Last year, we wrote about a URMC study that found that tobacco smoke impairs our body clocks, much like working the night shift or traveling to different time zones can harm circadian rhythms. The study, originally published online in September 2013, is featured on this month’s cover of The FASEB Journal (The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology). Led by Irfan Rahman, Ph.D., professor of Environmental Medicine, in collaboration with Michael T. Sellix, Ph.D., Paige B. Lawrence, Ph.D., and Patricia J. Sime, M.D., the study reported for the first time that chronic exposure to cigarette smoke caused mice to act sluggish, as if they just took a red-eye flight.
Sellix, a circadian biologist and assistant professor in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, believes the study is featured on this month’s cover because the impact of a given environmental toxin, like cigarette smoke, on sleep quality and health is an ever growing area of interest. He adds that in our 24/7 society, as more and more people are working rotating shifts, long hours and experiencing "social jet lag", the combined effects of these sleep disturbances and smoking on health and disease will continue to be an area of intense research.
The study was featured in several recent articles in the Huffington Post, the England Daily Mail and many other outlets.