Study Examines Genetics’ Role In Explaining Response To Tobacco Tax Hikes.

In its “Well” blog and in print, the New York Times (12/11, D6, Bakalar) reports that “an economist has published an unusual study in the December issue of PLoS One,” which found that “about half of the population has a variation in a specific gene connected to nicotine addiction that makes them more likely to respond to cigarette tax increases.” After looking at data on 6,178 adults in a national health survey, Jason M. Fletcher, an associate professor of health policy at Yale, found that “about half of the subjects had a variation in a gene for a nicotine receptor in the brain that is thought to control the pleasure reward of nicotine consumption.” The article details that Fletcher “found that a 100 percent increase in taxes had a significant effect only on people with this particular genetic variation in DNA sequence,” and the “other half of the population was immune to the effect of taxation.”

Related Links:

— “Efficacy of Tobacco Taxes Tied to Gene Type, “Nicholas Bakalar, The New York Times, December 10, 2012.

Posted in In The News.