Only Smoked That One Cigarette? Your DNA May Never Forgive You

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A new study from the surgeon general has some incredibly disturbing findings for anyone who has ever smoked one cigarette, stood near someone smoking one cigarette, pictured a cigarette in their mind, or can even spell the word. According to the study, any exposure to tobacco, from occasional smoking to secondhand smoke, can damage a person's DNA "in ways that lead to cancer," reports USA Today. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin said, "Tobacco smoke damages almost every organ in your body," adding that for those with underlying heart disease, "One cigarette can cause a heart attack." Hello and thanks for terrifying, Regina. What's worse, the study (the first in four years) offers more proof about how alterations — like filter holes that let people inhale smoke more deeply and sugar and moisture enhancers to make the burning sensation more pleasant — have made cigarettes more likely to hook first-time users than ever. Okay, we're gonna stop griping about the cost of Nicorette now.

Just one cigarette can harm DNA, Surgeon General says [USAT]