Effects of cigarette smoking and vanillin concentration on Sister Chromatid Exchange and chromosome aberrations in women aged 16-25 : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Genetics at Massey University
The chromosomes of human peripheral blood lymphocytes were analysed for sister chromatid exchanges (SCEs) and structural aberrations and correlated to cigarette smoking habits of 15 individuals and to the concentration of vanillin, a flavour compound of cigarettes. An analysis of variance showed that there was a significant increase in the frequency of SCEs in smokers compared with non smokers. With non smokers had a mean SCE of 9.712 per cell whereas smokers had a mean of 12.771 SCEs per cell. Cigarette smoking showed no significant effect on the frequency of chromosome aberrations. In vitro studies also showed that an increase in vanillin concentration induced an increase in the number of SCEs per cell. Conversely there was no relationship between cigarette smoking and structural chromosome aberrations. The present studies indicate that cigarette smoking confers a genetic risk on the individual with vanillin contributing to such a risk.