Navigation Links
Genes May Make Quitting Tougher for Smokers
Date:12/2/2011

By Mary Brophy Marcus
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Despite decades of public health efforts aimed at snuffing out cigarette smoking, 20 percent of Americans still light up. New research suggests it might be because of their genes.

While anti-smoking campaigns are credited with slicing cigarette use drastically over the past 40 years -- from 42 percent of all Americans in 1965 to just under 20 percent in 2010 -- the number of people who haven't been able to nix their nicotine habit has flatlined in recent years, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Two out of three adults who smoke want to quit, a CDC report out earlier this month said, and more than half (52 percent) had attempted to quit in the past year.

The authors of the new study, released online in advance of publication in an upcoming print issue of Demography, say new tactics may be needed to help the remaining smokers.

"Federal and social policies may be somewhat less effective now because maybe the composition of those at risk [those who smoke] has changed," said study co-author Fred Pampel, a professor of sociology at the University of Colorado at Boulder and a research associate at the Institute of Behavioral Science there. Those who can quit easily have probably done so, the authors said.

Study lead author Jason Boardman, an associate professor of sociology, said anti-smoking messages, higher taxes and restrictions on smoking have made a difference. "But for hard-core smokers, there may be something else going on," he said. That "something else" is likely genetics, he added.

The researchers drew this conclusion after analyzing the smoking habits between 1960 and 1980 of nearly 600 pairs of twins who answered an extensive health questionnaire -- 363 were identical sets of twins and 233 were fraternal twins. Identical twins come from the same fertilized egg before it splits into two embryos and they share the same genes or DNA, while fraternal twins come from two separately fertilized egg cells and only share some genetic similarities.

In the identical twin group, 65 percent of both individuals quit within a two-year period of each other, while only 55 percent of the fraternal twins quit within that same stretch of time.

"The logic here is that the identical twins share genes, so if they act alike it probably reflects a genetic component," said Pampel.

The new research adds to a growing body of literature suggesting there is probably a substantial genetic influence when it comes to nicotine addiction, said Dr. Aditi Satti, an assistant professor of medicine and director of the smoking cessation program at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. But scientists are still trying to pinpoint the gene or genes involved, she said.

"There has not been one specific gene linked to nicotine addiction," said Satti.

She noted that while numbers of smokers have decreased over the years, smoking is up among women and black Americans, possibly another clue as to who is genetically at risk. Inner city, low socioeconomic and less-educated populations are more likely to be smokers, too, Satti added.

"I think the combo of finding better medications and educating people, even if doctors just spend five minutes talking with your patient about smoking, will lead to higher quit rates," Satti said.

Boardman said a policy shift might be in line. Instead of government anti-smoking campaigns focusing on high taxes and splashy advertisements, he said current smokers may discover more success using medication aimed at nicotine addiction, as well as counseling.

"I'd argue that nicotine replacement therapies may be far more effective with existing smokers still trying to quit than the posters showing images of smokers that are not cool. Behavior-changing efforts -- I don't think that's going to help the two-pack a day smokers," said Boardman, who is also a research associate at the Institute of Behavioral Science.

Smoking-related diseases lead to approximately 443,000 deaths a year in the United States, including babies born prematurely to women who smoke while pregnant and those harmed by secondhand smoke, according to the American Lung Association.

Satti is concerned that cigarette addiction isn't taken seriously enough by some.

"Maybe we don't see smoking as being as important as alcohol and drug addiction, but I'm a pulmonologist and I see chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema and lung cancer every day," she said. "And we know tobacco smoke is linked to cardiovascular disease and stroke. It's one of the most preventable things you can do. If you quit smoking, you'll see a huge impact on health."

More information

The American Cancer Society can help you determine if you need help to quit smoking.

SOURCES: Fred Pampel, Ph.D., professor, sociology, and research associate, Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado at Boulder; Jason Boardman, Ph.D., associate professor, sociology, and research associate, Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado at Boulder; Aditi Satti, M.D., pulmonologist, and assistant professor, medicine, and director, smoking cessation, Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia; Aug. 16, 2011, Demography, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Scientists identify genes that may signal long life in naked mole-rats
2. Genes Could Highlight Plavix Users at Clot Risk After Stent
3. Linking of mutations in 12 genes to ovarian cancer may lead to more effective prevention
4. Happy Kids a Product of Genes, Parenting, Study Finds
5. New Genes Revealed for Type 1 Diabetes
6. Scientists ID More Genes Linked to Heart Disease
7. Genes May Explain Blacks Bleaker Prostate Cancer Stats
8. Key regulatory genes often amplified in aggressive childhood tumor of the brainstem
9. Family Heart Disease Risk Linked to Genes, Not Lifestyle
10. Intelligence Largely Rooted in the Genes
11. Johns Hopkins scientists map genes for common form of brain cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Genes May Make Quitting Tougher for Smokers
(Date:2/13/2016)... ... ... Sun City is the place to be on March 3rd to learn about the latest ... hosting this educational seminar from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Exciting advancements will be presented ... addition, prizes will be given away and light refreshments will be served. , As ...
(Date:2/13/2016)... ... ... Many individuals looking to lead a healthy lifestyle have decreased carbohydrate consumption and increased ... has delved into this niche allowing those giving up their beloved pasta a chance ... grams of protein and only 7 grams of carbohydrates per 50 gram serving--a ratio ...
(Date:2/13/2016)... ... February 13, 2016 , ... In its newly released ... visualization technology should be used to ensure patient safety when placing an IV ... Standards mandate the use of vein visualization technology in patients with difficult venous ...
(Date:2/13/2016)... ... February 13, 2016 , ... In the early or ... groom themselves to perfection, go out of their way to be romantic, and may ... take a look at any online dating profile. , A recent study from ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... San Antonio, TX (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... of love, as expressed in Blue SKies Buddha, the biography of Rama - Dr. ... in fact a love story, the love of a Buddhist teacher for teaching and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... Feb. 11, 2016 - ... in Personalized Medicine and Cancer Therapy. - European ... Diagnostic Testing Markets. - Key Diagnostic Testing Markets. ... Molecular Diagnostics in Genetic Testing. - Molecular Diagnostics ... - Over-the-Counter Diagnostic Products World Markets. - ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... FRANCISCO , Feb. 11, 2016  Kindred Biosciences, ... on saving and improving the lives of pets, today ... Section of the New Animal Drug Application (NADA) for ... pivotal field study (KB0120) of Zimeta for the control ... the Company. --> --> ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... -- NOIT™ Research LLC, a private, leading-edge autism research group, ... assist needy families in obtaining one of its special ... 10, 2016 and March 31, 2016, the company will ... is an auditory stimulus that plays a key role ... Beth Shier , NOIT Research director. "The ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: