Published May 31, 2012
Kicking the smoking habit may all be a matter of genetics.
New research from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has revealed that a person’s gene variations may predict whether or not they will have difficulty quitting smoking. Published in the American Journals of Psychiatry, the study also found that those same variations are also foretelling of the person’s ability to respond to nicotine-replacement drugs.
After collecting data from over 6,000 smokers who participated in scientific studies, researchers compared each participant’s ability to stop smoking with genetic variations that have been found to be linked with an increased risk of smoking and nicotine dependence.
“People with the high-risk genetic markers smoked an average of two years longer than those without these high-risk genes, and they were less likely to quit smoking without medication,” Dr. Li-Shiun Chen, assistant professor of psychiatry at Washington University and the study’s lead author, said in a university press release. “The same gene variants can predict a person’s response to smoking-cessation medication, and those with the high-risk genes are more likely to respond to the medication.”
Also, those with high-risk genetic variations were three times more likely to have success with smoking-cessation drugs, such as nicotine gum or patches.