Cigarette Facts and Smoking Cessation Tips


Tobacco Chemicals

Tobacco contains over 4,000 chemicals. Here are just a few:

  • Ammonia - used in household cleaners and dry cleaning fluid
  • Cadmium - found in phosphate fertilizers and batteries
  • Hydrazine - used in jet and rocket fuel
  • Formaldehyde - embalming fluid, must have a license to obtain
  • Acetic Acid - found in hair dye and photo developer; gloves must be worn when handling both of these substances
  • Naphthalene - ingredient in explosives, mothballs, and paint pigments
  • Arsenic - used in rat poison; most rats love the taste
  • Carbon Monoxide - a colorless, odorless, highly poisonous gas that comes out of car exhausts
  • Polonium - radiation equal to 300 chest x-rays in one year
  • Nicotine - addictive drug that affects your mood and performance
  • Toluene - used in polyurethane
  • Benzene - found in all gasoline grades; caution recommended when exposed to this chemical
  • Acetone - used as a solvent, found in paint, fingernail polish remover
  • Hydrogen Cyanide - found in all gas chambers
  • Butane - used in cigarette lighters


Ideas to Help You Quit

If you smoke for stimulation, try:

  • getting enough rest
  • exercising regularly (moving is a drug-free stimulant)
  • eating regular, nutritious meals
  • drinking lots of cold water


If you smoke for pleasure, remember:

  • how good foods taste now
  • you feel and look fresh in social situations without smoking
  • how much easier it is to walk, run, and climb stairs without smoke in your lungs
  • how good it feels to be in control of the urge to smoke
  • that you can spend the money you save on something else you enjoy
  • all the myriad health benefits of quitting


If your obstacle is handling the cigarettes, try to:

  • picking up a pen or pencil
  • playing with a coin, twisting a ring, or handling any harmless object
  • eating regular meals
  • finding a hobby that keeps your hands busy
  • having a low-fat, low-sugar snack like carrot sticks, apple slices, or a breadstick


Tips for tension reduction:

  • use relaxation techniques
  • exercise regularly
  • remember that smoking does not resolve problems; figure out what will, and act
  • avoid or get out of stressful situations
  • get enough rest
  • enjoy relaxation: take a hot bath, have a massage, lay in the hammock, listen to music


To deal with cravings:

  • explore using nicotine replacement therapy
  • smoke more than you want for a day or two before you quit; this “overkill” may spoil your taste for cigarettes
  • remember that smoking even one cigarette will make you want more
  • tell family and friends that you’ve quit; ask for help, let them know what they can do
  • think of yourself as a non-smoker; hang up “No Smoking” signs
  • remember that physical withdrawal lasts about 2 weeks; you can make it, hang on!


If you are having problems dealing with the habit of smoking:

  • change your smoking routines; keep your cigarettes in a different place, smoke with the opposite hand; limit smoking to certain places
  • be aware of every cigarette you smoke; ask “do I REALLY want this cigarette?”