Genes influence a person's risk of becoming a smoker as well as the risk of alcohol dependence. Because substantially higher rates of smoking are observed in alcoholics than in control groups, uncovering the mechanisms underlying this association may have important implications for both treatment and prevention. Data analyses from the 1981 Australian twin panel cohort confirm a positive genetic correlation between regular smoking and the risk of alcohol dependence that remains significant, even when sociodemographic and personality variables as well as histories of other psychopathologies are taken into account. Acute or chronic effects of smoking on subjective responses to alcohol may play a role in this association.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-214
Number of pages6
JournalAlcohol Research and Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000


  • AOD (alcohol or other drug) dependence potential
  • Alcohol cue
  • Family AODU history
  • Genetic correlation analysis
  • Genetic theory of AODU (AOD use, abuse, and dependence)
  • Risk factors
  • Smoking
  • Twin study


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