Smoking damages you right away

Just one smoke - it won't hurt me - doesn't hold up to scientific study! There is a report which was published in Chemical Research in Toxicology, that shows the chemicals which cause cancer form rapidly after smoking.

This is a clear cut warning to people considering smoking. It is never too early to quit.

Smoking has a long-term impact from heart disease to a range of cancers. This new study shows that the damage begins just moments after the first cigarette is smoked.

The study looked at the level of chemicals linked with cancer, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), in 12 patients after smoking.

A PAH was added to the subject's cigarettes, which was then modified by the body and turned into another chemical which damages DNA and has been linked with cancer.

The process only took between 15 and 30 minutes to take place. Professor Stephen Hecht, from the University of Minnesota, said: "This study is unique, it is the first to investigate human metabolism of a PAH specifically delivered by inhalation in cigarette smoke, without interference by other sources of exposure such as air pollution or the diet.

The results reported here should serve as a stark warning to those who are considering starting to smoke cigarettes."

Further comments were made by Martin Dockrell, director of policy and research at Ash (Action on Smoking and Health), who said: "Almost everybody knows that smoking can cause lung cancer.

"The chilling thing about this research is that it shows just how early the very first stages of that process begin - not in 30 years but within 30 minutes of a single cigarette for every subject in the study.

"The process starts early but it is never too late to quit and the sooner you quit the sooner you start to reduce the harm."