The impact of learning of a genetic predisposition to nicotine dependence: an analogue study
- 1Psychology & Genetics Research Group, Guy’s, King’s & St Thomas’s School of Medicine, London, UK
- 2Unit of Psychology, Guy’s, King’s & St Thomas’s School of Medicine
- Correspondence to: Alison Wright, Psychology & Genetics Research Group, Guy’s, King’s & St Thomas’s School of Medicine, 5th Floor, Thomas Guy House, Guy’s Campus, London SE1 9RT, UK;
- Received 25 July 2002
- Accepted 7 March 2003
Objectives: To examine the consequences of informing smokers of a genetic predisposition to nicotine dependence and of providing treatment efficacy information tailored to genetic status.
Design: Analogue study using four vignettes; 2 (genetic status) × 2 (whether treatment efficacy information provided) between subjects design.
Participants: 269 British adult smokers.
Outcome measures: Preferred cessation methods and perceived control over quitting.
Results: Gene positive participants were significantly more likely to choose the cessation method described as effective for their genetic status, but significantly less likely to choose to use their own willpower. Providing tailored treatment information did not alter these effects. Perceived control was not significantly affected by either genetic status or information provision.
Conclusions: Learning of a genetic predisposition to nicotine dependence may increase desire for effective cessation methods, but may undermine the perceived importance of willpower in stopping smoking.