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Programmed to Drink and Smoke

The link between alcohol consumption and smoking is irrefutable with the combination often a dangerous if not deadly association.

While the desire for these substances can be due environmental cues, researchers discover genomic factors also play an important role.

Adoption and twin studies have shown that the use of these substances is likely to be inherited. Such studies have provided evidence that one’s sex can influence the genetic factors for alcohol and tobacco use.

To search for the genomic determinants underlying alcohol and tobacco use, researchers examined 120 families (approximately 900 individuals).

They found an area relating to alcohol and tobacco use on chromosome 1 and an area relating to alcohol on chromosome 3. On chromosome 4 there was an area relating to smoking; sex-specific loci was also found.

According to the researchers, “We have found evidence of linkage and association for several genomic regions harboring genes with potential pathophysiological functions relating to alcohol and smoking. Our sex specific findings may also play a role in the sex differences related to alcohol and tobacco use.”

The findings are relevant because if a predilection for abuse is known before the behavior manifests, appropriate counseling and intervention could help individuals manage their natural tendencies.

Source: American Physiological Society (APS)

Programmed to Drink and Smoke

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Programmed to Drink and Smoke. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 19, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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