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Dipl. Biol Joelle Apter
 Dipl. Biol Joelle Apter

Smoking Cessation and Genetics

Addictive behaviour is inherited. The question is do the children of smokers smoke because they have inherited the genetic conditions for this? Is it because they have witnessed it at home and imitated? Or even because they want to do something that opposes the wishes of the parents?

Studies on twins have shown that the genetic make-up is mainly responsible for how many cigarettes a person smokes each day. Environmental factors appear to play a bigger role in whether a person starts to smoke at all. This means that the environment of young people and the example set by parents, etc., facilitate or impede the onset of smoking. However, a smoker's level of addiction is then determined by her or his genes.

Therefore, the genetic conditions determine whether stopping smoking is difficult or easy.

Zurich, 09.04.2012