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Cigarette Smoke Jolts Hundreds of Genes

Doctors have long noticed a link between smoking and cancers found in organs beside the lungs. Now, a new study shows smoking changes your gene activity across your entire body.

The findings may be one reason why smoking affects overall health -- from heart disease to immune response.

According to Live Science:

“[S]mokers ... were more likely to have unusual patterns of ‘gene expression’ related to tumor development, inflammation, virus elimination, cell death and more. A gene is expressed when it codes for a protein that then instructs, or kick-starts, a process in the body. The authors of the study found cigarette smoke could increase or decrease the level of expression of 323 genes.”

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