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Chronic Smoking Changes Lung Cells, Increases Chances Of Cancer

Chronic exposure to cigarette smoke can change lung cells over time, making them more vulnerable to disease and priming them to develop cancer, US researchers said on Monday.

Chronic Smoking Changes Lung Cells, Increases Chances Of Cancer

Even passive smoking is injurious to health.


  1. Even passive smoking is injurious to health
  2. Chronic exposure to cigarette smoke can change lung cells over time
  3. This will increase their chances of cancer
Chronic exposure to cigarette smoke can change lung cells over time, making them more vulnerable to disease and priming them to develop cancer, US researchers said Monday. The report in the journal Cancer Cell is based on lab experiments on lung cells that were exposed to chronic cigarette smoke, the equivalent of a person smoking for 20 to 30 years. After about 10 days, the cells began to change their gene expression, a process known as epigenetic change. It took 10 months before these changes built up enough to boost the odds of cancer.

"When you're smoking, you are building up a substrate of epigenetic changes that we hypothesize are increasing your mathematics for developing lung cancer," said senior author Stephen Baylin, co-director of the Cancer Biology program Johns Hopkins University. "Because if you're not a smoker, your risk of lung cancer is very low." These epigenetic abnormalities essentially turn off multiple genes which are needed to help protect normal cells from developing cancer. Epigenetic changes do not alter, or mutate, the basic DNA sequence of the gene, suggesting that there is hope for people who want to quit smoking.

"This work suggests the possibility that unlike mutations, which are harder to reverse, if you stop smoking at a certain time and duration, then you have a chance to decrease your mathematics that might be due to the buildup of epigenetic changes," said first author Michelle Vaz, a postdoctoral researcher at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "The hypothesis is that there are potentially reversible changes that are contributing to a certain set of lung cancers."

Did you know E-Cigarettes van help you quit smoking?

Studies reveal that people who are prone to E-smoking are three times likelier to quit than those who do not use E-cigarettes. A research conducted by the Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the Rutgers School of Public Health stated that over half of the people who use e-cigarettes daily have quit in the past five years, as compared to 28% of adults who have never tried e-cigarettes. The analysis was conducted on the basis of the participants' wish to quit smoking. Other factors that can be used to predict their desire to quit are getting a health insurance or an educational attainment.

Take a look at the five easiest ways to quit smoking:

1. Apply Nicotine-Replacement Therapy

Smoking has severe effects on one's body. Nicotine withdrawal may even give you mood swings, headache and exhaust you too quick. When you take nicotine-replacement therapy, you are able to curb the urges. As per medical experts, lozenges and nicotine gum help in improving your success.

2. Know about prescription pills

Medicines curb cravings, it may make smoking less satisfying. Other drugs ease withdrawal symptoms like depression or concentration problems.

3. Try quit smoking classes

People widely go for counselling sessions, quit-smoking classes, medication and apps for quitting smoking. It all depends only if you are ready enough to quit.

4. Avoid alcohol and other drugs

Something that straightway affects a person after smoking is alcohol. If you smoke and drink, you are welcoming health hazards for yourself. If you have a habit of smoking after coffee, replace it with tea. 

5. Eat Fruits and Veggies

To be healthy, you should focus on healthy eating. Add things like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. These are considered to be very good for your body. It is extremely important to be cautious when it comes to nicotine. Excessive consumption of nicotine can leave your lungs damaged forever. If you are an addict then it is advisable to consult doctor immediately.

With inputs from AFP

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