“Smoking Causes Decades Long Damage to DNA”
Stopping smoking is the mantra of the American Medical Association and the American Cancer Society for improving your overall health. Even though there is general disapproval of smoking, nearly forty million adults in the U.S. smoke cigarettes and smoking is the leading cause of preventable death, accounting for 1 out of 5 deaths in the U.S. Although smoking has decreased by 4 percent over the past nine years, sales of e-cigarettes have risen a startling 143 times from $20 million to $2.875 billion in sales per year. The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center reports that 130,000 cases of lung cancer are diagnosed each year and are attributed to smoking. While much of the damage from smoking is healed within the first five years after you quit, some DNA damage doesn’t appear to readily revert to normal. New research data indicates that damage to your DNA from smoking stays with you for decades, for up to thirty years. Further, smoking may trigger cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Where scientists once thought the genes you were born with stuck with you throughout life, now they have identified changes to your DNA, called methylation, that affect how your genes are expressed or may modify the way those genes affect your health.