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Is smoking genetic?Posted On Wed, April 28, 2010
Nearly 46 million American adults are smokers, according to the American Heart Association, and new studies are questioning whether some people are more likely to smoke because of genetics.
Three studies in the medical journal Nature Genetics found that addiction to nicotine is a result of genetic, environmental, and neurobiological factors. A smoker's introduction to nicotine, the amount they smoke, and the ability to quit has been linked to their genetic makeup.
Dr. Helena Furberg, who was involved in the research, told Reuters in an email that "this lends support to the idea that smoking is not just a question of will power alone, but that genetics plays a role in how much a person smokes and their ability to quit smoking. We hope that our findings will help pave the way for better treatments that will help people quit smoking."
Smokers are at a higher risk for stroke and heart attack, the American Heart Association said. President Barack Obama signed the Family Smoking and Prevention Control Act into law in June 2009. This legislation allowed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to regulate how tobacco is marketed and manufactured.
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