Smoking linked to permanent genetic damages
A recent study conducted by Dr. Adi Gazdar of the University of Texas, indicates that smokers, even those who quit years ago, have permanent damage to their genes, which may lead to cancer.
In a press conference at the Anderson Cancer Institute, Dr. Gazdar said that the molecular damage caused by smoking never goes away - even after quitting smoking. However, the damage is not as high as that in the lungs of people who continue to smoke. A second study conducted by Dr. Curtis Harris and team of the National Cancer Institute revealed similar results. The investigators specifically looked for mutations of the p53 gene -- a tumor suppressor gene that is damaged by smoking in a way that can lead to cancer. In a report presented to the American Association for Cancer Research, results showed that even after 15 years of smoking cessation, ex-smokers had a p53 mutation frequency.