US Pharm. 2008;33(3):99.

Smokers, particularly women, now have more to worry about when it comes to the possible health hazards of smoking. Researchers at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine are suggesting a direct interaction between cigarette smoke carcinogens and the human papillomavirus (HPV) that may lead to an increased risk of cervical cancer.

And if that were not enough to get someone to quit smoking, a University of Rochester scientist discovered that the toxins in cigarette smoke wipe out a gene that plays a vital role in protecting the body from the effects of premature aging. According to Irfan Rahman, PhD, associate professor of environmental medicine and an investigator in the University of Rochester's Lung Biology and Disease Program, not only is youthfulness lost without this gene, it leaves the lungs open to destructive inflammation and diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer. The research from two separate clinical studies was published in the American Journal of Respiratory Critical Care Medicine and the American Journal of Physiology.

To comment on this article, contact