Welcome to the teachers section of "smoke’s no joke". We aim to arm you with all the information you need to tackle smoking issues in school.

What's in a cigarette?

A paper tube with chopped up tobacco leaf inside and a filter for the nasty stuff.


Cigarettes look deceptively simple and harmless. This is one of the reasons why it's so difficult to get across to people (especially children) that they do so much harm.

If just a few of the 4000 or more chemicals cigarettes contain were visible, maybe people would recognise the dangers they pose.

Each of the 4000 chemicals is there for a reason; some of them occur naturally in the tobacco plant, others such as pesticides and fertilisers are added during the growing process. A great many more chemicals are added in the process of making the cigarette taste nicer, last longer, look better and to make sure that nicotine reaches the brain as quickly as possible.

This is a jar of tar – the amount that would be produced annually in the lungs of a 20 a day smoker


Cigarette tobacco is actually a blend of two leaf varieties. This leaf tobacco is supplemented with bits of stem and other parts of the plant that would otherwise be wasted.

Additives in tobacco include flavourings such as sugar, chocolate and vanilla, humectants (moisturisers) to prolong shelf life and water.


Made from cellulose acetate, filters cool the smoke slightly making it easier to inhale. They also trap some of the tar and smoke particles from the smoke to be inhaled.


The papers used also modify the delivery of nicotine and tar.

Created by Bespoke Software Developers StyleTech Solutions Limited for the people of Hull.