Knowledge, attitudes and preferences regarding genetic testing for smoking cessation. A cross-sectional survey among Dutch smokers

M. Quaak*, C. Smerecnik, F.J. van Schooten, H. de Vries, C.P. van Schayck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives Recent research strongly suggests that genetic variation influences smokers' ability to stop. Therefore, the use of (pharmaco) genetic testing may increase cessation rates. This study aims to assess the intention of smokers concerning undergoing genetic testing for smoking cessation and their knowledge, attitudes and preferences about this subject. Design Online cross-sectional survey. Setting Database internet research company of which every inhabitant of the Netherlands of '12 years with an email address and capable of understanding Dutch can become a member. Participants 587 of 711 Dutch smokers aged '18 years, daily smokers for '5 years and smoke on average '10 cigarettes/day (response rate=83%). Primary and secondary outcome measures Smokers' knowledge, attitudes and preferences and their intention to undergo genetic testing for smoking cessation. Results Knowledge on the influence of genetic factors in smoking addiction and cessation was found to be low. Smokers underestimated their chances of having a genetic predisposition and the influence of this on smoking cessation. Participants perceived few disadvantages, some advantages and showed moderate self-efficacy towards undergoing a genetic test and dealing with the results. Smokers were mildly interested in receiving information and participating in genetic testing, especially when offered by their general practitioner (GP). Conclusions For successful implementation of genetic testing for smoking in general practice, several issues should be addressed, such as the knowledge on smoking cessation, genetics and genetic testing (including advantages and disadvantages) and the influence of genetics on smoking addiction and cessation. Furthermore, smokers allocate their GPs a crucial role in the provision of information and the delivery of a genetic test for smoking; however, it is unclear whether GPs will be able and willing to take on this role.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere000321
Number of pages9
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012



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