turn into NNK.

Nicotine-derived nitrosamine ketone formula: C10H13N3O2

Effect from nicotine-derived nitrosamine ketone:

  1. Lung cancer
  2. Nasal cancer
  3. Oral cavity cancer
  4. Liver cancer
  5. Pancreas cancer
  6. Cervix cancer
  7. Tumor

NNK is also cateogorized as mutagen, it caused change in human genome, or called it as polymorphisms. It usually involve cells such as cell growth, proliferation, and differentiation. NNK effect can be seen in gene silencing, function distruption, carcinogenesis, and the new studies said it also cause tumorigenesis. The amount of NNK in cigarettes is equal to 110 to 133 ng.

  1. N– Nitrosonornicotine ( NNN)

N– Nitrosonornicotine or NNN, together with NNK is considering as the most carcinogenic, means they are the one who responsible for many cancer cases from smoking tobacco. NNN is produced from the burning process of tobacco, mostly found in the smoke and human saliva after consuming tobacco. It is also produced from nicotine. NNN will bind with nucleotide, forming a DNA adduct or a DNA segmentation that causing a cancer. The effect is a rapid and uncontrolled growth of cancer and tumor cells.

N– Nitrosonornicotine formula: C9H11N3O

Effect of N– Nitrosonornicotine:

  1. Nasal cancer
  2. Oral cavity cancer
  3. Esophagus cancer

NNN symptoms can be seen as nausea, vomiting, sleep disturbances, headache, and chest pain. The amount of NNN in cigarettes is approximately to 154 to 196 ng.

  1. Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is the most simple aldehydes, is a chemical compound that can be found in tobacco smoke, forest fire, car exhaust, and also in interstellar. Commonly known as methanal is an intermediate of combustion of methane. It is a colorless gas, has a sharp and irritating scent. Formaldehyde is usually used in manufacturing such as paper coating, glue, fabric, and particleboard.

Gas stove, wood combustion, kerosene heater also can produced formaldehyde. The side effect from this formaldehyde is watery eyes; burning sensation in eyes, nose, and throat; coughing; nausea; wheesing; and skin irritation.

Formaldehyde formula: CH2O or H-CHO

Effect of Formaldehyde:

  1. nasal cancer
  2. nasopharyngeal cancer
  3. brain cancer
  4. leukimia (myeloid leukimia)

Formaldehyde has rapid effect and mostly infected respiratory system. The amount of formaldehyde in cigarettes is approximately to 10,3 to 25 μg.

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  1. Acetaldehyde

Acetaldehyde also known as ethanal, is one of the most important chemical compounds from aldehydes group. Acetaldehyde is one of the most abundant chemical compound found in cigarettes. it is easily dissolved in saliva. It is actually occur naturally from plant, such as fruit, also from coffee and bread. Acetaldehyde also produced inside human metabolism which is produced by liver enzymes and allegedly as a cause of hangover from alcohol consumption. It is categorized as a carcinogen.

It is damaging the DNA and built up abnormal development in muscle cause it is bind the protein. It can cause nausea, vomitting, and headache. In the great amount of acetaldehyde it can causing hallucination, drowsiness, delirium, and loss intelegence.

Acetaldehyde formula: C2H4O

Effect of Acetaldehyde:

  1. liver cancer
  2. gastrointestinal cancer
  3. nasal cancer
  4. lung cancer

It can damaging the lungs, kidney, liver, causing chronic respiration system, throat irritation, dizziness, reddening and swelling skin. The amount of acetaldehyde in cigarettes is approximately to 770 to 864 μg.

  1. Benzo(a)pyrene

Benzo(a)pyrene or abbreviated as BaP, also called 3,4 – benzyprene, is produced because of incomplete combustion at temperature between 300 °C (572 °F) and 600 °C (1,112 °F). It is categorized as one of benzopyrenes, forming from benzene ring binding to pyrene. It is usually found easily in coal tar, cigarettes smoke, and grilled smoke. Benzo(a)pyrene is mutagenic and carcinogenic because it is damaging DNA in lung cells through absorption in blood system.

Benzo(a)pyrene is also procarcinogen, means it needs an activation and depends on enzymatic metabolism. It is disrupts the normal activity of copyig DNA by causes mutation. Studies also shown that Benzo(a)pyrene affect nervous system by decreasing brain function and lowering it, also affecting the immune system with decreasing number one immune agent which is white blood cells by attacking macrophages membrane and damaged it.

Benzo(a)pyrene formula:C20H12

Effect of Benzo(a)pyrene:

  1. lung cancer
  2. lung tumor
  3. colon cancer

The amount of Benzo(a)pyrene in cigarettes is approximately to 8,5 to 17,6 μg.

You may also read: List of Organic Chemicals

  1. Benzene

Benzene is classified as hydrocarbon because it is only contain of carbon ( six carbon) joined with hydrogen. It is usually found in gasoline, crude oil, and petrochemicals. It is colorless liquid and highly flammable, has a sweet scent. It is mostly affecting human through respiration system because it is produced from fire, manufacture, car exhaust, and tobacco smoke. It is damaging brain, lung, liver, kidney, and heart because it is easily inhale from gasoline. It is also causing chromosomal damage.

Benzene formula: C6H6

Effect of benzene:

  1. lung cancer
  2. leukimia ( acute myeloid leukimia, acute nonlymphocytic leukimia)
  3. bone marrow failure
  4. anemia

Benzene, when it is oxidizes in and forming benzene oxide can causing DNA mutation. The amount of Benzene in cigarettes is approximately to 12 to 50 μg.

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  1. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAHs, also known as polyaromatic hydrocarbons or polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, is one of hydrocarbons groups, as it is contain only carbon and hydrogen and categorized as organic compounds. PAHs is classified as neutral and can be found in coal tar. PAHs produced by incomplete combustion such as engines, and incinerators.

PAHs produced from smoking contribute to 90 percent of  PAH level around the world. It also can be produced from grilled meat. Mostly causing cardiovascular disease and poor fetal development.

Effect of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon:

  1. lung cancer
  2. larynx cancer
  3. oral cavity cancer
  4. cervix cancer
  5. bladder cancer
  6. skin cancer
  7. liver cancer
  8. stomach cancer

It is first need an activation from enzymes turn in metabolisms and react with DNA, it will causing mutation in DNA.

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  1. 4- aminobiphenyl

4- aminobiphenyl has a characteristic as colorless crystal which turn intio purple when having a contact with air and has a floral scent. It is highly flammable and producing toxic gases, such as carbon monoxide and oxides from nitrogen. It was used in manufacture as rubber antioxidant as a dye intermediate but as it is proven as a carcinogenic now 4- aminobiphenyl  only used in laboratory research.

It is affecting human through inhalation, ingestion, and direct contact. It will cause haaedache, lethargy, urinary tract burning, blood in the urine, bluish discoloration in the skin and mucous membranes. In a chronic symptoms causing blood in urine with painful urination.

4- aminobiphenyl formula: C12H11N

Effect of 4- aminobiphenyl:

  1. liver cancer
  2. bladder cancer
  3. mammary glands cancer

4- aminobiphenyl also can causing genetic damage. The amount of 4- aminobiphenyl in cigarettes is approximately to 2,4 to 4,6 μg.

  1. 2-Naphthylamine

2-Naphthylamine is a colorless crystal and has a faint aromatic scent. When it is react with air or vapor it is highly explosive. It is including in aromatic acid group. Also known as β-naphthylamine, it was used as intermediate for dyes as a rubber antioxidant.

Because it is categorized as carcinogenic it has been prohibited since 1998. Now it only used in laboratory research. It is affecting liver, bladder, and mammar glands. It operates by involving metabolisms turn and damage DNA, causing mutagenic and clastogenic effects. The amount of  2-Naphthylamine in cigarettes is approximately to 1 to 22 μg.

2-Naphthylamine formula: C10H9N or C10H7NH2. Thus, this is one of the chemicals in cigarette that cause cancer and effect of 2-Naphthylamine is bladder cancer

  1. 1,3 – butadine

1,3 – butadine known with many names, such as Biethylene, Erythrene, Divinyl, Vinylethylene, Bivinyl, Butadiene, is a hydrocarbons group with structure as H2C=CH−CH=CH2 or it can been seen as two vynil joined together ( CH2=CH2) . It is usually found from vehicles emission.

It is flammable and irritative, also carcinogenic. The effect after contamined by 1,3 – butadine is fatigue, blurred vision, headache, and vertigo. It also causing a frostbite sensation when has a direct contact with skin. In a chronic effect it usually affecting cardiovascular, and can causing leukimia.

1,3 – butadine formula: C4H6

Effect of 1,3 – butadine:

  1. bladder cancer
  2. lympathic cancer
  3. stomach cancer
  4. leukimia
  5. tumor

Long term effects can affecting many areas such as brain, lung, liver, blood, kidney, eye, heart, nose, and throat. From a test in animal, it has been proven that it has highly affect women than men. 1,3 – butadine usually found in rubber manufacture such as plastic, tire, and resin. The amount of 1,3 – butadine in cigarettes is approximately to 20 to 40 μg.

Indeed, there are many chemicals in cigarette that cause cancer. As it is, it’s danger for overall health. However, some people smoke cigarette and don’t know about these harmful chemicals.

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