Lufkin doctor says smoking has short-term effects, too

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Whitney Grunder - email

LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Mary Jenkins and Rhonda Grisham know smoking could kill them.

Problem is, nothing seems to work. Trying to kick the deadly habit.

"When it's time to quit I'll quit," Jenkins said. "I have tried to quit in the past and I always went back to it."

"I was wanting to try and quit smoking anyway and I know now with the new tobaccos, the way they've got them and everything, it makes it harder," Grisham said.

New research shows long-term effects aren't the only dangers smokers face.

"It does affect the DNA arrangement in the body and that can have a long-term effect within minutes," said pulmonologist Mohamma Siddiqui.

Playing a large role in how quickly cancer forms.

"It makes me wonder how much damage I've already done," Jenkins said.

Siddiqui says it depends on the smoker.

"If they have previous lung issues, like asthma or cardiovascular problems, they will be affected more as compared to an otherwise healthy individual," Siddiqui said.

Siddiqui says these new findings are crucial in reminding smokers of the short-term risks, not just the long-term threat.

"I haven't met one patient who would say 'I'm smoking, I'm enjoying it and I want to continue it,'" Siddiqui said.

For Grisham, she's focusing on willpower and support from her family.

"I have more going for me now," Grisham said. "I mean I have my grandkids and all my kids and everything, my husband."

Jenkins is trying, but says it's a battle.

If anything can come from these new findings, she says never pick up that first cigarette.

"Don't ever start and then you don't have to worry about quitting," she said.

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