Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Heap Big Smoke

“Someone is either a smoker or a non-smoker, there's no in-between. The trick is to find out which one you are and be that.”
- Robin Williams in “Dead Again”
I always liked that line, but I thought the answer was supposed to be philosophical or psychological -- you know, discovering your true preferences and embracing them or something. But it turns out the answer might be genetic. A recent Israeli study purports to show that smokers with low levels of a particular enzyme are 5 to 10 times more likely to get lung cancer than smokers with high levels of the enzyme. If the study’s results are confirmed, you may eventually be able to take a blood test to find out whether you’re a born smoker or not. (But before you smokers get too excited, you should know that even the smokers with high levels of the enzyme were much more likely to get lung cancer than non-smokers. And then there are all those other health conditions, like emphysema.)

No comments: