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Approved research

Genetic determinants of smoking, smoking cessation success and pharmacogenetics of cessation therapies

Principal Investigator: Professor Martin Tobin
Approved Research ID: 4892
Approval date: January 12th 2015

Lay summary

Smoking is a risk factor for a broad range of diseases and a growing burden of disease worldwide is attributable to smoking. Furthermore, patterns of smoking behaviour and use of alternative nicotine products is changing. Genetic association studies have shown loci associated with smoking behaviours, but these account for a small proportion of the variation in smoking between individuals. Understanding the determinants of successful cessation as well as those of initiation and amount smoked, will help to inform strategies to improve cessation success. We will study these associations genome-wide in available UK Biobank data and in primary care data. Understanding the genetic determinants of smoking initiation, amount smoked and smoking cessation will help to inform more effective and potentially stratified approaches to smoking cessation and more effective prevention. They may also inform stratfied approaches to managing cessation therapies for the growing number of users of e-cigarettes. The results of our studies will be made available in full to the scientific community and any derived variables will be returned to UK Biobank to be made available to other researchers. Genome-wide genotyping data will be available for 150,000 UK Biobank participants in late 2014 or early 2015, and for all 500,000 participants in 2015. UK Biobank participants answered a range of questions related to their past and current smoking behaviour. When it proves possible to link with the primary care records of participants, we will identify additional details about past smoking behaviour. We can expect prescription records to provide information regarding smoking cessation treatments prescribed, for example, nicotine replacement, varenicline and buproprion. We will study association with genome-wide genotype data and these already-available and future variables. We will study the full cohort.