According to a Dec. 26 article on the NationalCyberSecurity website, researchers associated with Great Britain's National Health Service (NHS) have identified two genetic variants that make teenagers more prone to becoming addicted to tobacco:
Teenagers carrying variants in two gene regions were shown to be three times more likely to become regular smokers in adolescence and twice as likely to be persistent smokers in adulthood, compared to non-carriers, according to a study by scientists at the UK’s only Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) for Mental Health* at the Maudsley Hospital and the School of Public Health, Imperial College, both in London, UK, and the University of Oulu, Finland.
One variant is associated with a person’s risk of starting smoking while the other influences their chances of carrying on with the habit into adulthood.
Writing in the US journal, Biological Psychiatry, the researchers say the findings could help develop genetic testing for those wishing to know their susceptibility to nicotine dependence and tobacco-related disease. It could also pave the way for targeted drugs that influence an individual’s response to nicotine.
In addition to being unhealthy on its own, teen smoking has also been associated with rising rates of other dangerous teen behaviors, including alcohol abuse, drug abuse and unprotected sex.
Posted By: Staff Writer