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Dr. Stephanie London, deputy chief of epidemiology at the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences led the study in question, examining blood samples from over 16,000 individuals who had participated in six previous studies related to smoking. The findings found that about 7,000 genes are affected by smoking, therefore ⅓ of our currently known genetic material, and were summarized on WebMD as follows :

“London’s team found that some genetic changes remained, even 30 years after quitting smoking.

London and her colleagues zeroed in on a process called DNA methylation — genetic changes that don’t alter genes’ underlying code but can change how they’re expressed, or turned on.”

Horrifying numbers

the greater number of negative effects on our DNA disappear within about five years of quitting cigarettes, however some results were devastating finding that in 19 genes, including the TIAM2 gene linked to Lymphoma, the effects lasted up to 30 years.
Most of the findings reflected what we are already aware of, such as the increased likelihood of cancer and heart disease. Parts of the study were more reassuring than others, finding that the greater number of negative effects on our DNA disappear within about five years of quitting cigarettes, however some results were devastating finding that in 19 genes, including the TIAM2 gene linked to Lymphoma, the effects lasted up to 30 years.

This study highlighted once again the importance of having effective smoking cessation aids readily available encouraging smokers to quit, and is published at a time where certain regulators such as the FDA are doing anything they can to tighten their straps by enforcing heavy regulations which make it close to impossible for smokers to have access to e-cigarettes.  This is tragic as numerous studies have found vaping to be a much safer alternative to smoking, and the most effective smoking cessation method.

Many health experts have been speaking up against these regulations especially after the Royal College of London released the frequently quoted study which found that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking, and another recent study by Dr. Farsalinos which found that 6.1 million European vapers have managed to curb the habit as a result of using e-cigarettes, ironically the same number released by the World Health Organization for the amount of people that perish each year as a result of smoking.

The necessity for authorities to work together on this Global Health Crises, highlighted once again

This latest study confirming that smoking leads to DNA damage, in some cases for a lifetime, points out once again the necessity for a collective effort by authorities to work on a solution that promotes the annihilation of tobacco cigarettes.  However, although fortunately some countries such as the UK are well on their way of achieving this and have the figures that prove it, other Countries such as the US are still paddling in the opposite direction by condemning the same products that are proven most effective to avert this global health crises.

Stephanie London, M.D., Dr.P.H., deputy chief, epidemiology branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), Epigenetic Signatures of Cigarette Smoking,  Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics, N.Y.; Sept. 20,  2016 issue

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