What is a Cigarette


March 23, 2023 9:48 pm

What Is A Cigarette?

Cigarettes are a set of thinly rolled paper filled with tobacco and other chemicals. Tobacco, as its main ingredient, contains nicotine which adds a stimulating and addictive impact to the body.

Although there is a filter at the end of the cigarette where you inhale the smoke, this is not enough to strain all the harmful chemicals it contains. Even individuals who do not smoke can still suffer from the adverse effects of secondhand smoke.


What Cigarettes Do To Your Body?

Everything that you burn in a cigarette goes through your lungs. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that there are 7000 chemicals contained in a cigarette, and a single puff can nearly damage every organ in your body.

In only a few seconds of smoking, the chemicals can reach your brain, heart, lungs, and every part where your blood flows, causing damage that can lead to numerous illnesses.

The following are the three major components contained in tobacco and how they affect the normal function of the body:

  • Nicotine

Nicotine constricts the passage of the blood in veins and arteries. This slows down normal blood flow and limits the amount of oxygen that is distributed in the body. This also strains the heart by forcing it to work faster than usual.

  • Tar

Tar acts on the lungs by coating them with a sticky component that prevents the body from absorbing enough oxygen and destroys the hair-like structure in the lungs which protects them from microbes and other infection.

  • Carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas which replaces the body’s oxygen. With not enough oxygen, the heart is triggered to overwork. This can also affect the airways of the lungs, making it difficult to let the air in.

All the chemicals found in a cigarette are a product of the pesticides used to grow the tobacco, the additives that keep the cigarette fresh, and the interaction of all these substances especially when heated – typically producing more new chemicals.

How Are Cigarettes Made?

Cigarettes are made from a paper rolled into a rod and filled with a tobacco filler. The paper contains a chemical which prevents it from burning quickly when used. The filler is also mixed with a number of chemicals that add flavor and appeal to anyone’s smoking experience.

The tobacco filler is a product of slicing, cutting, and blending tobacco stems and leaves which are thoroughly processed in certain conditions such as drying and conditioning.

At the end of the cigarette paper, a bundle of thin fibers are placed to act as a filter. However, only a small amount of smoke is trapped by these fibers so basically, it does not fully serve its purpose.

A tipping paper with ventilation holes is wrapped around the filter to fully attach it to the cigarette. Ventilation holes are supposed to dilute the inhaled smoke with air, however; since it can get blocked by the fingers or lips when smoking, it also tends to fail to do what it is designed for.

Finally, these cigarettes are intricately packed to preserve their freshness. A foil is initially used around the pack and then they are inserted in a box and covered with a protective film, ready for distribution.

What Are The Side Effects Of Cigarette Smoking?

Here is a list of side effects of Cigarette smoking:

  • Respiratory problems

Respiratory problems include Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a lung infection which makes breathing a problem, such as emphysema, bronchitis, and asthma. Persistent coughing is also another side effect.

  • Cardiovascular problems

Cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke can also be common. With smoking reducing the amount of oxygen present in the body, it is likely for blood clots to occur. An example of this is aneurysm.

  • Digestive problems

Smoking can also cause digestive distress. A person may be prone to suffer from an inflammation at the lining of the intestine, leading to experiences of stomach ache, diarrhea, and even loss of appetite.

  • Weak immune system

Smoking weakens the immune system and allows certain infections to easily progress in the body. This is the reason why smokers are highly susceptible to developing pneumonia and influenza.

  • Infertility issues

Tobacco has the tendency to affect the level of hormones in a female body which makes it difficult for them to conceive. It can also affect the quality of the sperm among males which also reduces fertility. It is even likely for them to suffer from erectile dysfunction.

  • Diabetes complications

Nicotine and other chemicals from cigarettes reduce the ability of the cells to respond to insulin and this results in an increased sugar level. About 30-40% of smokers are likely to develop diabetes type 2, while those with existing diabetes may suffer complications.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention warns the public that smoking causes disease, disability, and death – even among secondhand smokers.

Although there are certain side effects that seem to come out after a period of long-term use, there are also health problems that can occur immediately.

Do Cigarettes Cause Cancer?

Yes, smoking can cause 15 types of cancer in a person according to Cancer Research UK.

The two most common types of cancer are lung cancer and bowel cancer.

At present, there are 70 known carcinogens or cancer-producing chemicals present in cigarettes. These carcinogens act on the DNA cells and damage them. When this happens, these cells grow unnaturally until it becomes a tumor or cancer.

When cancer cells begin to develop, the body’s immune system is supposed to treat them. However, the numerous chemicals from cigarettes tend to weaken this function of the body. As a result, cancer cells continue to grow and increase in number.

Cancer.gov reports that 36% of the premature deaths caused by smoking each year are from cancer. Experts continue to emphasize that there is no such thing as safe smoking. The only way to save oneself from these serious illnesses is to really quit smoking.

Apparently, almost 40 million people in the United States continue to smoke cigarettes despite the fatal risk it poses on one’s health.

Do Cigarettes Relieve Stress?

Yes, Cigarettes relieve stress according to a research study of Choi, and et al. (2015) confirmed that it does relieve stress, most experts say that this is only a temporary relief and the stress will recur later on.

Smokershelp explains that this temporary relief is an effect of the nicotine acting on the brain by increasing its dopamine levels. Dopamine is the body’s natural hormones which are responsible for feelings of pleasure and relaxation.

With a high level of dopamine, the body will actually experience an increased heart rate and blood pressure, and with smoking reducing the amount of oxygen in the blood, muscles can become tense.

As soon as nicotine wears off, the tendency to experience anxiety and tension is likely. This is because the cardiovascular system was forced to overwork to overcome stress. When the fuel from nicotine ends as it wears off, stress levels may rise again.

Instead of turning to smoking to relieve stress, it would be best to specifically identify what triggers stress and develop healthy ways to respond during stressful situations.

Do Cigarettes Make You Lose Weight?

Smoking Cigarettes can cause weight loss according to The International Journal of Epidemiology which states that smokers are 5lbs lighter than non-smokers and this is because of tobacco. When a person smokes, it is likely to experience any of the following to reduce weight:

  • Loss of appetite

Cigarette smoking can affect the senses of taste and smell, making food less appealing. It also increases satiety even if there was actually less food intake.

  • Increased metabolism

Increased metabolism makes breaking down food to energy faster, resulting in weight loss. However, this happens because nicotine influences the heart to work faster too.

  • Low immune system

The weight loss that everyone sees among smokers can be a sign of a health problem since smokers tend to develop low immunity against diseases and infection.

Experts continue to warn that losing weight from smoking does not really bring an ideal body shape. Quitting smoking and developing a healthy lifestyle is still the best way to resolve issues of body weight.

Why Do People Smoke Cigarettes?

A study published by The National Institute of Health shows that smoking can start as early as 10 to 13 years old, and a significant increase of smokers can happen between ages 14 and 15.

Teenage smoking can oftentimes be triggered by the desire to rebel to their parents or by peer pressure. It is also likely that they have followed this behavior after their parents or they are strongly persuaded by the media that smoking is cool.

When these teenagers become grown-ups, the common reasons of clinging to smoking can be summed up in the following:

  • Smoking feels good.

Smoking releases nicotine towards the brain and produces a calming effect especially during stressful situations. This “feel good” experience is addictive in the long run.

  • Smoking is difficult to quit.

The addictive potential of nicotine makes smoking a habit that is difficult to break. Those who do attempt to quit have high chances of experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

Do Cigarettes Get You High?

The content of nicotine in the cigarette is what primarily induces a state of pleasure, calmness, and relief among individuals who smoke. As a stimulant, nicotine also inhibits a great amount of energy which can wear out anytime after.

These pleasurable feelings are what makes smoking difficult to let go. These episodes can progress into frequent smoking which influences a person to experience physical dependence and tolerance to nicotine in the long run.

Physical dependence is when the body becomes unable to function normally without the substance while tolerance is when a person adapts to a certain dose and would yearn for more. These two sums up the evidence that cigarette smoking is actually habit-forming.

What is the difference between Tobacco Cigarettes and CBD Cigarettes?

Contrary to tobacco cigarettes, a CBD cigarette doesn’t have any harmful chemicals or additives. Instead, they exclusively contain organically grown, pure, and ground-up hemp flowers. Hemp flower naturally includes a number of minor cannabinoids in addition to CBD (CBN, CBC, CBG, etc.).