You probably know that cigarettes can kill you—in fact, smoking kills half of those who don't quit1—but do you really have the full story? Do you know how many harmful chemicals are in cigarettes or how they get into the product?
FDA created these videos and interactive tools to lay the foundation for an important public health goal: we aim to publish a list of the levels of harmful and potentially harmful chemicals in tobacco, in a way that is easy for the public to understand. As an important step toward that goal, we invite you to explore the chemicals in tobacco in three stages of cigarettes, from plant to product to puff, in the videos below.
Chemicals in Every Tobacco Plant
It is a fact that cigarettes contain dangerous chemicals.2 But how do these chemicals get into cigarettes? Are most of the harmful chemicals added during the manufacturing process?
Fact: Some of the toxic chemicals in tobacco are present in the plant itself.3 Watch the tobacco growth video to uncover more.
Chemicals in Every Cigarette
Ok, so harmful chemicals are in the tobacco plant. What happens during manufacturing? Is that when more dangerous chemicals are added?
Fact: Not all of the harmful chemicals created during cigarette manufacturing are man-made. Some of the carcinogens occur naturally as tobacco is cured.3 Watch the video about cigarette manufacturing.
Chemicals in Every Puff of Cigarette Smoke
How many harmful and potentially harmful chemicals are in a cigarette? Is there more than nicotine and tar?
Fact: There are more than 7,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke.2 More than 70 of those chemicals are linked to cancer.4,5,6,7 Watch the video on cigarette smoke to learn more about what happens when you light up.
Think You Know All the Chemicals Found in Tobacco Products?
Here are some of the 93 known harmful and potentially harmful chemicals in cigarettes: