You might think the BBC could have found someone willing to express scepticism at such an extraordinary claim, but it seems they're happy to report it at face value.
Smoking damages the body in minutes rather than years, according to research in the US.
The report, published in Chemical Research in Toxicology, shows that chemicals which cause cancer form rapidly after smoking.
Scientists involved in the small-scale study described the results as a stark warning to people considering smoking.
Anti-smoking charity Ash described the research as "chilling" and as a warning that it is never too early to quit.
The long term impact of smoking, from heart disease to a range of cancers, are well known. This study suggests the damage begins just moments after the first cigarette is smoked.
After all, "the research was funded by the US National Cancer Institute". And if you can't trust a government to give you the straight facts, who can you trust?