Researchers came across a startling fact on 20th September 2016, that the damage caused by smoking isn’t limited to the lungs. It can go to the extent of scarring your DNA patterns.
Their study of 16,000 people showed that though most of the damage inducing genetic prints heal after five years if people quit, some remnants of the damage do not fade even with time.
The prints are the result of a process called methylation, which is an alteration of the DNA that can inactivate a gene or change how it functions, often leading to cancer and other diseases.
Studies showed that more than 7,000 genes were associated with smoking-induced methlylation sites or one-third of the total human genes to be precise.
“Our study has found compelling evidence that smoking has a long-lasting impact on our molecular machinery, an impact that can last more than 30 years,” said Roby Joehanes of Hebrew SeniorLife and Harvard Medical School.
“The encouraging news is that once you stop smoking, the majority of DNA methylation signals return to never-smoker levels after five years, which means your body is trying to heal itself of the harmful impacts of tobacco smoking,” he continued.
The researchers might also target for new drugs to treat the damage done by cigarette smoke. About 6 million people worldwide succumb to cancer, heart diseases, lung diseases and other illness solely caused by cigarettes.
The number of smokers is increasing day by day. Many view it as a trend or a way to social acceptance. You shouldn’t need to damage your own body in search of being socially accepted.
Peer pressure is one of the biggest causes of the increase. People are introduced to smoking at a young age and once they get addicted they just cannot seem to stop.
Many who try to quit find it hard to keep it up for longer durations and eventually give into their desire to smoke again. As someone who has never smoked a cigarette his entire life, I cannot claim that quitting is easy.
But as hard as it is to quit, the heavy negative effects are enough reasons for abstinence. Think about yourself, think about your loved ones. No amount of smoke is worth a life.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.