Gene variant linked to smoking longer, getting lung cancer sooner

Smokers with a specific genetic variation are more likely to keep smoking longer than those who don’t have the gene variant. They’re also more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer at a younger age, according to new research from Laura Jean Bierut, MD (left), and Li-Shiun Chen, MD, at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Study: Most respond well to genetic testing results

People at high risk for psychological distress respond positively to receiving results of personalized genetic testing, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. More than 60 percent of subjects in the genetic study wanted information about their test results, and 95 percent said they appreciated receiving the information, regardless of whether the results were good or bad news.

Americans drink less when cigarettes cost more

Washington University researchers Melissa Krauss and Richard Grucza, PhD, led a team that analyzed data from all 50 states and found that higher cigarette taxes and policies prohibiting smoking in public places are associated with a decrease in alcohol consumption.

Study: Smoking may contribute to suicide risk

Cigarette smokers are more likely to commit suicide than people who don’t smoke, a relationship that has been attributed to the fact that numerous people with psychiatric disorders, who have higher suicide rates, also tend to smoke. But a new study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis finds that smoking itself may increase suicide risk and that policies to limit smoking reduce suicide rates.

Internet, social media expose youth to tobacco

Although tobacco companies are barred by law from advertising their products to children, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine have found that many teens and pre-teens are getting tobacco advertisements and promotions through social media outlets or text messaging on mobile phones. More than one in 10 children under 18 reported receiving tobacco coupons or promotions on their Facebook or MySpace pages or in text messages.

Tobacco laws for youth may reduce adult smoking

States that want to reduce rates of adult smoking may consider implementing stringent tobacco restrictions on teens. Washington University researchers discovered that states with more restrictive limits on teens purchasing tobacco also have lower adult smoking rates, especially among women.

Genes predict if medication can help you quit smoking

A new study shows the same gene variations that make it difficult to stop smoking also increase the likelihood that heavy smokers will respond to nicotine-replacement therapy and drugs that thwart cravings. The finding suggests it may one day be possible to predict which patients are most likely to benefit from drug treatments for nicotine addiction.

Pregnancies more likely in teens who smoke, drink and use drugs

High school students who smoke, drink, use drugs or engage in other risky behaviors also are more likely to become pregnant or to impregnate a sexual partner, according to new research from psychiatry researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. And it wasn’t just one pregnancy. Those involved in risky activities had an even greater risk for multiple pregnancies. 
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