Health

Study shows how smoking alters your DNA permanently

smoking effect

A paper published today in Science shows that smoking tobacco causes added mutations in the DNA of lung cells and in the DNA of other cells in the body. This is the first study to show the process by which smoking causes these cancers.A paper published today in Science shows that smoking tobacco causes added mutations in the DNA of lung cells and in the DNA of other cells in the body. This is the first study to show the process by which smoking causes these cancers.

The authors found that, on average, smoking a packet of cigarettes a day led to:

  • 150 mutations in each lung cell every year
  • 97 in the larynx or voice box
  • 23 in the mouth
  • 18 in the bladder
  • six in the liver

Joint lead author Prof Sir Mike Stratton, from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, said: “The more mutations there are, the higher the chance that these will occur in the key genes that we call cancer genes, which convert a normal cell into a cancer cell.”

Science mag has all the details

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