2 Reasons Why You Could Have Inherited Your Nicotine Addiction

by Dr. Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

Dr. Howell

Ever thought about why you are really addicted to nicotine and numerous attempts to quit fail? Well, you could have inherited your nicotine addiction and if you are a parent you might just pass it on to your children. Three separate studies conducted in 2008 showed that biological factors had a strong link to smoking addiction.

  1. Genetic Factors Affect Your Ability to Quit For Good

A University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine study found that Boy caught with cigarette in handsmokers with a specific gene that regulates the dopamine levels in the brain suffered from cognitive deficits and concentration problems making it difficult for them to abstain from nicotine. Some of the 33 smokers who took part in the study had the gene exhibited inability to maintain concentration after they quit and this increased their likelihood to relapse. This group of smokers also had significantly harsher withdrawal symptoms when they went through the withdrawal period.



The findings from this study were very important because they showed the co-relation between a smoker’s inability to quit and genetics explaining why some people simply can’t kick the habit despite several attempts using equally diverse quit-methods. The study also opened up the doors for the development of personalized nicotine therapies to help individual smokers quit.

  1. Genetic Factors Increase Your Likelihood of Developing Lung Cancer

It is a sobering thought to imagine that the genetics you inherited from your parents affect your likelihood of developing lung cancer. The studies, which were funded by Europe and U.S governments and published in the Nature and Nature Genetics journals, showed that smokers with any of three genetic variants identified had higher chances of getting lung cancer. Smokers with the genetic variations inherited from both parents were found to have an 80% likelihood of developing lung cancer. This is because this group of smokers was found to smoke one or two extra cigarettes daily, more than smokers who did not have the genetic variations. However, smokers without the genetic variations showed up to 10 times likelihood of getting lung cancer compared to nonsmokers whose chances of developing lung cancer is at 1%.


DID YOU KNOW?
A study supported by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute showed that individuals carrying the high-risk form of gene clusters reported a 2-year delay in the median quit age compared to those with the low-risk genes.

These findings shed to light that genetic transference from parents to children could likely lead to nicotine addiction. Explaining why some people just seem to be predisposed to smoking and attempts to quit are often fruitless. However, these findings also showed that being able to identify the underlying issue why certain people are addicted to nicotine was highly helpful in designing effective individualized nicotine therapies to help smokers quit.

If you are a smoker and you have children or plan on having children these findings should be an eye opener for you to quit for your children’s sake. No parent would knowingly want to be the cause of their children’s path to substance addiction or worst still early deaths. It is important to have an analysis of your genetics, in case you have been trying to quit unsuccessfully. It is not too late to change the course of things by giving up smoking.

 

 


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