Modern cigarettes produced after the 1950s are composed mainly of shredded tobacco leaf and their processing by-products. Each cigarette’s tobacco blend is made mainly from the leaves of flue-cured brightleaf, burley tobacco, and oriental tobacco. These leaves are selected, processed, and aged prior to blending and filling. The processing of brightleaf and burley tobaccos for tobacco leaf “strips” produces several by-products such as leaf stems, tobacco dust, and tobacco leaf pieces (“small laminate”).
Menthol has local anesthetic and counterirritant qualities, and it is widely used to relieve minor throat irritation.
Smoking, particularly of cigarettes, is by far the main contributor to lung cancer, which at least in theory makes it one of the easiest diseases to prevent. In the United States, smoking is estimated to account for 87% of lung cancer cases (90% in men and 79% in women), and in the UK for 90%.