Cigarette Smoking Causes Lasting Damage To Your DNA

Cigarette smoking causes many unhealthy consequences including erectile dysfunction. Due to its broad impact on health, smoking also causes certain cancers, and various autoimmune diseases1 like multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and among many others2.

A new study3 published by the American Heart Association said that exposure to smoking can damage the DNA.

In 2013, there was also one study4 that found the damaging effect of smoking on the DNA. In 2002, one study5 published in Nature found that tobacco smoke carcinogens caused damage and mutations of the DNA. Going back further, in 1999 a study6 published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute also found the damaging effect of smoking on DNA.

The long-term exposure of smokers to the genotoxic intermediates formed from these carcinogens is consistent with our present understanding of cancer induction as a process which requires multiple genetic changes. Thus, it is completely plausible that the continual barrage of DNA damage produced by tobacco smoke carcinogens causes the multiple genetic changes that are associated with lung cancer. While each dose of carcinogen from a cigarette is extremely small, the cumulative damage produced in years of smoking will be substantial.

Science Magazine(Vol 354, Issue 6312 04 Nov. 2016)10 PDF also published an article on tobacco smoking association with mutational signatures on human cancer.

One of these signatures, mainly found in cancers derived from tissues directly exposed to tobacco smoke, is attributable to misreplication of DNA damage caused by tobacco carcinogens. …The results are consistent with the proposition that smoking increases cancer risk by increasing the somatic mutation load, although direct evidence for this mechanism is lacking in some smoking-related cancer types.

The Damage Affects Beyond Smokers

If you think only smokers are affected with the damaging effect of tobacco, think again. Both second-hand7 and third-hand8 smoke have negative impacts, as well. Hence, even if you don’t smoke, but you’re exposed to smoke from smokers around you, you are still at risk. Even fetus are not safe especially if the mother smokes.

There’s a whole host of bad effects due to smoking including its unhealthy consequences to the digestive system. If tobacco smoking is that damaging, why is it millions of people are still smoking? In the 2014 CDC report, there were 40 million American adults smoke cigarettes. In a global scale, there are 1 billion smokers according to the World Health Organization.

Why It’s Difficult To Quit Smoking

Many institutions recognized the fact it’s difficult to quit smoking. The CDC, AHA, and even the quit smoking support group SmokeFree.Gov admits it is hard to quit.

The reason for this is due to tobacco’s known active component, nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive. The amount of nicotine intake through smoking is high. The constant intake of this highly addictive drug makes it difficult for a smoker to quit smoking. Of course, there are aids of quitting as most people can’t just quit cold turkey.

On the other hand, nicotine is not totally bad at all. In fact, nicotine can be found on Solanaceous food plants, but only in trace amounts according to Denmark’s Ministry of Environment and Food.

Ways To Quit Smoking

Although it’s a struggle to quit smoking for most smokers, it’s a possible to quit. Some smokers quit smoking cold turkey and did it successfully. For those who can’t do it via cold turkey, there are many forms of quit smoking aids that can be obtained over the counter like patches , tea, lozenges and other forms. Many of these quit smoking aids can obtain from many health stores including pharmacies and even online retailers like Amazon.com.

However, seeking a support group is far better than tackling it alone. When you have a support group behind your quit smoking journey, you’ll be able to find and maintain motivation to do it. Another thing is finding a buddy or make yourself accountable in front of many people like colleagues and family members.

Furthermore, it may also be a good idea to seek professional and medical assistance from your doctor. Asking tips on what are the possible hurdles along the way while in the process of quitting. Others also use e-cigs to quit smoking, but is safe?

Is E-Cigarette A Viable Option For Quitting Smoking?

The purpose of e-cigarettes is basically similar to cigarettes. However, the device only delivers nicotine to the body without the other thousands of harmful chemicals contained in cigarettes. Sounds interesting, right? Not at all. One study9 published in the New England Journal of Medicine found formaldehyde in E-Cigarette aerosols. This has been confirmed by another study by researchers at Berkeley Lab.

E-cigs may be a possible means when used as a quit smoking device and not as a cigarette replacement. Using it as a replacement for cigarettes may not be a good idea due nicotine side effects.

Benefits of Quitting Smoking

Deciding to quit smoking is a precious gift for yourself. If you’re concern about your sex life, it lowers your risk of erectile dysfunction especially for those teen smokers. It improves the composition of your microbiota.

The gut health plays an important role in the body’s overall health and wellness including weight loss and stress. Another benefit of quitting smoking is it restores ideal cholesterol profile and normalize blood pressure.

There is so much to talk about smoking that we can’t cover. However, the short and precise message is that smoking kills and quitting smoking restores health. If you’re in the process of quitting but experiencing coughing, it is highly recommended to check with your doctor. This is the reason consulting with your doctor while on the process of quitting.

Not all negative effects while quitting are actually harmful. Coughing is one of the negative effects, but while it seems bad, it’s doing something good in the background. Here’s what a Harvard expert can say about it…


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