What’s in a Cigarette?

Ammonia, arsenic, acetone and benzene . . . these are just a few of the more than 4,000 chemicals found in cigarettes and secondhand smoke. You read that right: more than 4,000 chemicals! And more than 69 of them are known carcinogens or cancer-causing agents! Unlike most other products, cigarettes don’t list their ingredients on the package. It is time to let people know exactly what’s in cigarettes and secondhand smoke! Cigarettes and secondhand smoke have the same chemicals found in common household products. Create a display explaining the different chemicals using examples such as toilet bowl cleaner (contains ammonia) or rat poison (has arsenic).


First Meeting:
Set a date for this activity. Make sure you get permission beforehand. Make a list of all the chemicals you wish to display (ask for help with chemicals!) Try to brainstorm a unique way to create your display and think about if you want to create any flyers (with facts and the No Limits message) that can be picked up at your display.

Second Meeting:
Implement your plan.


  • Get permission to do your event from the proper officials.
  • Recruit friends to help if necessary.
  • Be creative. Is there another way you want to represent these chemicals?

Words of Wisdom:

  • Plan out your supplies and messages beforehand. That will make creating your display go much faster.
  • Find unique ways to draw people to your display.
  • Plan ahead.