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Genes May Dictate Teens' Susceptibility to Heavy Smoking


Genes May Dictate Teens' Susceptibility to Heavy Smoking
HealthDay News
March 27, 2013

While many teens try cigarettes, genetics might explain who gets hooked, a new study suggests.  Researchers used data from earlier studies to construct a genetic risk score for heavy smokers to see whether those with high risk scores got hooked on cigarettes more quickly as teens and whether they had a harder time kicking the habit as adults.  Teens with a high-risk genetic profile who tried smoking were 24 percent more likely to become daily smokers by age 15 and 43 percent more likely to smoke a pack a day by the time they were 18, the study showed.  These high-risk participants were also 27 percent more apt to become hooked on nicotine and 22 percent more likely to fail their quit-smoking attempts as adults, when compared to people with lower scores. Participants with high-risk gene scores had smoked about 7,300 more cigarettes than the average smoker by age 38, the study showed.

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Keywords: genetics, teens, susceptibility, heavy, smoking

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