Another reason to quit smoking

Published 8:02 am Thursday, January 17, 2019

Smoking has been linked to many different illnesses. It’s widely known that cigarette smoke can impact respiratory and cardiovascular health, but there may be a new reason to quit, particularly for those plagued by chronic inflammation. Researchers at Sweden’s Umea University, in collaboration with researchers in the United States, found that nicotine strongly activates immune cells to release DNA fibers decorated with pro-inflammatory molecules called neutrophil extracellular traps, or NETs. Continuous exposure to NETs can harm tissues and may explain why smokers are vulnerable to inflammatory diseases. NETs have been implicated in several inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis, cancer and small vessel vasculitis. This evidence presents yet another reason why people should quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke, or never begin smoking at all.

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