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» More information about nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide

More information about nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide




  • Nicotine is the addictive drug in tobacco. When you smoke tobacco, nicotine goes into your bloodstream and reaches your brain within eight to 10 seconds.
  • Nicotine can be a deadly poison that causes vomiting, shaking, convulsions and death. A few drops of nicotine can kill you.
  • People picking tobacco quickly absorb nicotine through their skin. This makes them dizzy and feel like throwing up—an illness called green tobacco sickness.
  • Tar is a sticky black glob made up of thousands of chemicals. Many of them cause cancer.
  • Tar builds up in the lungs and makes breathing harder. It also plays a part in causing lung disease and cancer.
Carbon monoxide
  • Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that forms when anything – including tobacco – is burned.
  • When you inhale carbon monoxide, it takes the place of oxygen in the blood.

Did you know?

Studies show that each cigarette shortens your life by about 10 minutes.

  • Of every 1,000 Canadians aged 20 who continue to smoke, about half (500) will die from smoking – 250 of them before the age of 70.
  • On average, people who die from smoking lose 15 years of their expected life!


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