Even before anyone actually falls into the dirty habit of smoking cigarettes, we've all been educated on the negative affects that it does on the human body, causing lung cancer and other debilitating conditions.
For those who think your'e dodging a bullet by puffing a cig every once in a while or for a short period of time, here's your warning—your body still takes quite the beating. That's according to a new study that analyzed the affects of smoking cigarettes for just one year does to a person, per Medical Daily.
Smoking a pack of cigarettes each day for just one year can lead to an extra 150 mutations in the lungs, and many more mutations in other important organs throughout the body — even if a smoker still feels fine.
Researchers say they're shown a direct link between the number of cigarettes smoked in a lifetime and the number of mutations in a smoker's DNA. The team of scientists identified several different mechanisms by which tobacco smoke causes mutations, and counted an average of 150 extra mutations in every single lung cell after only a year of smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. In addition, smoking a pack-a-day for a year produced an average 97 mutations in each cell in the larynx (voice box), 39 mutations in the pharynx (top part of the throat), 23 in the mouth, 18 in the bladder and six in the liver, according to a recent statement from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.
“This study offers fresh insights into how tobacco smoke causes cancer,” study co-author Ludmil Alexandrov of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, told The Independent. “Before now, we had a large body of epidemiological evidence linking smoking with cancer, but now we can actually observe and quantify the molecular changes in the DNA due to cigarette smoking.”
Analyzing over 5,000 tumors, the team of researcher compared numerous cancers from smokers with the forms of cancers people who had never smoked unfortunately contracted. The results showed that there were specific signs of DNA damage in those who had smoked, with a number of different organs—not just the lungs—had suffered indirect damage contributed to smoking cigarettes.
So while you may think it's harmless to just smoke a cigarette occasionally, this study shows that, should it become a bad habit, the tobacco causes cancer in a more complex way than many ever imagined.