Allery Treatment News

Aggressive personality types could be 'born to smoke'

November 10, 2017

People who are naturally aggressive and hostile may have a genetic propensity to smoke and become addicted to cigarettes. This is according to research carried out in USA.

The team at the University of California Irvine said that the same genetic variations that create the hostile type could also make them nicotine addict types.

Dr. Steven Potkin, team leader, called this the 'born to smoke' pattern.

He is coming to this conclusion after following up evidence that showed that people with hostile personality traits tend to become more addicted to nicotine and find it harder to give up smoking.

He and his team gave volunteers standard psychiatric personality exams and separated them into two groups. One group consisted of people with higher tendencies to anger and aggression (and anxiety). The other group consisted of people with low hostility traits.

The two groups consisted of people who smoked and those who did not.

These people were then given nicotine patches. Their brains were imaged using positron emission tomography (PET) scans.

They noticed a clear metabolic change in the aggressive people's brain cells, but not in the cells of the low hostility volunteers.

In order to get the aggressive types to have the same level of change (i.e. none) as the low hostility types the researchers had to give them higher doses of nicotine. They had obviously become addicted to nicotine (more addicted).

Dr. Potkin concluded 'Based on these dramatic brain responses to nicotine, if you have hostile, aggressive personality traits, in all likelihood you have a predisposition to cigarette addiction without ever having even touched a cigarette.'

He also said that this could go some way to explain why some people can give up easily, or never really take up smoking.