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Abstract

Purified DNA from human lung, liver, bladder, pancreas, breast and cervix has been analysed for DNA adducts using the nuclease P1 modification of the 32P post-labelling technique. Tissues were obtained at autopsy from 13 men and 6 women. Relatives were asked to provide information on smoking history for deceased subjects. All tissues examined except the breast had detectable adducts. In lung, bladder and pancreatic tissue a characteristic pattern of adducts was seen which has previously been reported as typical of cigarette-smoke-induced damage. Smokers and former smokers tended to have higher adduct levels than non-smokers in the tissues examined but this was only significant for the lung. There appeared to be considerable variation in adduct levels among smokers which could not be accounted for by duration or daily consumption level. Certain smokers had high adduct levels in all tissues examined, whilst in others high levels were only seen in some tissues. All cervical samples examined had detectable adducts. These results confirm the finding that cigarette smoking is associated with DNA damage in the lung and suggest that similar damage may be related to tobacco-induced neoplasms of other tissues.