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One-Fourth of US Cancer Deaths Linked With 1 Thing: Smoking

Cigarettes contribute to more than 1 in 4 cancer deaths in the U.S. and the rate is highest among men in southern states where smoking is more common and tobacco control policies are less strict, Fox News reports. The lowest rates are in Utah.

No matter what the rates, and whether you get cancer or not, it’s also now known that smoking harms you in countless ways, including damaging your DNA for decades. Scientists are still working to understand how DNA methylation and genetic expression are connected, but they have identified this connection in the development of cancer and it’s disturbing to say the least, particularly when you consider that nearly 40 million US adults still smoke cigarettes.

These new studies have also hinted as to how smoking affects your gene expression, which then can trigger the development of cancers and the expression of cardiovascular disease. This DNA methylation is also linked to prenatal cigarette exposure and the development of chronic disease when the child grows to adulthood, not to mention other effects on the baby, such as preterm birth, low birth weight, brain damage to the baby, birth defects and lung damage.

If you want to quit smoking, I believe the "secret" to quitting is to get healthy first, which will make quitting much easier. Exercising is part and parcel of this plan, as research shows people who engage in regular strength training double their success rate of quitting smoking compared to those who don't exercise. And, of course, healthy eating is another crucial aspect.
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