Female smokers who find it hard to quit with the use of nicotine patches could blame their genes.
Researchers found nicotine patch therapy had no effect in women with a particular gene type.
However, men cannot use the same excuse as the study found genetic make-up appeared to have little impact on their ability to kick the habit, according to the study published in the British Medical Journal.
Researchers studied 752 people who had taken part in a nicotine patch trial at various intervals over eight years. All had been heavy smokers, informs Theaustralian.news.com.au
A variant of the receptor gene (CT or TT) was found in 41 per cent of both men and women. The researchers then correlated the genotype with effectiveness of the patches, measured by abstinence at one week, 12 weeks, 24 weeks, 52 weeks and to follow-up.
'In women, the effectiveness of the patches differed with genotype at all time points,' the authors write in the British Medical Journal Online 'In men the genotype did not differ significantly at any time.'
For example, at 52 weeks, 15% of women with the CT or TT genotype had stopped smoking, compared to 8% who had a CC genotype. In men, the rates were 13% and 16% respectively.
The researchers say that the nicotine patch increases the chance of giving up by about three times for women with the CT/TT genotype.
On the other hand, women with the CC genotype seem to find to easier to give up without the patch than do those with the CT/TT genotype.
The research concludes that the therapy works through different processes, and is influenced by different genetic mechanisms in men and women. And if nicotine replacement was targeted at those most likely to respond, its overall effectiveness might be improved, according to Medicalnewstoday.com