Dutch researcher Jacqueline Vink has discovered that the number of cigarettes smoked per day and the level of nicotine dependence is largely down to a persons genes. She investigated the smoking behaviour of more than 16,000 twins and their relatives.
Whether or not a young person starts smoking largely depends on his or her environment. Smoking friends and family members increase the chance that someone will take up smoking. Jacqueline Vink discovered that the variation between smokers in the number of cigarettes smoked per day is genetically determined. The same is true for the degree of nicotine dependency.
However, a predisposition for nicotine addiction does not mean that somebody will also become addicted or remain addicted. Smokers who have a genetic disposition can still stop smoking, even though they probably belong to the group who finds it hardest to quit.
Sonja Knols-Jacobs | alfa
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