Study: Smoking Cigarettes Causes Genetic Damage in a Matter of Minutes
January 17, 2011 9:48 AM
comment(s) - last by
Smokers reach maximum levels of a cigarette pollutant in just 15-30 minutes
A researcher from the
University of Minnesota
has found that smoking can cause damage to genes in a matter of minutes, which could then lead to cancer.
Stephen Hecht, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Wallin Chair in Cancer Prevention, along with a team of researchers, have discovered that the first inhalation from a cigarette is enough to
cause genetic damage in minutes
Many believed it took years for cigarettes to cause any harmful effects to the body, but this study is the first to actually observe how tobacco substances relate to DNA damage when smoking. It is also different from any other smoking-related study because it strictly tracks the effects of smoking without "interference" from other harmful causes such as poor diet and pollution.
To study how a cigarette's contents impact human DNA, Hecht and his team used 12 volunteers to track PAHs, or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are
pollutants found in tobacco smoke
. PAHs can also be located in charred barbecue food and coal-burning plants. One specific type that Hecht was particularly interested in tracking was phenanthrene, which is in cigarette smoke.
The team observed the phenanthrene as it traveled through the blood, and watched as it destroyed DNA and caused mutations that lead to cancer.
developed maximum levels of the substance in a time frame that surprised even the researchers," said the study. "Just 15-30 minutes after the volunteers finished smoking. 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 results are also significant because lung cancer claims the lives of 3,000 people worldwide each day, and 90 percent of these deaths are linked to smoking. With high death rates like these, it's worth researching what the effects really are.
"The results reported here should serve as a stark warning to those who are considering starting to smoke cigarettes," said Hecht.
was published in
Chemical Research in Toxicology
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RE: The sad truth of smokers
1/17/2011 3:41:20 PM
While that may be true of some people, the majority, in my experience, not just at my workplace, but wherever I go, are too self absorbed to care about how their dangerous habit affects others. Reasoning like yours is just a symptom to continue the anti-social behavior. The smokers at my work were, for the most part, decent people who ordinarily would help you in any other way. Cigarette smoking binds them up in their mind so much so that it causes them to ignore all rationality about their selfish habit.
There isn't much you would be able to say to me that I haven't already heard in defense of smoking habits. But you are welcome to voice your nicotine-controlled views.
RE: The sad truth of smokers
1/18/2011 7:23:28 AM
Sorry, MartyLK, but I have to agree with the previous poster here. You are self-centered jerk who thinks that someone smoking halfway across the room 'affects' them in some manner.
IT DOES NOT! You are more likely to get an 'effect' from sitting beside a dirty, dusty fan blowing dust particles and all other shit at you than from second-hand smoke.
All of these 'studies' have a logic fail and science fail in them. They start out with the assumption that second-hand smoke has an effect. Therefore, they don't look for ANYTHING that would say that it
DOESN'T HAVE AN EFFECT
Simply put.... these studies are toilet paper fodder.
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