Tobacco-chewing may damage crucial gene

Doctors have long blamed chewing tobacco for causing oral cancer. And let's admit this: It's a pretty gross habit. But researchers in India now believe that it also causes genetic damage, India Today reports. A team from Bharathiar University studied 85 men and women who are addicts, determining that long-term tobacco chewing damages the p53 gene, which helps control cell growth and death. The finding is especially interesting because this gene, if damaged, can lead to tumor growth, the researchers explained. Further research will determine if the damaged genes are passed on to the tobacco-chewers' children. Story