6 gross ingredients in cigarettes

Everyone knows that cigarettes are bad for you, but people are often ignorant of the truly awful hows and whys of the harms caused by combustible cigarettes and what's in them.

One reason people take to vaping e liquid is to get less of the harmful stuff, while keeping the nicotine kick.

We've collected six of the nastiest ingredients found in cigs to help you stay informed. It almost goes without saying, but you will NOT find these ingredients in e juice, along with a few thousand other harmful compounds and chemicals that are in cigarettes.


Benzene was once widely used as an industrial solvent (as in, it was used to dissolve things like an acid). It’s now a common ingredient in plastics and rubbers, and a naturally occurring chemical in crude oil.  Definitely sounds like something you want to be inhaling on a regular basis, right? Benzene is also known to cause leukemia and other cancers of the blood.

Hydrogen Cyanide

This is one of the most poisonous ingredients in cigarettes. It used to exterminate vermin and can cause headaches, vomiting and dizziness to its human users.


It’s also a pretty commonly known fact that cigarettes contain tar. While it’s not the tar that you see on roads, it’s still nothing that belongs in your body. Cigarette tar is the brown gunk that a cigarette leaves behind. It’s what causes teeth and nails to turn yellow, and it’s also the root of emphysema, chronic bronchitis and lung cancer in smokers.


Yes, that arsenic, the one you see people get poisoned with on murder mystery shows on TV is contained in cigarette smoke. Needless to say, this is highly damaging to the lungs. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has labeled it a carcinogen.


This dangerous chemical is another familiar name to most people since it’s found in so many household cleaning products. It is also used in cigarettes to allow nicotine to more easily spread through a cigarette user’s body, giving the user more of a “kick.”


Like most of the other gross cigarette ingredients on this list, cadmium also has an industrial purpose. It is a toxic heavy metal that can be found in batteries, and also in high levels in cigarette smoke. It is highly damaging to the lungs, and can illnesses such as pneumonitis and pulmonary edema.