10 Shocking Facts about Cigarettes to Help You Quit

Approximately one third of the world’s population let themselves indulge in the bad habit of smoking. For decades, the effects of smoking were not widely known and so many people did not understand the health risks involved. While the awareness of these risks has greatly developed over the past 20 years, there’s still a lot about smoking that you may not know – so here’s a list of some interesting and some downright awful facts about cigarettes.


Mass Production

More than 5 trillion (yes, TRILLION) cigarettes are produced in factories each year, with more than 10 million cigarettes purchased every minute around the globe.

One of the World’s Largest Industries

They are the single most traded product in the entire world. More than $400 billion dollars is the estimated revenue generated by cigarettes, making the tobacco industry one of the largest in the world.

Not just Weighing Down your Pockets

While the cost of cigarettes creeps higher and higher each year, it’s not just your pockets that are being weighed down – 5 Trillion cigarette filters weighs in at approximately 2 billion pounds.

Branching Out

Tobacco companies in the United States of America now generate more profits each year by selling cigarette products to other countries, than they do selling cigarettes in their own back yard. A massive 70% of the global cigarette market is made up of the American brands, Kool, Marlboro, Kent and Camel.

The Chemicals

Cigarettes contain thousands of nasty chemicals, we all know this. But, did you know, forty-three known carcinogens, along with arsenic, formaldehyde, lead, hydrogen cyanide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and ammonia are amongst these?


Some cigars can contain up to a whopping 400mg of nicotine, while cigarettes are generally made up of just 8-9mg of nicotine in comparison. On the other hand, electronic cigarettes are now available in a nicotine free option, with various flavoured cartridges.

Smoking Minors

While the sale of products containing tobacco is highly regulated, with the average age of a person who is allowed to legally buy these products being 18, parents and guardians can allow children to smoke. This may rattle the belief system of some people, but by law, parents are free to allow minors to smoke tobacco products at any age.

Is light really better?

On average, smokers who consume ‘light’ or menthol cigarettes inhale harder when they smoke, meaning that they generally have the same intake of tobacco and nicotine as those who choose to smoke regular cigarettes.

The Big Smoke

When cigarette smoke is tested, both polonium and radioactive lead are found in small doses – you learn something new every day!

There are other Alternatives

Until 2003, when the first e-cigarettes were available for purchase in China, the only alternative to smoking was to quit – easier said than done, right? Nowadays, however, people have the alternative of switching to vaping, which poses much fewer health risks and is also a much cheaper option! Companies such as BLACKHAWX, Blu Cigs and Greensmoke are pioneering this new technology in markets all over the world.

So there you have it, the reasons why people start smoking, the reason why people stop and just some really interesting and shocking things you may have never heard of before!

Image Credit:
Zole4 – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net