MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Smoking unleashes cancer-causing chemicals in the body in minutes, U.S. researchers say.
A study published in Chemical Research in Toxicology examined the level of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in 12 patients after smoking, the BBC reported.
A PAH was added to the subject's cigarettes, which was modified by the body and converted into another chemical that damages DNA and has been tied to cancer. The researchers said blood tests showed that process took only 15 and 30 minutes.
Professor Stephen Hecht of the University of Minnesota said: "This study is unique. It is the first to investigate human metabolism of a PAH specifically delivered by inhalation in cigarette smoke, without interference by other sources of exposure such as air pollution or the diet. The results reported here should serve as a stark warning to those who are considering starting to smoke cigarettes."
The research was funded by the U.S. National Cancer Institute.