Thursday, December 8, 2022

Smoking and Drinking Potentially Linked to Genetics


Drinking and smoking have been potentially found to be genetically linked in a recent study published in Nature. The researchers found more than 3,500 genetic variations that potentially affect smoking and drinking behaviors in a genome-wide association study. This study included almost 3.4 million people with African, American, East Asian, and European ancestry. Of the 3.4 million people, 21% had non-European ancestry.

The researchers identified 3,823 genetic variants that were associated with smoking or drinking behaviors in individuals. Of the more than 3,500 variants, thirty-nine were linked to the age at which individuals started smoking, 243 were linked to the number of cigarettes smoked per day, and 849 were linked to the number of alcoholic drinks consumed per week.

In my opinion, although these behaviors may be genetically linked, smoking and drinking are still environmentally influenced. The genetics part could be more so to do with how one reacts when they do smoke and drink. The genetic links could also affect how easily the risks of other health conditions arising from drinking and smoking, as smokers are more likely to develop heart disease, strokes, and lung cancer. Likewise, drinking can lead to the development of multiple chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, and multiple mental health issues and memory problems.


  1. I wonder if this study and similar ones will change how some view addiction to these substances. If people are more susceptible at a genetic level, maybe there is some treatment that hasn't been thought of yet to help with addiction when looking at it from a genetic standpoint.

  2. With this research, hopefully it can persuade people to see a different view in addictions such as smoking and drinking. I do also agree with your statement that the environment plays a huge part in addiction.