UMMS Affiliation

Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Publication Date


Document Type



Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Genetics and Genomics | Pediatrics | Substance Abuse and Addiction


BACKGROUND: Among adolescent novice smokers, craving is often the first, and is the most reported, symptom of nicotine dependence. Until now, little has been known about the development of craving symptoms in novice smokers. The aim of this study was to identify specific genetic (i.e., DRD2 Taq1A, DRD4 48 bp VNTR, and OPRM1 A118G polymorphisms) and environmental mechanisms that underlie the emergence of both cue-induced and cognitive craving among adolescent novice smokers.

METHOD: A five-wave longitudinal, genetically-informed survey study was conducted with intervals of four months. The sample included 376 early adolescent smokers (12-13 years of age at baseline). Self-report questionnaires were completed regarding smoking behavior, observed parental smoking behavior, and both cue-induced and cognitive craving.

RESULTS: Data were analyzed with a latent growth curve approach. For both cue-induced and cognitive craving, significant interaction effects were found for DRD2 Taq1A with parental smoke exposure. A1-allele carriers did not seem to be influenced by the environment with regard to craving development. Adolescents who are homozygous for the A2-allele and who are more exposed to parental smoking experience the highest levels of both types of craving over time. No significant interaction effects were found between parental smoke exposure and DRD4 48 bp VNTR or OPRM1 A118G.

CONCLUSIONS: Previous studies identified DRD2 Taq1A A1-allele carriers as vulnerable to developing nicotine dependence. However, this study showed that parental smoking increased the chances of developing dependence more rapidly for early adolescents who are considered to be less sensitive to the rewarding effects of nicotine according to their DRD2 Taq1A genotype. It is thus especially important that these young people not be exposed to smoking in their social environment.

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© 2015 Kleinjan et al. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

DOI of Published Version



BMC Pulm Med. 2015 Oct 8;15(1):115. doi: 10.1186/s12890-015-0114-z. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

BMC pulmonary medicine

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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