The incorporation of genomic information into routine care settings is a burgeoning area for investigation in behavioral medicine. The past decade has witnessed rapid advancements in knowledge of genetic biomarkers associated with smoking behaviors and tobacco-related morbidity and mortality, providing the basis for promising genomic applications in clinical and community settings. We assessed the current state of readiness for implementing genomic applications involving variation in the α5 nicotinic cholinergic receptor subunit gene CHRNA5 and smoking outcomes (behaviors and related diseases) using a process that could be translatable to a wide range of genomic applications in behavioral medicine. We reviewed the scientific literature involving CHRNA5 genetic variation and smoking cessation, and then summarized and synthesized a chain of evidence according to analytic validity, clinical validity, clinical utility, and ethical, legal, and social implications (ACCE), a well-established set of criteria used to evaluate genomic applications. Our review identified at least three specific genomic applications for which implementation may be considered, including the use of CHRNA5 genetic test results for informing disease risk, optimizing smoking cessation treatment, and motivating smoking behavior change. For these genomic applications, we rated analytic validity as convincing, clinical validity as adequate, and clinical utility and ethical, legal, and social implications as inadequate. For clinical genomic applications involving CHRNA5 variation and smoking outcomes, research efforts now need to focus on establishing clinical utility. This approach is compatible with pre-implementation research, which is also needed to accelerate translation, improve innovation design, and understand and refine system processes involved in implementation. This study informs the readiness to incorporate smoking-related genomic applications in real-world settings and facilitates cross-disciplinary collaboration to accelerate the integration of evidence-based genomics in behavioral medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-17
Number of pages11
JournalTranslational Behavioral Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Behavioral health
  • Genomic medicine
  • Implementation science
  • Pharmacogenetics
  • Return of results
  • Smoking cessation


Dive into the research topics of 'Toward the implementation of genomic applications for smoking cessation and smoking-related diseases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this