The top six tobacco companies in the world had 35 billion dollars in revenue for 2010. The whole industry takes in about 500 billlion per year.  


The tobacco industry has become master mixologists with the additives. Some ingredients are added for flavor, but research has shown that the key purpose of using additives is to improve tobacco’s potency resulting in increased addictiveness–and the additives they choose to use are poison.
The solution to the bitter-tasting cigarette was easy–have some chemists 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 vapor so your lungs can absorb it more easily. Or how about ammonia? Adding ammonia to cigarettes allows nicotine in its vapor 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. Now that’s efficiency.

For a start, here’s a list of the  most toxic ingredients used to make cigarettes tastier, and more  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.

For the whole list of 599 additives used in cigarettes, see the BBC Worldservice page  What’s in a Cigarette.

According to the Tobacco Atlas, six million lives were lost due to tobacco sue in 2011. They also said about 600,000 people died from secondhand smoke exposure in 2011, and nearly 75 percent of those were women and children. The most recent version of the atlas was presented at a conference in Singapore. In the 10 years since the first one was published, about 50 million people have died from tobacco use. The number one cause of death in China, Turkey and Kazakhstan is tobacco use. By 2030 it could be causing 3.5 million deaths a year in China.