Understanding Disease Mechanisms

Smoking causes serious, fatal diseases such as lung cancer, cardiovascular disease (heart disease), chronic obstructive lung diseases (emphysema and bronchitis).
Over the past half-century, classical scientific methods, including non-clinical, clinical, and epidemiological studies, have yielded data and information about smoking and disease. Yet, the precise mechanisms by which smoking triggers disease in human systems remain poorly understood.

Recent breakthroughs in biological and medical research have dramatically changed the understanding of the human body. The human body is a highly complex system of delicately balanced networks. Exposure to cigarette smoke can alter the chemistry or biology of individual molecules, causing a malfunction within one or more of these networks, which ultimately leads to disease.

Today, advanced technologies may allow us to use existing data to explore this question from an entirely new angle—that of how individual tissues, cells, or even particular proteins respond to smoke exposure. These technologies may also help us to identify gaps in knowledge, and design new research projects to address such gaps.

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