Friday, May 9, 2008

The Best "Green" Living is to Stop Smoking

Living "Green" is the latest in healthy living. Julia Roberts and Sandra Bullock were on Oprah's show, telling us how easy and beneficial it is to go green. One evening show compared the toxins in a "green" family versus a "normal" family. Going green is big business. For a smoker, the best way to start is to stop smoking.

Besides nicotine there are estimated to be 4000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, which 400of these chemicals in smoke are either poisonous, cancer causing, or cancer promoting. We really don't know for sure because while the tobacco companies are required to give a list of their ingredients to the government, the information is not released to the public because it is considered a "trade secret". Nicotine delivery systems are the least regulated consumer product, yet one of the most deadly. Here are just a few of the chemicals that are known to be in tobacco smoke:

Nicotine: A poisonous alkaloid that is the chief active principle of tobacco and was used as an insecticide but is currently banned as an insecticide due to it's toxicity.

Tar: A particulate matter made up of dozens of compounds. Some are toxic, some are cancer-causing agents. Tar cools inside the lungs, forming a sticky mass and damaging lung tissue which can lead to emphysema. A quart of tar goes through the lungs of a pack a day smoker every year.

Carbon Monoxide: Deprives oxygen from reaching the red blood cells. It stays in the blood hemoglobin for up to six hours after exposure. It is related to heart attacks and strokes. Affects non-smokers in environment tobacco smoke AKA secondhand smoke. Binds to red blood cells in the lungs 230 times faster than oxygen.

Hydrogen Cyanide: Poison used in the gas chamber. EPA standards indicate that 10 parts per million as safe however cigarette smoke produces an average 1600 parts per million.

Arsenic: A metallic substance, poisonous to all life. The human body can build up a tolerance to arsenic.

Benzene: A poison that interferes with cellular metabolism.

Cadmium: A metal which accumulates in the lungs and stays there. Has an adverse effect on the protective immune devices of the body. Used in batteries.

Ammonia: This chemical is added to tobacco to increase the pH level to make it easier for nicotine to cross the blood brain barrier. Used as a household chemical.

Acetone: Used as nail polish remover. If you smoke, blow some smoke onto a cotton ball, then rub it on your fingernail polish.

Toluene: Industrial solvent.

Formaldehyde: Embalming fluid.

Methanol: Rocket fuel.

Naphthalene: Mothball Chemical.

Nitrobenzene: Gasoline additive.

Mercury: Found in thermometers.

Nitrous oxide: Disinfectant.

Stearic acid: Candle wax

Butane: Cigarette lighter fuel.

Vinyl Chloride: Component of PVC pipe.

DDT: Insecticide banned by most Western industrialized nations.

Hexamine: Barbecue lighter

So Go Green and Quit Smoking, the most effective way to stop introducing toxic chemicals into your body.

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