Population composition, public policy, and the genetics of smoking.

Department of Sociology and Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0327, USA.
Demography (Impact Factor: 1.93). 08/2011; 48(4):1517-33. DOI: 10.1007/s13524-011-0057-9
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In this article, we explore the effect of public policy on the extent to which genes influence smoking desistance. Using a sample of adult twins (n(mz) = 363, n(dz) = 233) from a large population registry, we estimate Cox proportional hazards models that describe similarity in the timing of smoking desistance among adult twin pairs. We show that identical twin pairs are significantly more likely to quit smoking within a similar time frame compared with fraternal twin pairs. Importantly, we then show that genetic factors for smoking desistance increase in importance following restrictive legislation on smoking behaviors that occurred in the early and mid-1970s. These findings support the social push perspective and make important contributions to the social demography and genetic epidemiology of smoking as well as to the gene-environment interaction literatures.

  • Source
    The Journals of Gerontology Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 03/2012; 67(5):467-9. DOI:10.1093/gerona/gls101 · 4.98 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper highlights the role of institutional resources and policies, whose origins lie in political processes, in shaping the genetic etiology of body mass among a national sample of adolescents. Using data from Waves I and II of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we decompose the variance of body mass into environmental and genetic components. We then examine the extent to which the genetic influences on body mass are different across the 134 schools in the study. Taking advantage of school differences in both health-related policies and social norms regarding body size, we examine how institutional resources and policies alter the relative impact of genetic influences on body mass. For the entire sample, we estimate a heritability of .82, with the remaining .18 due to unique environmental factors. However, we also show variation about this estimate and provide evidence suggesting that social norms and institutional policies often mask genetic vulnerabilities to increased weight. Empirically, we demonstrate that more-restrictive school policies and policies designed to curb weight gain are also associated with decreases the proportion of variance in body mass that is due to additive genetic influences.
    Journal of Theoretical Politics 07/2012; 24(3):370-388. DOI:10.1177/0951629812437751 · 0.43 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: For the greater part of human history, political behaviors, values, preferences, and institutions have been viewed as socially determined. Discoveries during the 1970s that identified genetic influences on political orientations remained unaddressed. However, over the past decade, an unprecedented amount of scholarship utilizing genetic models to expand the understanding of political traits has emerged. Here, we review the 'genetics of politics', focusing on the topics that have received the most attention: attitudes, ideologies, and pro-social political traits, including voting behavior and participation. The emergence of this research has sparked a broad paradigm shift in the study of political behaviors toward the inclusion of biological influences and recognition of the mutual co-dependence between genes and environment in forming political behaviors.
    Trends in Genetics 08/2012; 28(10):525-33. DOI:10.1016/j.tig.2012.07.004 · 11.60 Impact Factor


Available from