New research in Chemical Research in Toxicology has found that cigarette smoking causes instant damage to a smoker’s DNA, showing that in addition to long-term health risks, a smoker is instantly causing genetic flaws and elevating short-term health dangers as well.
These findings should serve as a large warning sign for non-smokers trying to decide whether or not to begin the habit.
Researchers found concentrations of PAHs, or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, in cigarettes.
Not only have these agents been linked to causing cancer, they also have genetic damaging properties, causing instant DNA alterations.
In attempts to determine which PAH is the worst, researchers tracked phenanthrene content in 12 different smokers.
This study is the first of its kind to analyze cigarette smoke in this manner.
When analyzing the smokers, researchers found the body to act immediately at trying to remove the toxin. Phenanthrene worked extremely quickly and started causing DNA damage in just 15 minutes after entering the body.
Researchers explain the speed at which this toxin materializes in the blood is what causes such a steep increase of short-term health dangers caused by smoking.