Smoking causes new DNA mutations every year you smoke!
A new study that compared the genetic analysis results of 2,490 smokers and 1,063 respondents who never smoked a tobacco cigarette before found that for each year you smoke a pack of cigarettes a day, 150 mutations are generated in each of your lung cells. Additionally, 97 mutations are produced in each cell of your larynx, 39 in each of your pharynx cells, 23 in your mouth cells, 18 in your bladder cells, and 6 in your liver cells.
Although these mutations may not necessarily be harmful on their own, the more mutations that there are, the greater chance there is that at least one of them will eventually cause cancer.
While it has already been understood by most that smoking is bad for your health and directly contributes to cancer rates (causing 167,133 deaths in one year, according to the American Cander Society), this study is finally giving us a finer detail as to how smoking causes cancer.
Talk to your children about the dangers of smoking
9 out of 10 smokers say they started before the age of 18. Many are influenced by peer pressure or a desire to fit in; others do it because their parents do. If we want to reduce the number of deaths attributed to smoking each year, we have to stop it before it begins.
- Tell your kids about the nasty side effects of smoking. Almost 90% of cases of lung cancer are caused by smoking. Not only are they at risk of lung cancer, but also throat, mouth, stomach, panceatic, kidney, and bladder cancer. Not surprisingly, many of these are mentioned in the study above! Over 16 million people have at least one disease from smoking.
- Let them know it can be deadly. Over 50 Americans will die each hour from diseases caused by smoking, and the average lifespan of a smoker is about 10-14 years shorter than a nonsmoker
- Help them understand how hard it can be to quit. 95% of high school smokers believe that they will stop smoking within five years after they graduate, but only 25% successfully stop using a form of tobacco within eight years.
- Warn them that e-cigarettes, or "vaping," is not safe either. Although it is less harmful than cigarettes, and has gained surging popularity among the youth, the truth is that it does not only produce water vapor. The liquid contains nicotine, heavy metals, and other potentially cancer-causing agents. Further, a recent study on a link between vaping and smoking suggests that kids who vape were over 30 times more likely to take up smoking by their next semester.