Jan 20th 2011 By Jeremy Taylor
Our happy hour fact to amaze your drinking buddies with.
When you inhale cigarette smoke into your body, it almost immediately causes genetic damage that could lead to cancer.
In the first study of how smoking effects DNA, scientists tracked the pollutant phenathrene,
which is found in cigarettes, in the bloodstream of 12 smokers. They found that just 15 to 30 minutes after these volunteers took a puff, the phenathrene had morphed into a toxic substance that "trashes DNA, causing mutations that can cause cancer."
"The results reported here should serve as a stark warning to those who are considering starting to smoke cigarettes," the study's lead author concluded.
Yes, they should. But this is still all very science-y, so we would encourage smokers to just think about the guy with the hole in his neck who has to talk through that little machine.