Drugs & Health Blog

Cigarettes: More Dangerous Than Before

Images courtesy of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
The NIDA Blog Team

Is there anyone that doesn’t know how dangerous smoking cigarettes can be? It’s hard to imagine with so much public education from The Truth Campaign, The Real Cost, and Tips From Former Smokers.

But what a lot of people don’t know is that cigarettes have actually become more dangerous.

A recent report from the U.S. Surgeon General—the Nation’s “top doctor”—relates that cigarettes are more toxic now than in the 1950s because tobacco companies have changed the design and ingredients of cigarettes. As a result, both men and women have a much higher risk for lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (or COPD, a serious lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe) from smoking today than did smokers 50 years ago.

The good news is that fewer people are smoking. But tobacco is a business and business must grow! (Right?) By making cigarettes more addictive and less harsh to smoke, tobacco companies are able to increase the number of cigarettes smoked by those that do smoke. 

And that’s not all. Check out this graphic from TobaccoFreeKids.org that shows the tricks Big Tobacco uses to get you hooked on cigarettes.

Graphic of the ingredients in a cigarette.

If you're ready to quit, visit Smokefree Teen for help.

Want to learn more? Take our quiz on why cigarette smoking is dangerous.

Tags: 
Tobacco
Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.

Comments

This needs to stop these companies are killing people with this . theyre so desperate to make money that they put flavorings on cigarettes?! and ammonia whch is even worse. stop smoking people!!
So gun manufacturing companies are killing people with there products? Almost 6 out of 10 of boy's children's toys have a firearm implemented into its function of play. Are we training little boys to grow up using guns as toys because these are a part of their everyday interactions with their toys. No. Based on their education the child makes the cognitive choice to apply these toys to real guns in real life situations. Guns don't kill people. People kill people. Practically the same concept applies not to just tobacco. Alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, LSD, ecstasy, heroine, methamphetamine, benzodiazepines, opiates. Legal and illegal narcotics. All of these, despite the majority of such substances being illegal ones, All bring you another step closer to our inevitable deaths. The choice to do such is not our peer's nor even our governments choice. It is solely our choice and ours alone. But lets say we remain on the subject of the danger of tobacco alone at the moment. These companies aren't "so desperate to make money" they need to flavor their products, that is a highly amusing suggestion, however those individuals that choose to take it upon themselves to pick up a cigarette light it and smoke the product until they are finished with it, also choose with their own free will i might add, to use whichever preference of menthol or flavor they desire. This isn't from an unrelenting influence brought upon them by big tobacco companies. No. This is again their own choice of the varieties of choices out there. Such as drinkers choosing certain flavored or strength alcohol, or pot users being fanatic's about the variety of different forms of marijuana and ways to use it to their own pleasure. Legal or not its a choice made by the individual that willingly carries the risks they know about. Drew, its not your choice to make when it come to anyone's other than your own. Responses like yours are not only bias but uneducated.
Hey, I've been smoking for a few years now and I'm not extensively educated on tobacco products. I knew that cigarettes are more harmful now than they use to be. I know I need to stop smoking but I don't really want to. If I started smoking more organically grown tobacco or tobacco I had grown, cured, and primed myself would that be significantly better? Also what are some steps you would suggest to quit because so far I have not been too successful? Thanks,

AnonymousSmoker, no, natural tobacco is not much better than cigarettes.  Natural tobacco still has a lot of cancer causing chemicals.  Instead of growing tobacco, it would be better if you focused your energy on quitting.  Here is a list of resources from the National Cancer Insititute to help you quit: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/tobacco/smoking.  Good luck!

So gun manufacturing companies are killing people with there products? Almost 6 out of 10 of boy's children's toys have a firearm implemented into its function of play. Are we training little boys to grow up using guns as toys because these are a part of their everyday interactions with their toys. No. Based on their education the child makes the cognitive choice to apply these toys to real guns in real life situations. Guns don't kill people. People kill people. Practically the same concept applies not to just tobacco. Alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, LSD, ecstasy, heroine, methamphetamine, benzodiazepines, opiates. Legal and illegal narcotics. All of these, despite the majority of such substances being illegal ones, All bring you another step closer to our inevitable deaths. The choice to do such is not our peer's nor even our governments choice. It is solely our choice and ours alone. But lets say we remain on the subject of the danger of tobacco alone at the moment. These companies aren't "so desperate to make money" they need to flavor their products, that is a highly amusing suggestion, however those individuals that choose to take it upon themselves to pick up a cigarette light it and smoke the product until they are finished with it, also choose with their own free will i might add, to use whichever preference of menthol or flavor they desire. This isn't from an unrelenting influence brought upon them by big tobacco companies. No. This is again their own choice of the varieties of choices out there. Such as drinkers choosing certain flavored or strength alcohol, or pot users being fanatic's about the variety of different forms of marijuana and ways to use it to their own pleasure. Legal or not its a choice made by the individual that willingly carries the risks they know about. Drew, its not your choice to make when it come to anyone's other than your own. Responses like yours are not only bias but uneducated.
This doesn't surprise me at all that these companies are selling a product that already gives people cancer and yet they want to add to it and make it more harmful and deadly.
i like chewing then smoking
you shouldnt even chew, it has the same effect on your body
How can anyone justify smoking around their kids?
Whay did they make cigarettes flavored? Younger kids would start smoking them and the would get addicted to the cigarette, especially because the cigarettes have nicotine added in them. The sellers don't care about their buyers, they only care about money.
My husband says he is cutting down on his smoking so he only smokes 3 - 5 per day. What I am worried about however is that he smokes more than once from the same cigarette. He takes a few draws, stubs it out and half an hour later he will take a few draws from the same cigarette again. I have heard that this is even more dangerous than smoking a new cigarette and finishing it.

Hi Rina, it's encouraging to hear your husband wants to smoke less.  However, even just 3 - 5 cigarettes per day can cause significant, long-term health problems.  If he's ready and willing to quit smoking, there are several tools that can help.  Check out SmokeFree.gov for more information and free resources.

those people are evil
I think its wrong
tbh no not really
It all started with FSC cigarettes. I remember the first pack I bought that was FSC, only I didn't know what that was, I actually turned around and tried to exchange the pack at the gas station because I told the guy there was something very wrong with these. I had to relight 3 times in the car and they hurt my throat. I still had some normal non-fsc's at home and when I went back to those it was so much more enjoyable to smoke. I drove 50 miles into the next state to buy cartons to buy myself one more year of non-fsc's. Now all cigarettes are dangerous to smoke. This article mentions how the business must grow, well I don't understand why they can't go back to what has worked for 50-60 years. Bring back non-fsc's. Doctors in 1960's commercials used to advertise smoking was healthy cause it was back then.
I realy dont know how inteligent people can still smoke. What a waste. A good friend of me told me years ago if he wants to stink he would rather s@#t in his pants! No harm to anybody else. Sorry to say but it is a dieing habit.

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