It is no surprise that smoking causes considerable damage to both the brain and the body, but new research has found that smoking actually causes serious genetic damage that has been linked to cancer.
Numerous studies have shown the harmful effects of cigarettes, however, this is the first study done that links cigarettes to destroying and altering DNA. The study shows that DNA is damaged within just minutes of inhaling cigarette smoke, increasing the short-term risk for cancer. Researches say that this damage happens in such a short amount of time that it may be equivalent to injecting harmful substances straight into the blood stream.
The scientists put their main focus on cancer-causing agents known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs. Using 12 volunteers, the scientists pinpointed one particular pollutant called phenanthrene, which is just one type of PAH found in cigarette smoke.
It is shown that these cancer-causing culprits cause serious damage to DNA and oftentimes cause the DNA to mutate within minutes of ingestion. “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,” researchers conducting the study said.
Maybe this new information will paint a different picture for those who smoke or those thinking about picking up a pack of cigarettes. Many cities and states in the U.S. are continually banning or putting restrictions on smoking as time goes on, and this new information may have an influence on states who haven’t taken action yet. Not only will the health of the body and its genetics overall be protected due to the inhalation of less smoke, but people will also save thousands of dollars that would normally spent on carcinogenic cigarettes.