(Photo:Flickr/Fried Dough)

When a friend or colleague says that they want to quit smoking but they just can’t seem to do it, you might have trouble believing them. But a University of Colorado at Boulder study suggests that quitting smoking might be a more difficult challenge for some thanks to their genetics.

The study analyzed the smoking habits of nearly 600 pairs of twins — 363 identical and 233 fraternal — between 1960 and 1980 by asking participants to answer a questionnaire about their health. The researchers chose twins because “identical twins share genes, so if they act alike it probably reflects a genetic component,” said study co-author Fred Pampel.

And according to the findings, within the identical twin group, 65 percent of both individuals quit within a two-year period of each other, while only 55 percent of the fraternal twins quit within that same period.

“Federal and social policies may be somewhat less effective now because maybe the composition of those at risk [those who smoke] has changed,” Pampel said, “But for hard-core smokers, there may be something else going on.”

Source: USA Today

Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Email her at hrudow@counseling.org.

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