Fun_People Archive
21 Oct
Cigarettes linked to cancer

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 96 10:51:05 -0700
To: Fun_People
Subject: Cigarettes linked to cancer

Forwarded-by: Keith Bostic <>
Forwarded-by: Chris Small <>
Forwarded-by: "Joshua M. Duhl" <74443.2610@CompuServe.COM>

TIME Daily: Cigarettes Linked to Cancer

WASHINGTON:  A study published today in the journal Science strongly linked
cigarettes to lung cancer and may force the tobacco industry to rethink its
argument that no clear connection has been established between smoking and
the disease. The research found a tobacco carcinogen called BPDE bonds to
three molecular sites on a gene crucial to the development of cancer. The
gene, known as P53, monitors DNA copying during cell division and destroys
cells with defective copies of genetic material.  When BPDE adheres to the
gene through cigarette smoking, however, it becomes damaged and cannot
eliminate abnormal cells. As a result, cells with incorrect DNA divide and
produce cancer. Although BPDE has long been viewed as a possible carcinogen,
its role is now firmly established, said Moon-shon Tang, the study's lead
author. "Until now we did not know [BPDE] binds with the spots on the P53
gene that are associated with lung cancer," he said. "In essence, our study
provides a direct link between a defined cigarette-smoke carcinogen and
human cancer mutations." Cigarette companies have maintained no firm
correlation between cigarettes and cancer exists. But many anti-smoking
activists say this new study, in combination with earlier research, makes
the industry's argument implausible. It is believed the new study will
become a powerful tool in lawsuits against tobacco companies.

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