by John Vibes
Smoking is one of the leading causes of illness and death in the world. The use of tobacco has become more widespread than ever and the substance itself is far more dangerous than it has ever been before.
Today cigarettes are mass produced and treated with thousands of additives and chemicals. Carcinogenic, poisonous chemicals and toxic metals can all be found in modern tobacco products. These chemicals are present for many reasons ranging from taste and preservation to being purposely addictive. There are over 4000 of these chemicals in cigarettes and all of them are actually not even revealed to the public, they are protected under law as “trade secrets”. This means they can add anything they want in there without our knowledge.
The following list shows some of the harmful chemicals which cigarettes contain that we actually know about:
- Nickel: A human carcinogen that is poisonous if ingested and causes gastrointestinal problems
- Ammonia: Household cleaner.
- Arsenic: Used in rat poisons.
- Benzene: Used in making dyes, synthetic rubber.
- Butane: Gas; used in lighter fluid.
- Carbon monoxide: Poisonous gas.
- Cadmium: Used in batteries.
- Cyanide: Lethal poison.
- DDT: A banned insecticide.
- Ethyl Furoate: Causes liver damage in animals.
- Lead: Poisonous in high doses.
- Formaldehyde: Used to preserve dead specimens.
- Methoprene: Insecticide.
- Maltitol: Sweetener for diabetics.
- Napthalene: Ingredient in mothballs.
- Methyl isocyanate: Its accidental release killed 2000 people in Bhopal, India, in 1984.
- Polonium: Cancer-causing radioactive element.
- Acetone: the active ingredient in fingernail polish remover.
Thanks to Enlightened Consciousness for the list compilation.
The tobacco industry is nearly as profitable and deadly as the arms industry. The global cigarette business is valued at over $559.9 billion and the World Health Organization estimates that cigarettes could kill 1 billion people in the 21st century if the current trend continues. Today smoking causes a whole list of adverse health reactions, illnesses and disease but because it is such a big business the corporations that profit from the sale of tobacco spend a lot of time and money keeping its use alive. Like all important industries the global tobacco market is controlled by just a few multinational corporations who spend billions in advertising and public relations every year to keep their product in demand.
Before the effects of smoking were seen on aging generations the tobacco companies paid off doctors, dentists, educators and celebrities to endorse their product. Through these public relations projects the tobacco companies projected a healthy, socially desirable and sophisticated image for their product. When cigarettes started being mass produced most doctors and dentists were actually telling people that smoking was good for them! It wasn’t until massive amounts of people began to die as a result of smoking that the scientists and doctors actually began to warn the public that it might not be that healthy after all. Now we know the sad truth, smoking cigarettes is one of the worst possible things you can do to your body and mind. As with fluoride, the chemicals contained in cigarettes have even been known to cause unhealthy build ups on the pineal gland in your brain and make your consciousness “hazy”. Also, due to the toxic chemicals in cigarettes, smokers are always coming down with different respiratory and sinus problems.
The financial advantage alone should be enough of an argument to quit smoking. In most states cigarettes are now over 6 dollars a pack, half of which is taxes. So people are literally paying the government and rich multinational corporations an average of 10 dollars every day, for a product that destroys their bodies. It is true that there are addictive chemicals in cigarettes but their strength and power has been blown way out of proportion. The psychological addiction is always much stronger than the physical addiction even with harsh narcotics like heroin and especially with nicotine. All you have to do is stop and get through a few days without it. Soon enough the smell and taste will no longer be desirable to you and you will be happy to have that extra 6 dollars a pack in your pocket. It will be easier to breathe, you won’t get sick as often and you will overall be in better spirits. Quitting cigarettes is one decision that you can make that will drastically improve your life in a number of ways and it will give the elite less control of your money and your health.
John Vibes writes for True Activist and is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war.
BMSS Addendum: If you absolutely need to smoke, then make wise choices by purchasing organic tobacco. In the United States, the American Spirit brand makes organic tobacco. I know a lot of people in the health and spiritual genres who smoke the American Spirit brand, including myself. This is in no way vindication for those who smoke nor is it an endorsement for American Spirit cigarettes. Smoking is an addiction. When you smoke traditional brands such as Marlboro or Newport, there are up to 599 cigarette additives added to your tobacco and according to quitsmoking.com, cigarette smoke creates poisonous and carcinogenic chemicals:
To date, 7,000 chemical compounds have been identified in cigarette smoke, including 250 poisonous and 70 carcinogenic chemicals. Carbon monoxide, arsenic, hydrogen cyanide and benzene are all present in cigarette smoke, along with a host of others.
By smoking organic tobacco, you are, at the least, eliminating up to 599 additives that are put in non-organic tobacco while lessening the effects of nicotine. According to a study by the Massachussetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), there was an average increase of 1.6 percent in nicotine per year from 1998 through 2004, thus creating the controversy of whether Big Tobacco was adding nicotine to their products in order to keep their consumers addicted to cigarettes.
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