In My Eyes
By Edward B. Antonio
If there is one thing that I hate to smell or inhale, it’s cigarette smoke, fellas.
I hate it when somebody smokes beside me.
I hate it when I’m tailing another motorcycle in the midst of a thick traffic and the driver is smoking.
I’m turned off by girls or women who smoke.
In fact, I can smell cigarette smoke 50 meters away and a hundred meters away when the wind direction darts towards me.
I usually shun away from smokers. If there is an important meeting I am attending and I happened to sit down beside somebody who smokes, I transfer seat; and if the room is full of smokers, I boycott the meeting.
That’s how I abhor cigarette smoke.
And why not?
Aside from it smells foul, I get dizzy immediately upon exposure to cigarette smoke. I vomit.
What’s in a cigarette, fellas.
There are approximately 600 ingredients in cigarettes. When burned, they create more than 7,000 chemicals. At least 69 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer, and many are poisonous. The cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco are referred to as carcinogens. Some of the chemicals found in tobacco smoke include:· acetone – found in nail polish remover; acetic acid, an ingredient in hair dye; ammonia, a common household cleaner; arsenic, used in rat poison; benzene – found in rubber cement; butane – used in lighter fluid; cadmium – active component in battery acid; carbon monoxide – released in car exhaust fumes; formaldehyde – embalming fluid; hexamine – found in barbecue lighter fluid; lead – used in batteries; naphthalene – an ingredient in mothballs; methanol – a main component in rocket fuel; nicotine – used as insecticide; tar – material for paving roads; toluene – used to manufacture paint; hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde, lead, ammonia, radioactive elements, such as uranium, benzene, nitrosamines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons to name some.
Aside from cancer, these chemicals can cause heart disease, lung disease, or other serious health problems, too. Most of the substances come from the burning tobacco leaves themselves, not from additives included in cigarettes (or other tobacco products).
Many of these chemicals also are found in consumer products, but these products have warning labels. While the public is warned about the danger of the poisons in these products, there is no such warning for the toxins in tobacco smoke.
There are also radioactive elements in tobacco. Radioactive materials are in the tobacco leaves used to make cigarettes and cigars. These materials come from the fertilizer and soil used to grow the tobacco leaves, so the amount in tobacco depends on the soil the plants were grown in and the type of fertilizers used. These radioactive materials are given off in the smoke when tobacco is burned, which smokers take into their lungs as they inhale.
How about smokeless tobacco, fellas?
Smokeless tobacco products include snuff and chewing tobacco that is put into the mouth or nose but is not burned like cigarettes or cigars. Still, smokeless products contain a variety of potentially harmful chemicals, including high levels of TSNAs, benzo[a]pyrene and other polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These carcinogens are absorbed through the mouth that’s why several types of cancer are linked to the use of smokeless tobacco. Like other forms of tobacco, smokeless tobacco also contains radioactive substances.
E-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) are often used as substitutes for cigarettes or other tobacco products. Marketers of e-cigarettes and other ENDS often claim the ingredients are safe. But the aerosols these products produce can contain addictive nicotine, flavorings, and a variety of other chemicals, some known to be toxic or to cause cancer. The levels of many of these substances appear to be lower than in traditional cigarettes, but the amounts of nicotine and other substances in these products can vary widely because they are not standardized. The long-term health effects of these devices are not known, but they are being studied.
I don’t want to die of any smoke-related disease.
I want to live a full life unaffected by cigarette smoke.
I want to write more columns.
I want to be a part of more world histories.
I still want to do many things.
So, why smoke, fellas.
The choice is yours.#