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Chemistry Social Relevance: Proposed Smoking Bans In South Australia

2616 words - 11 pages

Chemistry Social Relevance ReportA total ban on cigarette smoking in hotels will be enforced by late October in 2007. Some people think that this is too soon, while others believe it is not soon enough.Smoking is the largest cause of preventable death in developed countries. More than 700,000 people have died from tobacco related illnesses in the past 50 years. Apart from the harm every smoker does to their own body, the Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) their cigarette produces also harms the non-smokers around them. Add the environmental degradation and huge economic burden each smoker places on Australia to the already well documented health problems connected to smoking and there is a ...view middle of the document...

The sidestream smoke that comes off the end of a cigarette is more damaging to a person's health than the smoke that is actually inhaled through the cigarette because it does not pass through a filter, and between puffs the heat in the cigarette is not high enough to completely burn off some of the chemicals in the tobacco:"...Environmental Tobacco Smoke contains 5 regulated hazardous air pollutants, 47 regulated hazardous wastes, 60 known or suspected carcinogens, and more than 100 chemical poisons..."James Repace, 2000, 'Can Ventilation Control Secondhand Smoke in the Hospitality Industry?'(Abstract, pg 1)There are many harmful substances are found in cigarette smoke; of the chemicals formed at least 400 are toxic, between 40 and 70 are carcinogenic to animals and eleven are known human carcinogens. Cigarette smoke is classified into two categories; the vapour pahse and the particulate phase. The particulate phase of cigarette smoke is also known as tar:"'Tar' is the collective name for thousands of chemicals...different tars have different chemical make-up, different toxicity and different physical properties."Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), February 2001, 'What goes in? What comes out?, http://www.ash.org.uk/html/regulation/html/chemistry.htmlTar is inhaled as particles along with the smoke and as it cools it condenses to form the black carcinogenic substance that coats the throat and lungs of smokers. The particulate phase contains many metals like lead, nickel, arsenic and cadmium, radioactive compounds like polonium-210, which can cause cancer as well as pesticide and fertiliser residues . Nicotine (C10H14N2), the addictive drug in tobacco is also produced in the particulate phase. In its pure alkaloid form, a 50 mg dose of nicotine is fatal; however, cigarettes generally only contain 10-20 mg of nicotine. Nicotine causes heart disease by raising blood pressure and makes the blood clot more easily as well as raising the levels of artery clogging LDL (bad cholesterol). Nicotine also affects the body's metabolism and the levels of pleasure inducing dopamine neurotransmitters.The vapour phase of cigarette smoke contains atmospheric pollutants sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and carbon monoxide (CO). Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that reduces the amount of oxygen a red blood cell can carry, starving internal organs of oxygen and impairing vision and co-ordination. Hydrogen cyanide gas (HCN) attacks the lining of the bronchi (part of the lung), inflaming them and destroying the tiny hairs that perform the task of cleaning the lungs, as a result toxic substances build up in the lungs. Several components of both the vapour and particulate phases cause Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder- COPD .Because the individual components of cigarette smoke vary according to brand one way to identify and measure the components of cigarette smoke is to use Gas Chromatography (GC). Gas Chromatography is a method of separating...

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