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Smoking Damages DNA in Minutes

By Expert HERWriter
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Wellness related image Photo: Getty Images

Looking for a reason to stop smoking? Or some incentive to never begin? Scientists reported in the Chemical Research and Toxicology journal that within minutes (not over years) the cigarette does damage to your DNA. This means that even the one cigarette you have occasionally when drinking or when stressed out can cause major damage. Imagine if you smoke on a regular basis. I believe it’s officially time to quit.

DNA (short for deoxyribonucleic acid) is the genetic instructions for your body. It’s like a blueprint within every cell of your body that tells that cell exactly what to do and how to act. Everything from your skin cells to your liver cells, and your brain cells to your ovarian cells relies on the instructions as mapped out by that DNA. If you damage it with cigarette smoking, your cells develop incorrectly or not at all, causing a whole host of disease and symptoms.

It is well documented that the nicotine from cigarettes will completely saturate your body within seconds. It has even been found in breast milk! Smoking lowers your immune system, fogs up your brain, ages your skin, changes your hormones, screws with your thyroid, affects your heart and blood vessels, increases inflammation, and majorly ruins your lungs.

Cigarette smoke has over 4,000 chemicals, of which many hundred are poisonous or carcinogens (aka: cancer causing). It has been linked as a risk factor for lung, liver, throat, mouth, kidney, stomach, pancreas, colon, bladder and blood cancer.

Those of you looking to become pregnant should be concerned – those cigarettes are damaging the DNA you are passing on to your child. Could it be that damage is causing problems such as autism and ADHD? We already know smoking is linked to small birth weight babies, increased miscarriages, placental problems in utero, and birth defects.

If you’re looking to become healthier this year, then make quitting your number one priority! Seek out help, find counseling, talk with your health care provider, and ask your friends for support. There are patches, pills, and gum that may work really well for you if you gave it a good honest try. Don’t quit quitting.

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EmpowHER Guest

I believe that most people are somewhat aware of the detrimental properties of smoking. Let's also keep in mind that nicotine itself causes a series of health problems including higher risk of blood clots, higher blood pressure, decreased bone resporption necessary to keep bones strong, etc. The question is , "How do we stop smoking if what we have tried has failed?" The answer is, "Speed Limits to a No Smoking Zone." This book and program tailors to every smokers' lifestyle to eventually quit.

February 12, 2011 - 3:50pm
EmpowHER Guest

Smoking has long been found to be dangerous to a person's health. It is never a wise thing to start the habit of smoking and for smokers; it's never too late to stop.

January 19, 2011 - 2:58pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.