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Drugs & Health Blog

What’s Dangerous About Cigarette Smoking? Test Your Knowledge

This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated. For the latest content, please visit the main Drugs & Health Blog page.
The NIDA Blog Team

A recent national survey found that many Americans—both teens and adults—don’t know what makes cigarette smoking so dangerous to a person’s health. To learn some of the reasons, take the quiz below. Answers are listed after the questions.


1.   Cigarette smoke contains:
              A.   Ammonia (used in many household cleaning products)
              B.   Arsenic (used in rat poison)
              C.   Formaldehyde (embalming fluid)
              D.   All of the above
              E.   None of the above

2.   True or false: In filtered cigarettes, the filters keep almost all harmful chemicals out of the smoke.

3.   True or false: The most hazardous chemicals in cigarette smoke are produced by additives that tobacco companies put into cigarettes.

4.   How many chemicals in cigarette smoke are known to cause cancer?
             A.   No more than 12
             B.   38
             C.   Approximately 50
             D.   At least 70

5.   True or false: Smokers today have a higher chance of developing lung cancer than smokers over 50 years ago.

6.    _________ is the ingredient that makes it possible to get addicted to using tobacco.

7.   Smoking causes more deaths every year than:
             A.   Alcohol use  
             B.   Illegal drug use
             C.   Car accidents
             D.   Guns


  1.   D. Cigarette smoke contains all these harmful things, and many others.
      (Source: American Lung Association)
  2.   False. In fact, evidence suggests that ventilated filters may also have contributed to higher risks of lung cancer. They allow the cancer-causing chemicals in smoke to be inhaled more deeply; this draws the them deeper into a person’s lung tissue.
      (U.S. Surgeon  General)
  3.   False. Additives don’t appear to be the main source of harm from smoking. The most dangerous chemicals in tobacco are the ones burned when a cigarette is lit, like carbon monoxide. (Study, “Public understanding of cigarette smoke constituents: three US surveys”; NIDA)
  4.   D. At least 70 chemicals in cigarette smoke are known carcinogens.
      (U.S. Surgeon General)
  5.   True. Changes in the design and composition of cigarettes since the 1950s have   increased the risk of the most common type of lung cancer. (U.S. Surgeon General)
  6.   Nicotine makes tobacco addictive. You can develop an addiction not only by smoking tobacco, but also by inhaling it from a hookah, and chewing or dipping it. (NIDA)
  7.   Trick question! Smoking causes more deaths every year than all of these other causes combined. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
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.


can you eat ciggerate smoke

Ugh. We are not sure it is possible to eat smoke but why would you want to?

cigarettes have tar in them
i know its bad because theres so much stuff in it
so why do people keep on smoking
why is smoking bad???
Because it can kill you and give you cancer
I hate drugs please do not be a drug addict
What is the age limit for buying cigarettes?

: In some states, the legal age for purchasing cigarettes is 18. As of May 17, 2019, fourteen states – Arkansas, California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington– have raised the tobacco sale age to 21, along with at least 470 localities, including New York City, Chicago, San Antonio, Boston, Cleveland, Minneapolis, both Kansas Cities and Washington, DC. Check out this page for more information:

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