Smoking is injurious for health. I bet! Everybody knows about this fact. But still, smokers either do not agree or are in a state of denial. Smoking is of two kinds, active smoking and passive smoking. As name depicts a person who smoke regularly or occasionally is an active smoker, whilst a person who doesn’t smoke at all but inhale smoke involuntarily is a passive smoker. Passive smoking is also known as Second hand smoke or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).
Various studies in past have linked passive smoking with serious diseases including tuberculosis, cardiovascular disease, pancreatic cancer, diabetes mellitus, respiratory infections, kidney disease, acute stroke, acute heart attack and atherosclerosis. That means, if you don’t smoke, but hang out with your friends who smoke, you are not at all safe, you have high chances of getting diseases. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, passive smoking affects an estimated 126 million nonsmokers in homes, workplaces and public areas in the United States.
A new study found that even low levels of exposure to cigarette smoke (passive smoking) can alternate the function of genes implicated in lung diseases.
About the study
The study is considered to be the first to demonstrate that passive smoking and infrequent tobacco smoking can affect the body at a genetic function level. Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University and Presbyterian Hospital examined 121 healthy people for levels of nicotine and cotinine (a chemical produced in the body as nicotine is metabolized) in urine samples, which are markers of cigarette smoke in the body. Based on the levels of the markers, participants were grouped into three different categories, nonsmokers, active smokers and low exposure smokers.
Each participant’s entire genome was scanned to find...
out which genes were either activated or deactivated in the cell linings of the airways.
- Extremely low levels of exposure to cigarette smoke produced genetic abnormalities in the cells of non smokers and occasional smokers
- “The genetic effect is much lower than those who are regular smokers, but this does not mean that there are no health consequences.”
- Certain genes within the cells lining the airways are very sensitive to tobacco smoke, and changes in the function of these genes are the first evidence of ‘biological disease’ in the lungs.
The study was published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
The study revealed that how smoke can be harmful for the non smokes and the reason is cigarettes contain more than 4,000 chemicals of varying toxicity including 43 known carcinogens. They work like poison for the body, if inhaled. For more details about the chemicals of cigarette and associated health risks please visit the link Cigarette smoking is injurious for your health. I look forward to see the steps taken by the government to ban smoking at public places. This might help reducing the exposure of smoking and associated health risks.