What are carbon monoxide (CO) and the other toxins found in cigarette smoke?
Carbon monoxide is:
- A colorless, odorless and tasteless gas.
- Found in indoor and outdoor air from things like vehicle exhaust, gas stoves, and cigarette smoke.
- Found in high levels in cigarette smoke. Carbon monoxide levels in cigarette smoke are higher (for a given volume) than car exhaust.3
- Note that in addition to cigarettes, carbon monoxide is a result of all burning inhaled products (including cigars and joints). In contrast, inhaling product that do not burn (including e-cigarettes and vaporizers) does NOT add carbon monoxide to your breath.
There are thousands of other toxins contained in cigarette smoke. In 2012, the FDA established a list of 93 harmful and potentially harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke, which cause one or more of the following:
- Respiratory illness
- Heart and blood vessel illness
- Reproductive disorders