Transmission of second-hand smoke sensitivity and smoking attitude in a family

David Laszlo Tarnoki, Adam Domonkos Tarnoki, Levente Littvay, Zsofia Lazar, Kinga Karlinger, Andrea Agnes Molnar, Dora Melicher, Zsolt Garami, Viktor Berczi, Ildiko Horvath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction and objective. The role of genetic factors in nicotine dependence is well understood, but no information is available on the inheritability of second-hand smoke (SHS) exposure sensitivity and their co-variance.

Materials and methods. 186 adult same-gender pairs of twin (146 monozygotic, 40 dizygotic; 44±17 years±SD) completed a questionnaire.

Results. The model showed a significant role of unshared environmental factors influencing the co-variance between smoking habit and SHS sensitivity (re=-0.191, 95% CI, -0.316 to -0.056, or the total phenotypic correlation of rph=-0.406, p<0.001) without evidence for genetic covariation. Age, gender and country-adjusted analysis indicated 51.5% heritability for smoking habit (95% confidence interval/CI/, 6.2 to 89.8%), 49.7% for SHS sensitivity (95%CI, 19.1–72.0%), 35.5% for general opinions on SHS exposure in restaurants/cafés (95%CI, 10.7–58.6%), and 16.9% in pubs/bars (95%CI, 0.0–49.0%).

Conclusions. The co-variance between SHS sensitivity and smoking habits is driven mainly by the unshared environment. SHS sensitivity is moderately inheritable. The considerable influence of environmental factors on general opinions on SHS exposure in designated indoor public venues emphasizes the importance of smoking bans and health behaviour interventions at the individual level in developing an anti-smoking attitude.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)771-775
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2014


  • Environmental exposure
  • Genetics
  • Heritability
  • Smoking habits
  • Tobacco smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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