Navigation Links
CU-Boulder led study of smoking twins points to growing influence of genetic factors
Date:11/16/2011

A new study of twins led by the University of Colorado Boulder shows that today's smokers are more strongly influenced by genetic factors than in the past and that the influence makes it more difficult for them to quit.

"In the past, when smoking rates were higher, people smoked for a variety of reasons," said sociology Professor Fred Pampel, a study co-author. "Today the composition of the smoking population has changed. Smokers are more likely to be hard-core users who are most strongly influenced by genetic factors."

The study showed that adult identical twins sharing a common genetic structure are significantly more likely to quit smoking at the same time compared with fraternal twins who do not share identical genes. This genetic influence has increased in importance among smokers following the initial restrictive legislation on smoking enacted in the United States in the 1970s, Pampel said.

"These days people don't smoke as much for social reasons," Pampel said. "They in fact face criticism for the habit but tend to smoke because of their dependence on nicotine."

The study, to be published in this month's edition of the journal Demography, was led by Associate Professor Jason Boardman and doctoral student Casey Blalock of CU-Boulder's sociology department and Institute of Behavioral Science, and co-authored with Pampel, also of IBS, Peter Hatemi of Pennsylvania State University, Andrew Heath of Washington University in St. Louis and Lindon Eaves of the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond.

Using a database of twins who responded to an extensive health questionnaire, the researchers examined the smoking patterns of 596 pairs of twins, 363 of them identical and 233 of them fraternal. The researchers looked at their smoking patterns from 1960 to 1980 because they wanted to focus on a period of changing views about smoking.

Among identical twins, 65 percent of both twins quit during a two-year timeframe if one twin quit, but among fraternal twins, the percentage dropped to 55 percent, a statistically significant difference that indicates a genetic component at work, Pampel said.

While a specific genetic marker has been hard to identify among those who smoke, certain genetic similarities can be inferred. "If one identical twin quits the other is likely to quit," he said. "And if one twin continues so is the other twin."

The study has implications for current public policies aimed at reducing smoking, which may be becoming less effective, Pampel said.

Since the early and mid 1970s when restrictive anti-smoking legislation began to be enacted in the United States, many smokers have quit. "Prior to 1975 this (potentially genetic) pattern wasn't clear because there were so many smokers."

Two of today's main anti-smoking policies include heavy taxes on cigarettes and vast reductions in the number of public spaces where smoking is allowed, particularly in bars and restaurants, Pampel said.

But with indications that the genetic component is growing, it may be time to treat smoking more like an addiction than a choice, Pampel said. Such a policy shift might include more emphasis on nicotine-replacement therapy and counseling.


'/>"/>

Contact: Fred Pampel
fred.pampel@colorado.edu
303-492-5620
University of Colorado at Boulder
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. CU-Boulder study sheds light on how our brains get tripped up when were anxious
2. Southeast U.S. Still Using High Levels of Antibiotics, Study Shows
3. Women, Younger Men Under-Treated Before Heart Attack: Study
4. Study Finds Link Between Low IQ, Large Waistline
5. Whole-Body Vibration Doesnt Build Bone After All: Study
6. Alcoholics More Likely to Die of Cancer: Study
7. High Doses of Statins Tied to Less Arterial Plaque in Study
8. Women Marathon Runners Have Less Artery Plaque: Study
9. Erectile dysfunction study shows high prevalence of peripheral neuropathy
10. No Benefit From Niacin for Heart Patients in Study
11. Study evaluates normal range systolic bp levels after ischemic stroke and risk of recurrent stroke
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping ... fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems leading the fitness ... size fits all type program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons people ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 ... their specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ... and all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether it’s a matter of indulgence ... high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, those who set the bar ... from PsychTests.com reveals that behind the tendency to set low expectations is ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Conference and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new ... the grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... People across the U.S. are sharpening their pencils and honing their ... in which patients and their families pay tribute to a genetic counselor by nominating ... of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this September. , In April, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... INDIANAPOLIS , June 23, 2016 Roche ... received 510(k) clearance for its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) ... severe sepsis or septic shock. With this clearance, Roche ... provide a fully integrated solution for sepsis risk assessment ... associated with bacterial infection and PCT levels in blood ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... VIEW, Calif. , June 23, 2016 ... a.m. CST on Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , , ... kayla.belcher@frost.com ) , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , ... Nitin Naik; Senior Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 The vast majority of dialysis ... facility.  Treatments are usually 3 times a week, with ... including travel time, equipment preparation and wait time.  This ... grueling for patients who are elderly and frail.  Many ... and rehabilitation centers for some duration of time. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: