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Cigarette Chemicals & Your Body

Nicotine gets you addicted to cigarettes, but it’s not the most harmful ingredient in a cigarette. In fact, cigarette smoke contains over 4000 chemicals and at least 69 of them cause cancer.1 These cigarette ingredients also speed up the ageing process.

When you use NICORETTE® instead of smoking, you save yourself from the chemicals in cigarettes:2

  • Acetone: a flammable solvent used in nail polish remover
  • Arsenic: a poison
  • Benzene: found in rubber cement
  • Formaldehyde: the base of many embalming fluids
  • Lead: used in batteries
  • Tar: a material for paving roads

These chemicals can have the following effects on your body.

Lungs and Cells

  • Tar is deposited in your lungs and contains chemicals called carcinogens, which encourage the development of cancer cells in your body.
  • You’re exposed to chemicals such as benzene and formaldehyde that have been linked to a range of different cancers, such as leukaemia and kidney cancer.


  • Acetaldehyde, one of the chemicals in cigarette smoke, attacks the connective tissue holding your skin together and makes your face sag and wrinkle.
  • Your body is sapped of vitamin C, an antioxidant which plays a crucial role in the production of collagen – a natural protein vital for keeping skin healthy and supple.
  • Your circulation suffers because oxygen isn’t pumped around your blood vessels as effectively as in a non-smoker, giving you a dull complexion.


  • The toxic chemicals in cigarette tobacco create sticky ‘tar’ residue all over your teeth.
  • Because smoking reduces the amount of saliva in your mouth, your teeth become stained and discoloured.
  • You’re at an increased risk of periodontitis – or gum disease, which causes inflammation around the teeth leading to swollen gums, bad breath, and in severe cases may even cause your teeth to fall out.


  • Poor circulation from cigarette chemicals results in dull hair and could also lead to premature greying.

It’s never too late by quit smoking. By quitting, you get to enjoy all the health benefits of breaking free from cigarettes.


  1. National Cancer Institute - What harmful chemicals does tobacco smoke contain?
  2. Reinskje Talhout, et al. - Hazardous Compounds in Tobacco Smoke

Health Benefits of Quitting

You’ll feel the health benefits of quitting within the first hour. Learn what happens to your body after you quit smoking.

Tips to Stop Smoking

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