Smoking Behavior and Cessation (Nicotine Addiction): Are Genetic Factors Involved in Smoking Behavior?

  • Tetsuya Kubota
  • Akihito Yokoyama
Part of the Respiratory Disease Series: Diagnostic Tools and Disease Managements book series (RDSDTDM)


Tobacco smoking is a major risk factor for a number of health problems, including cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung fibrosis, and cardiovascular disease. Tobacco smoke contains thousands of harmful, carcinogenics and toxic substances. Particularly, nicotine is the causative substance in tobacco smoke that leads to dependence. Smoking behavior is addictive, and this addiction is categorized among the behavioral and neurodevelopmental disorders in the tenth revision of the International Classification of Diseases. Once absorbed, nicotine directly affects the nervous system. However, the sensitivity for developing nicotine addiction varies between individuals. Affinity to nicotinic receptors and related enzymatic activity can influence the metabolism of nicotine. Although environmental factors are associated with nicotine addiction, meta-analyses of genome-wide association studies have revealed that genetic factors contribute to the risks of developing such clinical conditions. Regarding genetic factors, single nucleotide polymorphisms of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and cytochrome P450 (CYP) family 2 subfamily A polypeptides are associated with nicotine dependence. Smoking cessation would help prevent the numerous health problems associated with smoking. An effective smoking cessation strategy would be to combine both behavioral and pharmacological therapies, including nicotine replacement therapy and a partial nicotinic receptor agonist.


Smoking behavior Smoking cessation Nicotine addiction Genetic factor 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Hematology and Respiratory MedicineKochi UniversityNankokuJapan

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