The tobacco industry would like us to believe that their cigarettes are a natural product. Nothing is further from the truth. A cigarette is specially designed to be as addictive as possible. This happens in three, deadly steps.
Step 1: Tempting
To start with, the smoke from a cigarette has to be inhalable and “taste” and smell good. But untreated tobacco cannot be easily inhaled. A chemical process, roasting for example, ensures that the toxic smoke is not as sharp. Then all kinds of “flavor” and scent additives are added that ensure that a cigarette becomes more addictive. Cocoa, licorice and vanilla, for example, give a cigarette a “tasty flavor”. The great disadvantage of these additives is that after burning, carcinogenic and extra-addictive substances are released. The tobacco industry knows that. A tasty flavor is also a misleading concept in this context. The faster the nicotine reaches the brain, the more addictive the cigarette, so the “tastier” smoking becomes to the smoker.
Step 2: Suppress the urge to cough
Inhaling smoke is not natural. Your body warns you about the penetration of toxic substances, and that is why you start coughing. In order to prevent the natural reaction of the body, the tobacco industry intervenes for a second time. They do this by adding substances to the cigarette that suppress the urge to cough. To mask the burning feeling in your throat, cooling additives are used. An example is menthol. Menthol cigarettes are therefore a great boost for getting new, young smokers addicted to smoking. It not only tastes “better,” the menthol also ensures that they do not have to cough so much.
Step 3: Catapulting nicotine
The most important goal of the tobacco industry is to get nicotine as quickly and effectively as possible into the brain of a smoker. That is how they make and keep smokers addicted. By adding substances like ammonia to tobacco during processing, nicotine is catapulted, as it were. It becomes more volatile and is absorbed into the blood stream in gas form. Just like freebasing cocaine. Within 7 seconds, it has its addictive effect. Smokers are not addicted to smoking, but to the nicotine in the tobacco. You could more truthfully call the tobacco industry the nicotine industry. That is the stuff that makes money. A cigarette is only the packaging. A nicotine-free cigarette is simple to produce, but would not get a smoker addicted. It would mean the downfall of the tobacco industry.