Penn Research IDs Gene That Makes Quitting Smoking Easier

Penn Research IDs Gene That Makes Quitting Smoking Easier

Same Gene Linked to Higher Risk of Heroin Addiction

A research project headed by Caryn Lerman, PhD, Director of Penn's Tobacco Use Research Center and an LDI Senior Fellow, has discovered a mysterious gene variant that makes it easier for some to quit smoking. The same gene has been linked to a higher risk of heroin and alcohol addiction. The study found that the sense of nicotine-induced pleasure experienced by the smoker varies in accordance with certain receptors created by the gene. In an interview with Time.com, Lerman said this was the first study to connect this particular genotype with the activity of those brain receptors and the level of pleasure a smoker with that gene derives from nicotine.