Science Says Smoking Cigarettes Can Ruin Your DNA
Cool, my genetic code is ruined forever.
It’s common knowledge that smoking cigarettes is bad, and that the (maybe fun) habit can lead to a ton of health complications, including death. About 6 million deaths per year to be exact, according to a new study published September 20 in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics.
The study focused on the way cigarette smoking can fuck up your DNA forever. Previously, it was believed that after a, say, a decade or so of tobacco abstinence, your genetic makeup would repair itself from years of smoking. This new research (ugh!) says otherwise.
I remember when I finally quit smoking (it took three solid times), my doctor told me that my organs, lungs, body, and I guess my DNA would all recover within five years’ time. That was four years ago this fall. So maybe my body has recovered, but it looks like some serious long-term DNA fuckery is still going on. And, I still want to smoke all the time, which is unfair and possibly unrelated.
But this new info reveals that even many years after smokers quit, that old habit might still cause long-term complications leading to disease and death and who knows, they didn't say so, but even birth defects. DNA methylation changes might just be the reason.
[The] team compared DNA methylation sites in current and former smokers to those who never smoked. In addition to finding that smoking-related DNA sites were linked with more than 7,000 genes—about one-third of known human genes—the researchers learned that some DNA methylation sites persisted even three decades after quitting.
So, a lot of smoking’s terrible affects are reversible, as my doctor once told me, but there’s a solid chance other non-reversible things are going on for smokers and ex-smokers too—like fucking up your entire genetic code. The message is pretty obvious, folks. Quit while you can.