Drugs – Tobacco

A lot is said and written about tobacco, and we won’t add too much to it here.

However, a few facts might be pertinent. Tobacco smoke contains 4000 chemicals, many of which are poisonous, and 43 that have been proven to be carcinogenic causing cancer).

Nicotine is the drug in tobacco smoke that causes addiction among smokers. The strength of addiction is said to be as powerful or more so than that of heroin. Nicotine is a poison. Swallowing one drop of pure nicotine can kill an adult.

Tar is released when a cigarette burns. Tar is the main cause of lung and throat cancer in smokers. Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless and very toxic gas, which the lungs take up more readily than they do oxygen. High levels of carbon monoxide in the blood is typical of smokers and, with nicotine, increases the risk of heart disease, hardening of the arteries and other circulatory problems.

Tobacco is a legal product. The sale of tobacco products is legal only to people aged 18 and over. One in six deaths in New Zealand is related to tobacco use. About 4500 New Zealanders die every year from tobacco – that is more than from road crashes, suicide, skin cancers, drowning, homicide and AIDS combined.