The effects of smoking can stay with you long after you have ditched the activity, according to recent research. Yes, smoking can change your DNA.
Results of the Study
In the study, Dr. Stephanie London of the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and her team studied more than 16,000 people from previous research tasks related to smoking. The results showed that smoking altered roughly 7,000 genes.
Particularly shocking is that these changes remained even 30 years after some of the individuals had stopped smoking. London and her research team called the process “DNA methylation”; while the genetic code does not change, the way genes are expressed or triggered can alter due to smoking.
About DNA Damage
The negative effects of cigarettes on human DNA were illustrated by the study, including that in 19 genes the effects lasted up to three decades. This effect included the gene corresponding to Lymphoma, which is called the TIAM2 gene.
On a more positive note, though, the majority of harmful effects on DNA disappear within five years of ceasing smoking. This finding supports the importance of quitting cigarettes and also shows that the body is trying to heal itself from the bad effects of tobacco smoking. So, while some effects stay, the majority do not.
The study also pointed out the link between genetic damage from cigarette smoking and cancer, as well as heart disease and lung disease, which many people already realize. As a safer alternative to smoking, e-cigarettes are one suggestion.
Strategies to Condemn Nicotine Cigarettes
This study, which is the largest one to date that focuses on the effects of smoking on DNA changes, calls to light the global health crisis. The solution must be sought by professionals working together to achieve it, including making e-cigarettes accessible to people in countries around the world as an aid to use to ease off of nicotine cigarette smoking.
How Smoking Can Alter Your DNA Videos