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Home » Genetics in Disease

Smoking causes gene damage in minutes

By dsorbello at July 26, 2011, 7:22 a.m., 12227 hits

By Agence France-Presse
Saturday, January 15th, 2011

WASHINGTON DC, United States—Those first few puffs on a cigarette can within minutes cause genetic damage linked to cancer, US scientists said in a study released Saturday.

In fact, researchers said the “effect is so fast that it's equivalent to injecting the substance directly into the bloodstream,” in findings described as a “stark warning” to those who smoke.

The study is the first on humans to track how substances in tobacco cause DNA damage, and appears in the peer-reviewed journal Chemical Research in Toxicology, issued by the American Chemical Society.

Using 12 volunteer smokers, scientists tracked pollutants called PAHs, or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, that are carried in tobacco smoke and can also be found in coal-burning plants and in charred barbecue food.

They followed one particular type—phenanthrene, which is found in cigarette smoke—through the blood and saw it form a toxic substance that is known to “trash DNA, causing mutations that can cause cancer,” the study said.

“The smokers developed maximum levels of the substance in a time frame that surprised even the researchers: just 15-30 minutes after the volunteers finished smoking,” the study said.

“These results are significant because PAH diol epoxides react readily with DNA, induce mutations, and are considered to be ultimate carcinogens of multiple PAH in cigarette smoke,” the study said.

Lead scientist Stephen Hecht said the study is unique because it examines the effects of inhaling cigarette smoke, without interference from other sources of harm such as pollution or a poor diet.

“The results reported here should serve as a stark warning to those who are considering starting to smoke cigarettes,” Hecht said.

Lung cancer kills about 3,000 people around the world each day, and 90 percent of those deaths are attributable to cigarette smoking.

The research was funded by the National Cancer Institute.

Posts [ 5 ] | Last post July 26, 2011, 7:22 a.m.
#1 - May 17, 2011, 3:47 p.m.
personal training

To quit smoking is easy…!

…but you want to know 3 reasons why people fail?

1. Habit 2. Nicotine Addiction 3. Smoking substitutes don’t seem to work

Personally, I think that habit is the number one reason for the following reasons:
If you want to stop smoking, you have to change your lifestyle and what you do each time that craving kicks in. You know, when you stop for a coffee and reach out for the complementary cigarette that goes with it. Yeah, it is a little harder now because you can’t smoke in the office, or indoors in a restaurant or cafe etc. You’re exiled to the outside seating or designated smoking area… so you get conditioned to forming another habit and it becomes a social thing to go together for that cigarette.

There’s also that sensation of having a cigarette between your fingers and putting it to your mouth. Your body works on auto-pilot and thinks something is missing when you are not holding that cig or putting it to your lips – it’s almost like muscle memory – your body seems to have a memory and will of its own – it’s all down to your auto-pilot subconscious. There’s a whole lot of conditioning to undo before you can convince your body to change its habit.

#2 - May 25, 2011, 1:36 a.m.

Todays generation seems to be very worst………..smokers are growing rapidly.because they are not aware or purposely trying to avoid the side effects of smoking.

#3 - May 30, 2011, 1:42 a.m.

Really a nice post and very informative.this would be very helpful for me as well all others reading it.
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#4 - June 6, 2011, 12:25 a.m.

Smoking cigarette is the first unhealthy habit that is acquired my large no. of people. A single cigarette made by mixing of 500 and more than that harmful chemicals. Nicotine is one of the main ingredient of cigarette. Today huge no. of people die from lung cancer because they smoked cigarette. For healthy life try to keeping away from cigarettes.

#5 - July 26, 2011, 7:22 a.m.

It's true smoking is injurious to health.
Everyone knows the ill effects of smoking. From kids to adults, all are aware of the health hazards that smoking causes. Yet people addicted to smoking find it hard to give up this habit. This is probably because of nicotine, the addictive substance found in cigarettes. The ill effects of smoking are numerous; thus, one must adopt a planned method to quit smoking. Here are some tips that can help you to quit smoking.

1.First, make up your mind. Honor your commitment and get yourself registered in a smoke-quitting program or visit a counselor or hypnotherapist.

2.Make a list of the reasons why you want to quit smoking and go through it every time you crave a cigarette.

3.Write ten good things about smoking and ten bad things about smoking. You will notice the difference in the good and the bad. This really helps.

4.Buy yourself a nicotine inhaler or Zyban. This will make it a bit easier to give up smoking.

5.Get audiotapes and books related to quit smoking. Read through them and enlighten yourself about all the ill effects of smoking.
It's good if smoking can be stopped…