Saturday, August 9, 2008
Gene hooks smokers at first puff
Puffing on a first cigarette is a rite of passage for many teenagers, but whether it is enjoyable may be partly down to genetics, researchers suggest.
University of Michigan scientists have identified a gene variant found more often in people who said their first cigarette produced a "buzz".
These people were much more likely to go on to become regular smokers, the journal Addiction reports. The researchers say the finding may help development of anti-smoking drugs. A person's decision to smoke for the first time, or carry on smoking, is not thought to be governed solely by his or her genes, but a mixture of genes, environmental factors and social pressures. However, scientists are hoping that by cracking the genetic secrets of nicotine addiction, they could make it easier for people to wean themselves off cigarettes, or even stop them taking up the habit in the first place.
full article click here