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Overview

Some of the chemicals put in cigarettes.
A cigarette is a short, thin combustible paper tube stuffed with dried, shredded tobacco leaves. It is similar to a cigar, but smaller. When burned, the tobacco in the cigarette produces a pungent smoke that carries nicotine, a powerful stimulant, into the smoker's lungs. Cigarettes are produced with or without filters (made of 95% cellulose acetate), and may also vary in length, diameter, or potency, but cigarettes are usually sold in packs of twenty. Cigarettes may also be hand-rolled from rolling papers and packages of shredded tobacco. 

 
 
 

Health and Legality Issues

 Graphic warning label from Brazil
Cigarettes are known to cause lung cancer and are not recommended for use by pregnant women. In most parts of the world, including Canada, the U.S, most of Europe, China and Japan, packs of cigarettes bear a warning that details some of their harmful effects on health. Though the U.S. was the first country to include warning labels, it currently has one of the smallest warning labels out of all the countries in the world with a small surgeon general's warning on the side of the box. Also some countries have adopted graphic warning labels which show the negative effects of smoking. Cigarettes are taxed at the federal and state level, from which the money generated often funds various health-based initiatives. It is illegal to sell cigarettes to minors under either 18 or 16 years of age, depending on what country you are in.

Cigarettes in Games

Snake, video game smoker
Cigarettes have made cinematic appearances in video games, similar to movies, where they affect the image of a certain character or give an opportunity for a dramatic pause. Occasionally, cigarettes have had an effect on gameplay. In Bioshock, the player may choose to smoke cigarettes to recharge some of their EVE, but lose some health in the process. Possibly gaming's most famous smoker, Solid Snake, smuggled a pack of cigarettes in his stomach so that he would have them on his mission in Metal Gear Solid. The player had the option to equip the cigarettes, which came in handy when attempting to dodge an array of laser motion detectors, again at a cost to the player's health.

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