My partner on the in-school freedom from tobacco campaign is PS1 Charter School here in Denver. My sons, Quentin (who died at age 23 from tobacco-related illness) and Monty (who has now kicked the habit) attended PS1 for their middle and high school years.
The PS1 vision statement for its students includes a goal of being "informed and aware." I think this is an excellent goal for everyone, especially with respect to substances we put into our bodies. I believe that if smokers become informed and aware of the content of cigarettes, they will find greater motivation to quit the habit.
So take a look at just a few of the chemical compounds found in cigarette smoke, and alternative uses for those chemicals.
acetone - nail polish solvent
methanol - highly flammable/explosive alcohol, used in rocket fuel
napthalene - moth repellent
nicotine - herbicide and insecticide
cadmium - heavy metal used in batteries
carbon monoxide - the lethal component of automobile exhaust fumes
vinyl chloride - plastic
cyanhydric acid - used in gas chambers
ammonia - detergent
urethane - floor finish
toluene - industrial solvent
arsenic - lethal poison, rodenticide
polonium 210 - radioactive compound used recently to murder a Soviet spy
DDT - insecticide
Now, let me ask this. Would you knowingly and willingly swallow, inhale, or otherwise ingest any one of the above chemicals day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year? Would you administer any one of them to a trusting child? Smoking delivers at least 81 different toxic chemicals to your body and to people around you. Quit today for your health. Quit today for a child. Quit today for someone who loves you. Quit today!