People with high 'genetic risk profile' more likely to smoke

CAN'T quit smoking? The answer may lie in your genes, according to a new study from Dunedin.

Eighteen per cent of New Zealand adults smoke at least once a month and giving up can be difficult.

Most smokers regret ever starting and 60 per cent have tried to quit in the past five years.

Quitline reports 24 per cent of its clients are smokefree at six months.

Now an international team of researchers has pulled together genetic clues from other studies to create a "genetic risk profile" for smoking.

>>More Lifestyle News

The researchers applied this to a long-term study of 1000 people born in Dunedin in the early 1970s.

Information on participants' smoking behaviour was analysed alongside DNA samples which identified those who matched the smoking risk profile.

Genetic risk score was unrelated to starting smoking, says their research report, published in American Medical Association journal JAMA-Psychiatry.

But for those who did try cigarettes, having a high-risk genetic profile predicted increased likelihood of heavy smoking and nicotine dependence.

The link was strongest for teenagers, says the NZ Science Media Centre.

"Among teens who tried cigarettes, those with a high-risk genetic profile were 24 per cent more likely to become daily smokers by age 15 and 43 per cent more likely to become [20-cigarette] pack-a-day smokers by age 18.

"As adults, those with high-risk genetic profiles were 22 per cent more likely to fail in their attempts at quitting."

Lead researcher Dr Daniel Belsky of North Carolina's Duke University says: "The effects of genetic risk seem to be limited to people who start smoking as teens.

"This suggests there may be something special about nicotine exposure in the adolescent brain, with respect to these genetic variants."

Auckland University tobacco control expert Dr Marewa Glover says the study reinforces the value of policies aimed at preventing young people from starting smoking.

Retail displays of tobacco have been outlawed, "smokefree" signs to discourage smoking have gone up in many parks and the Government is planning to legislate for plain tobacco packaging.

Topics:  genetics, smoking




Local Real Estate

finda logo
Featured Real Estate
The Pick of Them All - A... $265,000 NEG
Residential Land Paramount Park Estate is a beautifully tranquil Estate that offers an acreage ...
Large family Home with... $625,000
House 5 2 2
CONTEMPORARY STYLE... $382,500
House 4 2 2
AMAZING FAMILY HOME... $495,000
House 4 2 2

Featured Jobs

finda logo

Rockhampton jobs listed daily


Featured Jobs
Admin Officer... Yeppoon Full Time
KINSHIP PLACEMENT... West Rockhampton Full Time
Practice Business... Blackwater Part Time


Local Partners

LATEST DEALS AND OFFERS

Free Seed Packets

with token from today's paper
Learn More

View today's ePaper!

Read the digital edition
Learn More

Cars For Sale

Find cars for sale online now.
Learn More

Property Listings

Post an ad from $30
Learn More

Local Profile

Stay Connected

Get the news as it happens, in your inbox

You can change the newsletters you are subscribed to when you edit your profile

Edit Profile


Special Offers

Latest deals and offers

Horoscopes

Virgo

Sometimes a situation is not fair, and you will be irritated by the fact that you are not able to bring justice to the table. The best you can...

read more

Marketplace

Special Offers & Promotions

Compare & Save