What’s in a Cigarette?

On average, smokers die 8 years earlier than non smokers, due to a number of toxic and cancer-causing chemicals in cigarettes. Understanding the benefits of quitting smoking will help motivate you to quit sooner.

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Do it for you! Begin a smoke-free life

Quitting smoking is not easy! But the Pharmacist at Walmart has specialized smoking cessation training and can help you make a quit plan?

The Pharmacist at Walmart has 3 ways to support you in taking the first step towards a healthier life.

  1. Visit the pharmacist at your convenience to ask about ways to become smoke-free. The pharmacist will discuss what to expect when quitting smoking plus suggest a variety of support options.
  2. Learn more by reading online articles like this one in our Lung Health Centre.
Of course, if you have any other health-related questions, the Pharmacist at Walmart is happy to help.

Chemicals in a cigarette

A cigarette has over 4000 chemicals, many of which are toxic and cancer-causing agents. Some examples are:

  • Arsenic – an ant poison
  • Ammonia – a floor cleaner
  • DDT– an insect killer
  • Naphthalene – found in moth balls
  • Methanol – rocket fuel
  • Methane – sewer gas
  • Acetic acid – vinegar

Cycle of addiction

So how do we get addicted to smoking, when cigarettes contain all these chemicals? The answer is cigarettes are made up of leaves from the tobacco plant. These leaves contain nicotine, a substance which enhances dopamine release. Dopamine is a “feel good” hormone (dopamine) that our brain makes on its own. When we smoke, our brain makes a lot more dopamine than what it makes normally. Our brain then starts to get used to a high amount of dopamine to feel happy. This means to be happy, you start to depend on cigarettes and this leads to addiction.
Addiction to smoking means people can’t stop smoking, even when they know it can make them sick and cause death.

Quit smoking and good things start to happen!

After you quit smoking,

  • Within 8 hrs, levels of poisonous gases (e.g., carbon monoxide) drop and oxygen levels return to normal in your body.
  • Within 48 hours, your chances of having a heart attack go down. Your sense of taste and smell starts to improve.
  • Breathing becomes easier in 72 hours.
  • Within 6 months, coughing and congestion decrease, while tiredness and breathing improve.
  • Within 1 year, your good cholesterol (HDL) levels will rise by about 5%.
  • Studies show that erectile dysfunction happens less frequently 1 year after quitting, too.
  • In 15 years, your risk of risk of dying from a heart attack becomes equal to someone who has never smoked.

Huge savings:

Smoking costs a lot of money.
  • If you smoke one pack a day, your spending can be more than $6,000 per year
  • Do the math: Number of packs per week X price per pack X 52 =  

Save that money and use it to reward yourself!


Even more benefits

Beyond the obvious health and financial benefits that occur when you quit smoking, you may find that there are other benefits, too.
You’ll look and feel younger, because:
  • Smoking affects your appearance by causing wrinkles
  • Smoking stains your teeth
You may improve your relationships, since you’ll:
  • Have better-smellling breath and clothes
  • Produce less second-hand smoke
  • Be a role model for others who want to quit

Important information

The Pharmacist at Walmart is knowledgeable about the risks of smoking, and can help you when you want to make a plan to quit... Just ask!

This information should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your doctor. There may be variations in treatment that your physician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances. If you have questions about your symptoms, ask the Pharmacist at Walmart for more information, and/or contact your doctor.

The pharmacist at Walmart does not endorse or recommend any sponsor or their products or services.
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