Navigation Links
Study Finds Even a Little Cigarette Smoke Harms Airway
Date:8/20/2010

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- A drag from a cigarette now and then can't hurt, right?

Wrong, according to a new study that finds even low levels of smoke exposure can cause irreparable damage to cells essential to breathing.

The damage occurred among "casual" smokers and even after exposure to secondhand smoke. The initial damage, while not usually severe, can be cumulative and prolonged exposure to tobacco smoke could lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and even lung cancer, the researchers reported.

"It has been known for a long time that secondhand smoke or smoking occasionally can be risky for your health," said study author Dr. Ronald Crystal, chief of the division of pulmonary and critical care medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell, in New York City.

Just how much a little exposure might damage airway cells hasn't been clear, however.

"We found that if we could detect nicotine in the urine we could also detect changes in the genes in the cells lining the airways," said Crystal, who is also chair of the department of genetic medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.

The bottom line: "There is no level of cigarette smoking or exposure to cigarette smoke that does not make the cells in your lungs sick," he said. "If you are an occasional smoker you are still at risk. Don't think that smoking one or two cigarettes a week means you are home free."

As for secondhand smoke, "if you are working in a place where people smoke, either get them to stop or go get another job," Crystal advised. "If you have somebody at home who smokes, send them outside to smoke. Don't be exposed to secondhand smoke."

The report is published in the Aug. 20 issue of American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

For the study, Crystal's team recruited 121 people who were nonsmokers, active smokers or low-exposure smokers. To determine who belonged in which group, all participants had their urine tested for levels of nicotine.

Crystal's group next scanned each person's entire genome to determine whether genes governing airway cells were turned on or off.

They found that there was no level of nicotine or cotinine, no matter how small, that did not produce genetic abnormalities.

"These cells are like canaries in the mine, they're crying out for help -- this gene is being turned on, this gene is being turned off," Crystal said. "This now gives us clues to what are the earliest events in terms of what makes our cells go wrong and is the start of these lung diseases, like COPD and lung cancer."

Knowing which genes are damaged could provide targets for new drugs that could protect the lungs, Crystal said.

Dr. Norman H. Edelman, chief medical officer at the American Lung Association and a professor of preventive medicine, internal medicine and physiology & biophysics at Stony Brook University in New York, applauded the study. "I like this one because it cleverly uses molecular biology to answer a very important question, one that I get asked very often ... 'Is there a threshold below which inhalation of tobacco smoke is safe?'" he said. The question is usually asked as, " Is it safe to smoke a few cigarettes a week?" or, "Is it safe to hang out with smoking friends a few times a week?" Edelman added.

"Within the limits of their detection methods, the answer is 'no,'" Edelman said. "Whether the changes they see in folks with minor exposure will eventually lead to disease is unclear, but it is getting more and more clear to me that there really is no totally safe level of tobacco exposure."

More information

For more information on secondhand smoke, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Ronald Crystal, M.D., chief, division of pulmonary and critical care medicine, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell, chair, department of genetic medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City; Norman H. Edelman, M.D., chief medical officer, American Lung Association, and professor, preventive medicine, Internal Medicine, Physiology & Biophysics, Stony Brook University, New York; Aug. 20, 2010, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Despite Treatment, Employees with Depression Generate Higher Absentee Costs, According to Thomson Reuters Study
2. American Council on Exercise (ACE) Study Reveals Kettlebells Provide Powerful Workout in Short Amount of Time
3. TV drama can be more persuasive than news program, study finds
4. Study carried out into biological risks of eating reptiles
5. Neuroimaging study may pave way for effective Alzheimers treatments
6. Study finds racial gaps continue in heart disease awareness
7. Luth Researchs IndicatorEDG(TM) Study Finds Americans Hopes of Achieving Their Dreams Are Fading
8. First blinded study of venous insufficiency prevalence in MS shows promising results
9. Soothing infants with food focus of childhood obesity study
10. People with anxiety disorder less able to regulate response to negative emotions, study shows
11. American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report: Study Finds Racial Gaps Continue in Heart Disease Awareness, Low Knowledge of Heart Attack Warning Signs Among Women
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Study Finds Even a Little Cigarette Smoke Harms Airway
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever Recovery, a ... and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation facility is ... to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast foods. Its ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to ... app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry ... fits all type program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can ... Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey ... cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of independent ... Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to announce ... Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. , ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health ... of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at Work Awards ... at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 businesses to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; ... for its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a ... septic shock. With this clearance, Roche is the first ... integrated solution for sepsis risk assessment and management. ... infection and PCT levels in blood can aid clinicians ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Research and Markets has ... 52" report to their offering. ... creates a favourable commercial environment for MedImmune to enter. The ... that will serve to drive considerable growth for effective anti-influenza ... to cap sales considerably, but development is still in its ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Ill. and INDIANAPOLIS , ... students receiving a Lilly Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship is ... 2016 scholarship winners, announced today online at www.diabetesscholars.org ... let type 1 diabetes stand in the way of ... has supported the Foundation,s scholarship program since 2012, and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: