translated from Spanish: Quitting smoking allows lungs to regenerate tobacco-damaged cells

What’s known about the cigar? It is for obvious reasons that the sole purpose of the cigar is to kill, generate irreversible damage in the , affect the family economy, etc. Messages describing and graphing the harmful health effects of tobacco have managed to sustain a downward trend in the smoking population in recent years. This was demonstrated by the 4th National Risk Factor Survey (ENFR 2018), which sees a drop of 3 percentage points between 2013 and 2018 (25.1% to 22.2%) consumers of cigarettes, in their various forms, in Argentina. However, the declining figures, which are also replicated at the regional level, for health agencies are still a long way from ideal.
The increasingly explicit and aggressive campaigns have always pointed to the dire consequences of this habit, seeking a shock effect on the addicted population. «They attract more attention, generate greater cognitive effect and negative emotional reactions that favor attempts to quit smoking and reduce the incentive for initiation,» the statement from the Ministry of Health of the Nation said in 2019, when it announced the release of warnings against smoking on cigarette packs.
However, the findings of a new expert study from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and University College London (UK) could provide a cause of equal weight, but of a positively opposite effect, for those who are discussing vice and preventing future diseases. According to the report published in the journal Nature, tobacco damage to the lungs may subside once smoking is stopped. The most relevant data? That no matter how many years the cigarette smoke has been ingested.
Specifically, research suggests that the bronchial epithelial cells of former smokers have mutation levels similar to those found in nonsmoker cells. That is, those who after having smoked 10, 15 or 30 years decided to quit tobacco definitively, have more healthy lung cells, than those who still keep the habit. «This is the first time it has been shown that the lung can repair itself from genetic damage caused by tobacco,» explained Sam Janes, a researcher at University College London: «The key message is that you should stop now.»
The experts’ suggestion is that quitting cigarettes could allow lung tissue to regenerate through cells that were not exposed to the drug. «If this habit is abandoned not only do the lesions stop growing, but the damaged cells could be replaced with healthy ones, protecting the individual from cancer in the future,» Janes explains.
To address this finding, tests were conducted in a small but heterogeneous group of «lungs»: those of a trio of children were contrasted with those of adult smoking, former smokers and non-smokers. Among the results found that more than 9 out of 10 active smoker lung cells had up to 10,000 extra genetic changes caused by tobacco chemicals, compared to those who had never smoked.
Within this damaged material, more than a quarter were affected by at least one carcinogenic mutation, irrefutable evidence of how cigarette smoke significantly increases the risk of lung cancer. But most strikingly, it was to discover that in the case of former smokers, their airways were covered by a compendium of cells that were not hit by genetic damage. Thus, the threat of cancer to this group was much lower, placing them closer to those who never smoked, than to those who still maintain that practice.
«People who have smoked a lot for 30, 40 or more often believe that the damage is already done. Our study shows it’s never too late. Some of the people tested had smoked more than 15,000 packs of cigarettes over their lifetime, but within a few years of leaving many of the cells lining their airways showed no evidence of tobacco damage,» encourages Peter Campbell, another report’s authors and member of the Wellcome Sanger Institute.
While the study’s sample is limited, its conclusion is strong and enables scientists to broaden the field of study and, for example, investigate the effect of tobacco on pulmonary alveoli, the current one focused only on the airways.
Quitting smoking allows the lungs to regenerate tobacco-damaged cells From @TWSegún the World Health Organization (WHO) in the world, there are some 1.3 billion smokers, with some 100,000 young people under the age of 18 joining every day. Many of which opt for the novelty of vaping or e-cigarette, as harmful as the conventional one. In Argentina, it smokes 22% of the adult population and there are about 44,000 deaths per year related to tobacco use. If quitting smoking is indeed, rather than a mechanism to prevent a repair pathway, these numbers may continue to drop.

Original source in Spanish

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