A smoker's genetics play a role in how difficult it is for him or her to quit, according to a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
The research zeroed in on nicotinic receptor genes known as CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4. Studies have linked these genes to heavy smoking and dependence on nicotine. According to the study, smokers with this gene cluster have a two-year delay in the median age at which they quit smoking when compared to smokers who do not carry the gene cluster.
“This study builds on our knowledge of genetic vulnerability to nicotine dependence, and will help us tailor smoking cessation strategies accordingly,” Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), said in a press statement. NIDA helped support the study.
“It also highlights the potential value of genetic screening in helping to identify individuals early on and reduce their risk for tobacco addiction and its related negative health consequences," Volkow added.
Not only is smoking devastating to overall health, but it also impacts a person's ability to get affordable life insurance rates.