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:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... will be giving viewers the lowdown on sciatica in a new episode of ... that focuses on current events and innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From ... every danger possible to save lost souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the ... is a dedicated teacher of the Bible. She has taught all ages and currently ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... First ... compliance program management, will showcase a range of technology and learning solutions at ... (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, one of ... announced today its plans to open a flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 ... Rooms To Go store next to Office Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( https://isocomforter.com ), one of ... innovative new design of the shoulder pad. The shoulder pad provides optimal support ... your pain while using cold therapy. By utilizing ice and water that is circulated ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... Divoti USA will engrave and process all non-coated ... latest FDA requirements, which stipulates new criteria regarding medical device manufacture ... Medical ID jewelry such as Medical ID Bracelets, can rest assured ... of the new FDA requirements . ... Divoti offers this dark mark fiber laser engraving process ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... 11, 2017  Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. ("Hill-Rom") (NYSE: HRC), ... in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico , ... Following a ... sustained minor structural damage, temporary loss of power and ... been completed, manufacturing operations have resumed, and the company ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... 4, 2017  South Korean-based healthcare product Development Company ... "cprCUBE" on Kickstarter. The device will educate the user ... with better efficiency compared to the dated and pricey ... on efficacy of the compression for a more informed ... goal to raise $5,000. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: