Doctor: Cigarette smoking causes mutation in DNA

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The fact that smoking can cause cancer is nothing new, but now a local researcher has discovered cellular changes in DNA linked to cigarette smoking.

A recent study conducted by Dr. Ludmil Alexandrov, a Oppenheimer Fellow at Los Alamos National Labs, shows a direct link between the number of cigarettes smoked in a lifetime and the number of cellular mutations in DNA.

Mutations are changes in DNA and cancer results when DNA mutations disturb how certain genes function.

Dr. Alexandrov joined the KRQE This Morning team to discuss the study. Watch above.

Dr. Alexandrov’s research looked at the DNA changes in many different types of cancers from more than 5,000 people. His team compared tumor cells from people who smoked with tumor cells from people who never smoked.

This was the first study to look at the DNA mutations in tumors.

Based on the research, the tumor cells of the smokers had more mutations than non-smokers’ tumor cells. This observation held true for almost every type of tumor studied in this research.

For more information, visit their website. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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