Apparently smoking 15 cigarettes is enough to mutate your genes.
If that's true, I'm now a whole new species.
If it's true, then let the coppers have your DNA then take up smoking. By the time they come back to get you, your DNA has changed into someone else's.
If there is any truth at all in that story, the DNA database is a total waste of time because smoker's DNA is changing too fast to monitor.
There is no truth in it, naturally. The sequencing of the cancer they mention took place on one cancer from one patient. Not mine and not yours. Mutations do not happen in any sort of logical sequence and a mutation can even be accidentally fixed by a subsequent mutation. If you're having one every 15 smokes you're mutating faster than bacteria.
Not all mutations cause cancer. Most of your DNA is junk so mutations in that part do nothing. Not all mutations are detrimental (although most are) and mutations do not occur in all parts of your body simultaneously. They occur in one cell. You have a lot of cells. No cell lives forever, all are replaced and broken ones are replaced earlier. The chance of cancer from any activity is not as great as advertised. The risk rises with age because of the laws of chance - the longer you're around and getting mutated (by UV light, by food components, by breathing traffic fumes, by having hot showers which vapourise the chemicals added to water - a million risks, even for non smokers) the greater the chance of one of those mutations producing a nasty.
Chance, of course, isn't so simple. 'One in a million' does not mean you can do something 999,999 times and then stop. The 'one' can be anywhere in the 'million'. It can be first just as well as it can be last. So babies can potentially get cancer the moment they pop into the light.
Exposure to the same carcinogens every day gives you the same risk today as yesterday and tomorrow. It's like playing the same numbers on the lottery. One day the numbers might match but the chance of a match is the same in every draw. The chance doesn't increase. The number of attempts increases.
So it is with cancer. The chance of getting cancer (from any routinely-experienced source) today is the same as yesterday and the same as tomorrow. As you get older, you've just played more hands and so the accumulated plays mean you could get the match just by persistence. You might never get it. There was once a story in the local paper here about a 90-year-old woman whose budgie died of 'passive smoking'. We smokers took it to heart, knowing a little history. When the canary dies it's time to open a window. The budgie in question was nine years old, which is Zimmer frame and Stanner perch-lift time for such birds. The old lady was fine.
There are genetic predispositions to cancer, as there are genetic predispositions to all sorts of things. If cancer runs in the family you should watch your step with exposure to known risks, just as if colour blindness runs in the family you should avoid getting sold a Barbie pink car by a salesman who insists it's pale green. If there's no cancer in the family, that doesn't guarantee you won't get it. It's a lottery.
One cancer in one person cannot be extrapolated to the whole population. Biology scoffs at such notions. Even if you studied every person in the world but one, that last one could be very different from your conclusions. Biology pays scant attention to statistics. Especially the motor-mechanic variety so beloved of the ban brigades.
Unfortunately, government doesn't.