NIH Researchers Find Genetic Vulnerability to Menthol Cigarette Use

A research team, led by Dennis Drayna, Ph.D., chief of the Section on Genetics of Communication Disorders at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), conducted detailed genetic analyses on 1,300 adults. A genetic variant found only in people of African descent significantly increases a smoker’s preference for cigarettes containing menthol, a flavor additive. The variant of the MRGPRX4 gene is five to eight times more frequent among smokers who use menthol cigarettes than other smokers.
The multiethnic study is the first to look across all genes to identify genetic vulnerability to menthol cigarettes. 
For further details on the study, please see the News Release by the NIDCD Press Office here.
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