What’s Acetaldehyde?

Everybody knows you can get hooked on the nicotine in tobacco.  But another chemical in cigarette smoke, called acetaldehyde, increases the effect nicotine has on the brain.  Put the two chemicals together and you have a super cocktail which increases the addiction to cigarette smoking, especially in adolescents.

For starters, you can be exposed to acetaldehyde through air, water, land and smoke.  Having a piece of fruit and bread with a cup of coffee in the morning?  Acetaldehyde occurs naturally in all three.  It is a organic chemical compound produced in nature as well as produced  industrially.  It is a colorless liquid with a fruity odor.

When reading about the safety of acetaldehyde on Wikipedia,  it is mentioned as a “probable” carcinogen in humans, as well as an “anticipated” carcinogen.  It is a “significant constituent of tobacco smoke” and is “the most abundant carcinogen in tobacco smoke.”  You cannot avoid acetaldehyde if you smoke cigarettes.  It present in the tobacco smoke you inhale, and dissolves into your saliva which is then swallowed.  It irritates the respiratory tract, eyes and skin.

There is no getting around it.  The tobacco companies have known about this for years: if you smoke you are exposed to acetaldehyde, and it’s a carcinogen.  If you are a heavy smoker and add drinking to the mix, it increases your chances of stomach and colon cancers.  There is a way to protect yourself from the effects of smoking, and that is to quit.  It’s not easy, but it will make a healthier you.

Click here for the original information about acetaldehyde.

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