London: Here comes another shocker for those reluctant to kick the butt.
Smoking not only affects your health but also increases health risks of your children and grandchildren; today's puffs of pleasure can permanently damage your genes, according to a new study.
Smoking can also affect the genes important for sperm quality or immune response.
The research findings from Uppsala University and Uppsala Clinical Research Center of Sweden showed that smoking alters several genes that can be associated with health problems for smokers, such as increased risk for cancer and diabetes.
The research, led by Asa Johansson, researcher at the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, said the genes of smokers as well tobacco users can change and expose them to more health risks.
However, according to the findings, tobacco itself may not be the cause of gene alterations, but the different elements that are formed when the tobacco is burnt.
"Our results therefore indicate that the increased disease risk associated with smoking is partly caused by epigenetic changes. A better understanding of the molecular mechanism behind diseases and reduced body function might lead to improved drugs and therapies in the future," Johansson said.
The findings of the study have been published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics.