What you are inhaling when you smoke

PHOTO: What you are inhaling when you smoke

Where there's smoke...

SINGAPORE - Smokers received more encouragement to quit the habit last week.

The detrimental effects of inhaling cigarette smoke have long been known - heart and lung disease, emphysema, poor circulation and of course, cancer.

But even extreme pictures on cigarette packets don't deter hardened smokers determined to be human chimneys.

A new study from Kings College London revealed that smoking actually "rots" the brain. The study collected data regarding the health and lifestyle styles of 8,800 people above the age of 50.

Brain tests, such as making participants learn new words or name as many animals as they could in a minute, were also performed.

They were all tested again after four and then eight years.

The results showed a "consistent association" between smoking and lower scores in the tests. Dr Simon Ridley, from Alzheimer's Research UK told the BBC: "Research has repeatedly linked smoking and high blood pressure to a greater risk of cognitive decline and dementia, and this study adds further weight to that evidence."

The Alzheimer's Society said: "We all know smoking... is bad for our heart. This research adds to the huge amount of evidence that also suggests they can be bad for our head too."


Think that a cigarette is just dried tobacco leaves wrapped in paper?

There are more than 4,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke, 51 of them known carcinogens - elements that cause cancer.

They are in low levels in a single cigarette. But start smoking many a day, and the levels taken into the body build up.

A 1992 document released by a tobacco company listed 614 additives per cigarette. Everything from chemicals to cocoa - one of many ingredients used for flavour.

According to the Wall Street Journal, global consumption of cigarettes reached six trillion sticks last year.

Here's just some of the chemicals you take in with each puff...

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