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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Pulmonary Medicine 1/2015

Parental smoke exposure and the development of nicotine craving in adolescent novice smokers: the roles of DRD2, DRD4, and OPRM1 genotypes

BMC Pulmonary Medicine > Ausgabe 1/2015
Marloes Kleinjan, Rutger C.M.E. Engels, Joseph R. DiFranza
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s12890-015-0114-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The author declares that they have no competing interests.

Author’s contributions

MK was responsible for data collection, data analysis, reporting the study results and writing the first draft of the manuscript. RE and JD have been involved in further drafting the manuscript and revising it critically. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Authors’ information

Not applicable.

Availability of data and materials

Not applicable.



Among adolescent novice smokers, craving is often the first, and is the most reported, symptom of nicotine dependence. Until now, little has been known about the development of craving symptoms in novice smokers. The aim of this study was to identify specific genetic (i.e., DRD2 Taq1A, DRD4 48 bp VNTR, and OPRM1 A118G polymorphisms) and environmental mechanisms that underlie the emergence of both cue-induced and cognitive craving among adolescent novice smokers.


A five-wave longitudinal, genetically-informed survey study was conducted with intervals of four months. The sample included 376 early adolescent smokers (12–13 years of age at baseline). Self-report questionnaires were completed regarding smoking behavior, observed parental smoking behavior, and both cue-induced and cognitive craving.


Data were analyzed with a latent growth curve approach. For both cue-induced and cognitive craving, significant interaction effects were found for DRD2 Taq1A with parental smoke exposure. A1-allele carriers did not seem to be influenced by the environment with regard to craving development. Adolescents who are homozygous for the A2-allele and who are more exposed to parental smoking experience the highest levels of both types of craving over time. No significant interaction effects were found between parental smoke exposure and DRD4 48 bp VNTR or OPRM1 A118G.


Previous studies identified DRD2 Taq1A A1-allele carriers as vulnerable to developing nicotine dependence. However, this study showed that parental smoking increased the chances of developing dependence more rapidly for early adolescents who are considered to be less sensitive to the rewarding effects of nicotine according to their DRD2 Taq1A genotype. It is thus especially important that these young people not be exposed to smoking in their social environment.
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