In order to highlight the danger inherent in cigarette, scientists in the United States, U.S. have revealed that people who smoke one pack of cigarette a day develop an average of 150 extra mutations in their lungs every year.
According to findings of a new study released in Washington yesterday, smokers have higher risk of developing lung cancer. The study published in the U.S. ‘Science Journal’, revealed that cigarettes contain more than 7,000 chemicals, including over 70 known to cause cancer.
Tobacco, a product prepared from the leaves of the tobacco plant by curing them, contains the alkaloid nicotine, which is a stimulant. Tobacco products are products made entirely or partly of leaf tobacco as raw material, which are intended to be smoked, sucked, chewed or snuffed.
All contain the highly addictive psychoactive ingredient, nicotine. Tobacco use is a risk factor for many diseases, especially those affecting the heart, liver, and lungs, as well as many cancers. In 2008, the World Health Organisation, WHO, named tobacco as the world’s single greatest cause of preventable death.
The WHO estimates that smoking claims the lives of at least six million people every year. Reacting to the new study, Ludmil Alexandrov who is from Los Alamos National Laboratory and co- author of the report, said apart from the lungs, other organs were also affected by smoking.
According to a NAN report, the study showed that a pack of cigarette a day led to an estimated average of 97 mutations in each cell in the larynx, 39 for the pharynx, 23 for the mouth, 18 for the bladder, and six in every cell of the liver, each year.
Alexandrov said: “Before now, we had a large body of epidemiological evidence linking smoking with cancer, but now we can actually observe and quantify the molecular changes in the DNA due to cigarette smoking.’’
He said previous studies had associated cigarette smoking with increased risk for 17 different types of cancer, including cancer in tissue not directly exposed to smoke; it has remained unclear how smoking causes cancers.
Alexandrov said for this study, researchers looked at over 5,000 tumours, comparing cancers from smokers with cancers from people who had never smoked.
“They found particular molecular fingerprints of DNA damage called mutational signatures in the smokers’ DNA, and they counted the number of these particular mutations in different tumours.