Gene hooks smokers at first puff

By Lunar Loops · Aug 9, 2008 · ·
  1. Lunar Loops
    This from the BBC News website (article link):

    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.

    The gene in question, CHRNA5, has already been highlighted by other studies into nicotine addiction, and it has been suggested that it could increase a smoker's chance of developing lung cancer.

    The Michigan research, however, suggests that it could be at work from the very first instance of exposure to nicotine.

    Genetic data was obtained from 435 volunteers, some of whom were regular smokers, and some who had tried cigarettes but were not currently smokers.

    They were quizzed about how they felt about their first smoking experience.

    Practical uses

    Regular smokers were far more likely to have the variant version of the gene and more likely to report that their first smoking experience was pleasurable.

    Professor Ovide Pomerleau, who led the research, said: "It appears that for people who have a certain genetic make-up, the initial physical reaction to smoking can play a significant role in determining what happens next.

    "If cigarette smoking is sustained, nicotine addiction can occur in a few days to a few months - the finding of a genetic association with pleasurable early smoking experiences may help explain how people get addicted."

    Dr Marcus Munafo, from Bristol University, said that while the study was interesting, any treatments or tests based on the gene variant would be some way off.
    He said: "It's interesting to see research which helps us join the dots on the whole mechanism of nicotine addiction, but in practical terms, we have, for now, to carry on doing what we are currently doing to help smokers."

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  1. RoboCodeine7610
    Wow, swim really found cigarettes enjoyable the first time he tried them , could he have this gene in him?
    Swim thought everybody got a buzz from them...Right?
  2. fiveleggedrat
    Swim thinks he means the people who smoke but do not inhale, or inhale enough perhaps?

    When Swim first smoked, he did not exactly inhale (cigar), as he was told by his fellow pack-a-day-teen friends that you do not inhale cigars. Swim stopped soon after.

    When Swim discovered tobacco use again (while using cocaine), he only used tobacco while on cocaine, the repetitive motion was great. Sometimes got nauseated too.

    More or less, Swim has never enjoyed tobacco. Only ONCE did he get a NICE buzz, and that was recently.

    Swim is under the impression everyone gets a buzz, only some do not enjoy it.
  3. RoboCodeine7610
    Yeah, swim thinks so too.Just like with alcohol, everybody gets drunk but not everybody enjoys it.
  4. Rightnow289
    Yeah I hate getting drunk

    Junkhead23 added 12 Minutes and 19 Seconds later...

    and as for the article what a load of rubbish. I hated smoking when I first tried it didn't stop me doing it though
  5. doggy_hat
    I didn't realize that there were people that can't get a nicotine buzz.
  6. ghost94
    wow... very interesting

    swim has smoked four times
    the first one just a drag
    second one a couple drags
    third and fourth one: whole cigarettes

    swim definitely felt really good from them and enjoyed it alot but obviously is not so addicted because he has not had anymore since because he only has them with permission

    too big of a conscious

    but i guess that could be a good thing
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