A guide to carbon monoxide...

Carbon monoxide in cigarettes

Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide. When inhaled, carbon monoxide in cigarettes reduces the ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen to tissues in the body and brain.

As carbon monoxide levels in the blood increase, oxygen levels in the blood decrease. Carbon monoxide in cigarettes displaces oxygen with carbon monoxide, decreasing the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood.

More is known about the dangers of smoking than ever before yet millions of people worldwide are addicted and struggle to quit. Cigarettes are dangerous in several ways.

Awareness campaigns have helped educate the public on the hazards of cigarette smoke. However, while many people know that smoking can lead to lung disease and cancer, far fewer know about carbon monoxide in cigarettes.

Carbon monoxide is present in all tobacco smoke and is a health risk that all smokers should know about.

Cigarette users inhale four times the carbon monoxide found in car exhaust. The smoke from one pack of cigarettes can raise the carbon monoxide concentration in a home to twice the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) safety limit for outdoor air.

Carbon monoxide is colorless, odourless, tasteless, and non-irritating. Other than the possibility of a tell tale headache when it reaches a certain level in the blood stream, carbon monoxide exposure is virtually impossible for a human to detect.

Carbon monoxide in cigarettes reduces the absorption of oxygen into the blood stream through the lungs. It also reduces the oxygen carrying capacity of red blood cells. When tissues in the body do not receive a continuous and adequate supply of oxygen they become starved of oxygen and begin to suffocate, malfunction, and then die.

A normal carbon monoxide level in the blood stream is less than 8 parts per million (PPM). A person that smokes one pack of cigarettes per day has a blood carbon monoxide level of 20 parts per million. A person that smokes two packs a day may have a blood carbon monoxide level of 40 parts per million. When a smoker stops smoking, the carbon monoxide level in their blood stream typically returns to normal level within a few days.

Cigarette smokers increase the carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) level in their blood stream by an average of 5% per pack smoked per day. A person that smokes a pack of cigarettes in an 8-hour time period will see their carbon monoxide blood saturation level (COHb) rise to between 7 and 15 percent.

Otherwise healthy smokers seem to be able to tolerate carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) levels of 10% without having symptoms. Obvious signs of toxic effects usually appear at carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) levels of 15 to 20%. A level of 25% is a measure of severe poisoning and can lead to sudden loss of consciousness.

Compared to high levels of carbon monoxide exposure, cigarettes appear less threatening. Smoking does not create carbon monoxide levels that pose an urgent health threat. However, this is not to say that the body does not suffer from exposure to the carbon monoxide in cigarettes. The carbon monoxide in a cigarette can almost instantly cause a shortness of breath and an increased heart rate.

Over time a smoker’s health risk can [significantly] rise and prolonged periods of carbon monoxide exposure, even at low levels, can lead to heart disease. Carbon monoxide in tobacco also contributes to fat build-up on artery walls. This is potentially dangerous and can be the cause of heart failure.

Nicotine in cigarettes causes a short-term increase in blood pressure, heart rate, and blood flow. Nicotine can also cause arteries to constrict. The carbon monoxide in cigarettes lowers the amount of oxygen the blood is able to carry. The combination of carbon monoxide in tobacco and the effects of nicotine increase the demand for oxygen while simultaneously reducing the amount of oxygen that the blood can supply.

Smoking poses multiple risks and unfortunately, most people do not realize that carbon monoxide exposure is one of them. Carbon monoxide in cigarettes is yet another why smoking is dangerous!

Carbon monoxide in second hand tobacco smoke

Second hand tobacco smoke is the single largest contributor to indoor air pollution when a smoker is present. Carbon monoxide in cigarettes affects more than just the smoker.

Your comments about carbon monoxide poisoning...

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Effects Of Carbon Monoxide Outdoors
Mr Anthony Cotton from UK
I would like to know does Carbon Monoxide linger around in villages,towns,and cities.
Does it also discolour buildings turning Black.

co reading of 15
sam
does anyone know how long it takes for a co reading of 15 to a non smoker

fatigue from smokeing and carbon monoxide
pam from Mich
I feel very very fatigued doctor said from smoking my blood work said my crbon monoxide level wa at 10

Long term carbon monoxide poisoning.
Matt
In fact, carbon monoxide may not always leave your system within a few days as this article suggests, but rather may linger for a lot longer. Carbon monoxide is approximately anywhere from 2-300 times more attracted to haemoglobin than oxygen molecules are. Therefore they form very strong bonds to haemoglobin that are hard to be broken and replaced with oxygen. There have been cases where people have suffered brain degeneration in later life due to accumulative carbon monoxide ingestion even in the quantities found in cigarettes. Carbon monoxide ACTIVELY starves the body of oxygen limiting cell metabolism which requires oxygen leading to improper or below normal cell function. Long term effects from this can lead to tissue damage, neurological problems and the well known cancer which all stem from a lack of oxygen and an increased hindering of its transport dud to carbon monoxide.

cleaning carbon monoxide
pray from mp
starting to steam clean houses.. my friends have a friend who is undergoing a liver transplant. the friends wife has smoked in her house and carbon monoxide from the cigs is everywhere. im trying to make this house a safe place for this transplant patient to come home to. this steamer gets over 200 degrees Fahrenheit and just emits steam. i have another one that gets about 140 and sucks dirt and everything up. i typically use a shop vac or vacuum before both processes. my service is a vacuum, deep steam clean, and a steam blast. will this eliminate the CO?

components of second hand smoke
terri from NJ
Plaeas add on to this article-what else is found in second hand smoke?why is cigar smoke so noxious to some people?

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