"Clearly with this cigarette, ammonia, nitric oxide, phenol, silica, and acetaldehyde are present in smoke at occupationally acceptable levels. Acrolien, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and hydrogen cyanide are present at unacceptably high levels." This quote from a recently released document from British-American Tobacco (BAT), producers of Lucky Strike and Kool, reveals that cigarette companies are aware that their product contains high levels of toxins common to the construction workplace. Some toxins mentioned in this report include:
F Cadmium -The accumulated body burden of cadmium in heavy smokers can be twice that for non-smokers.
F Hydrogen cyanide - The flue-cured smoke level is 4.8 times higher than the occupational exposure equivalent.
F Carbon monoxide - Smokers are the most heavily exposed non-industrial segment of the population.
F Formaldehyde - Occupational exposure can result in both acute and chronic air flow obstruction, and in asthma.
The tobacco executive quoted above states that a smoker may exceed short-term limits of many toxics while smoking a cigarette. However his calculation of long-term exposure limits ignores possible interactions with other sources of exposure. This makes the amount of toxins a smoker inhales in a day "acceptable" to the company.
Since construction workers work with a wide variety of toxic materials - their additional exposure is not taken into consideration by the tobacco industry.
Source: Tobacco Documents Online, June 20, 2002