A preliminary exploration of college smokers' reactions to nicotine dependence genetic susceptibility feedback.
INTRODUCTION: Many young smokers underestimate their risk for becoming addicted to cigarettes. We explored whether informing light college smokers (i.e., fewer than 5 cigarettes/day) of their genetic predisposition to nicotine dependence influenced their perceived risks and worry about becoming addicted, their ability to quit (i.e., self-efficacy), their desire to quit, and smoking cessation. METHODS: College smokers (n = 142) received educational materials on mechanisms and consequences of nicotine addiction and were offered genetic susceptibility testing for nicotine dependence. Participants who accepted testing were randomized to receive feedback or no feedback (i.e., control). Tested participants learned they were above or not above average genetic risk for nicotine dependence. All participants responded to questions about perceived risks and worry about becoming addicted, efficacy to quit, and desire to quit. Cessation was assessed during a 1-month follow-up. RESULTS: Efficacy beliefs, worry about becoming addicted, and desire to quit did not differ by study condition or feedback. Perceived risk for becoming addicted was highest among tested participants informed they were above average risk for nicotine dependence. Overall, self-reported 30- but not 7-day quit rate was higher among participants who underwent genetic testing compared with control participants. CONCLUSIONS: This pilot study is the first to show that among light college smokers, receipt of genetic susceptibility feedback to nicotine dependence potentially curbs smoking without producing detrimental effects.
Lipkus, IM; Schwartz-Bloom, R; Kelley, MJ; Pan, W
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