Tobacco Dependence


Are you dependent on smoking tabacco?

Fast facts:

1. Tobacco use killed 100 million people during the 20th century.

2. Tobacco use is the world’s leading cause of preventable death.

3. Tobacco kills prematurely – smokers lose 15 years of life prematurely.

4. Everyday another 80 000-100 000 people become addicted to tobacco.

5. Second hand smoke kills 600 000 people per year – including 165 000 children.

6. Tobacco use costs the world an estimated $500 billion each year in health care expenditures, productivity losses, fire damage and other costs

7. 25 000 die annually is South Africa of smoking related illnesses.

8. 2.5 million work days are lost in SA due to absenteeism from tobacco related illnesses.

People cite many reasons for using tobacco, including pleasure, improved performance and vigilance, relief of depression, curbing hunger, and weight control.

The primary addicting substance in cigarettes is nicotine. But cigarette smoke contains thousands of other chemicals that also damage health. Hazards include heart disease, lung cancer and emphysema, peptic ulcer, disease and stroke. Withdrawal symptoms of smoking include hunger, sleep disturbances and depression.

Nearly 5,000 chemicals have been identified in tobacco smoke to date. Public health authorities have classified between 45 and 70 of those chemicals, including carcinogens, irritants and other toxins, as potentially causing the harmful effects of tobacco use.

Initially, cigarettes were unfiltered, allowing the full “flavor” of the tar to come through. As the public became concerned about the health effects of smoking, filters were added. While this helped alleviate the public’s fears, the result was a cigarette that tasted too bitter. (And filters do not remove enough tar to make cigarettes less dangerous. They are just a marketing ploy to trick you into thinking you are smoking a safer cigarette.)

The solution to the bitter-tasting cigarette was easy:  add taste-improving chemicals to the tobacco. But once they got rolling they figured out they could really maximize the whole addiction part, what a hook. They found that a chemical similar to rocket fuel helps keep the tip of the cigarette burning at an extremely hot temperature, which allows the nicotine in tobacco to turn into a vapour so your lungs can absorb it more easily. What about ammonia? Adding ammonia to cigarettes allows nicotine in its vapour form to be absorbed through the lungs more quickly. This, in turn, means your brain can get a higher dose of nicotine with each inhalation.

Ingredients of cigarettes:

For a start, here’s the who’s who of the most toxic ingredients used to make cigarettes tastier, and more quickly, effectively addictive:

  • Ammonia: Household cleaner.
  • Arsenic: Used in rat poisons.
  • Benzene: Used in making dyes, synthetic rubber.
  • Butane: Gas; used in lighter fluid.
  • Carbon monoxide: Poisonous gas.
  • Cadmium: Used in batteries.
  • Cyanide: Lethal poison.
  • DDT: A banned insecticide.
  • Ethyl Furoate: Causes liver damage in animals.
  • Lead: Poisonous in high doses.
  • Formaldehyde: Used to preserve dead specimens.
  • Methoprene: Insecticide.
  • Maltitol: Sweetener for diabetics.
  • Napthalene: Ingredient in mothballs.
  • Methyl isocyanate: Its accidental release killed 2000 people in Bhopal, India, in 1984.
  • Polonium: Cancer-causing radioactive element.

Hubbly bubblies or  Hookah pipes

Many people smoke Hubbly bubblies today, and view it as innocent and harmless. In fact Hubbly bubblies or Hookah pipes are deadly. Hookah is as addictive as cigarettes. It has a sweet smell and flavour that makes it easier to inhale without coughing. It is therefore viewed as harmless – but is is a drug that can make you very ill. Even sitting in a room where Hookahs are smoked, exposes you to all the poisonous gasses from the Hookah. People who shares hookah pipes with others, expose themselves to TB , as well as the herpes virus.

Statistics about the smoking habits of secondary school leaners in South Africa released by the Youth Research Unit at UNISA:

  • Cigarettes: 32.9%
  • E-Cigarettes: 21%
  • Hubbly: 72%

Is smoking a Hubbly Bubbly harmful to your health?

Hookah pipes contain the same poisons that is found in cigarettes: nicotine, tar, arsenic poison and lead.

A hookah smoker takes about 100 puffs in a single (45 minute) session, while a cigarette smoker takes about 10 puffs per cigarette. In other words, smoking one hookah pipe can give you as much nicotine as smoking 10 cigarettes. Of course, it is the “tar” in tobacco smoke that causes cancer. The smoke produced in a typical hookah smoking session can contain about 36 times more tar, and about 8 times more carbon monoxide, than the smoke from a single cigarette.



  E-cigarettes are a new multi-billion rand industry. It is an electronic cigarette, which glows if you inhale and you release a puff of smoke that looks like vapour. Very little research has been done on them concern how healthy or addictive they are. The number of teens and tweens who use e-cigarettes doubled between 2012 and 2013. Using an e-cigarette is called ‘vaping’.

The nicotine inside the e-cigarette is addictive. It is apparently less harmful than cigarettes, and could be used by people who want to quit smoking to help get rid of smoking cigarettes. E-cigarette use could make smoking fashionable again, which would put anti-smoking campaigns years back again.

Get help

Recover from Addiction Program

MobieG has developed an online learning campus that offers easy step-by-step online learning.

The “MobieG Campus” allows you to learn at your own pace, while keeping track of your progress. It is in interactive learning platform with quizzes, surveys and rich content to make your learning & self-discovery process fun and easy.

Course fees are once off and access to the course does not expire – that means you can come back and work on the course as often as you’d like.

MOBIEG’s Recovery from Addiction


You can do a self-test on addiction, the Substance Abuse Quiz.

Counseling helpline

If you have more questions about smoking or quitting, chat to an online facilitator on our LIVE CHAT. The service is free and you may stay anonymous.


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