Cigarette-burning and the smoke-formation processes and smoke composition are important topics for understanding cigarette performance. This paper proposes the molecular formulas representing the active components of bright, burley, and Oriental tobaccos and a basic chemistry model of the cigarette burning processes. Previous knowledge of the cigarette burning processes and smoke formation helped to establish parameters in deriving the basic chemistry equations. The proposed chemistry provides a brief view of the mechanisms of the cigarette burning during puffing and interpuff smoldering, and can be used to interpret and predict the smoke composition for cigarettes made from bright, burley, and Oriental tobaccos. Based on the proposed chemistry, the effect of ventilation on smoke component deliveries is discussed and the reaction heat of the puffing process is estimated.