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View Full Version : Melanin linked to Nicotine Addiction


Ghost In The 'Lac
05-21-2009, 01:07 PM
just thught some of you should know this..

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/05/smokingskincolo/




Wired Science News for Your Neurons (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience)
Darker Skin Linked to Nicotine Dependence



By Lizzie Buchen http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/wp-content/themes/wired/images/envelope.gif (iamlizzieee@yahoo.com)
May 8, 2009 |
8:24 pm |
Categories: Genetics (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/category/genetics/), Health (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/category/health/), Medicine & Medical Procedures (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/category/medicine-medical-procedures/)


http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/wiredscience/2009/05/smokingcrop1.jpg
Dark-skinned smokers may be at greater risk for nicotine addiction than their paler counterparts, a new study finds.
Researchers found that in African Americans, darker skin — specifically that acquired by sun exposure, not genetics — is directly linked to smoking frequency and dependence.


“African Americans are known to have a more difficult time quitting and suffer from more tobacco-related diseases,” said Gary King, a medical sociologist at Pennsylvania State University and lead author of the study, published in Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior. “By addressing the connection between biological aspects of skin color and tobacco use, this has global implications for all groups, especially to populations with high levels of UV radiation.”


Melanin pigments, which determine skin color, bind tightly to nicotine. As a consequence, nicotine and tobacco’s cancer-causing agents tend to linger and accumulate in other melanin-containing tissues like the heart, lungs, liver and brain, potentially putting those organs at increased risk for tobacco-related diseases. This study is the first to explore the relationship between skin melanin levels and smoking behavior, said King.


The more melanin, the browner the skin. But there’s more than one way to get there. Melanin levels are genetically determined, but they can also be increased by exposure to the sun or other sources of ultraviolet rays, like tanning beds. Though both kinds of melanin are molecularly indistinguishable, King wanted to know if they had different effects on smoking behaviors.
He evaluated African American smokers from inner city Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He measured the color of the skin on their foreheads, which is controlled by both genes and the sun, and on their inner arms, which should result primarily from genetics. He then quantified the smokers’ average number of cigarettes per day and nicotine dependence.


King’s team found that the darkness of the forehead was positively correlated to the number of cigarettes smoked per day as well as nicotine dependence, while darkness of the inner arm did not demonstrate this link. King says the mechanism is unclear, but he thinks people with higher levels of melanin in the skin would accumulate higher levels of nicotine, which might leach into the bloodstream and travel to nicotine receptors in the brain. Low levels of nicotine constantly coursing through the body might make it easier to develop a dependence.


As skin darkness also has has been shown to have links to racial discrimination, King also surveyed the participants for stress levels, perception of racial discrimination and attitudes toward race and health. He found no links to smoking frequency or dependence, though he acknowledged that other studies have found this correlation.
King hopes the findings will help understand why African American smokers have a more difficult time quitting than Caucasians, and are disproportionately affected by smoking-related diseases.

Visionz
05-21-2009, 03:16 PM
interesting, I wonder if those effects are by design from the tobacco industry?

TSA
05-21-2009, 04:02 PM
why would they be?

white ppl and indians have been smoking tobacco well before giving a shit about or knowing about black ppl so i don't think it's on pupose

if anything i would make something more addictive to chinks, there's like trillions of them, not black ppl.






just wanted to add that Ghana and Nigeria have the lowest smoker rates in the world and that's where the majority of african americans come from.

Ghost In The 'Lac
05-21-2009, 04:12 PM
just wanted to add that Ghana and Nigeria have the lowest smoker rates in the world and that's where the majority of african americans come from.

interesting

build.

Visionz
05-21-2009, 04:27 PM
why would they be?

white ppl and indians have been smoking tobacco well before giving a shit about or knowing about black ppl so i don't think it's on pupose

if anything i would make something more addictive to chinks, there's like trillions of them, not black ppl.






just wanted to add that Ghana and Nigeria have the lowest smoker rates in the world and that's where the majority of african americans come from.
there's tons of unnatural chemicals in a cigarette. it sure isn't just tobacco leaf so who knows. If they'll market a product that knowingly causes cancer to a five year old there's no telling what they're capable of.

diggy
05-21-2009, 05:22 PM
Wait though.

Burning a plant, and inhaling its smoke is not the smartest thing to do anyway.

If one wants the beneficial properties of a plant in their body, there are better ways to get it in there.

So, even though melanin is linked to addiction (according to the article), people should not be smoking in the first place.

Visionz
05-21-2009, 09:52 PM
^works well in theory but people like their weed and cigarettes

diggy
05-21-2009, 11:51 PM
True.

I guess smoking is the fastest way to get it in.

beautifulrock
05-22-2009, 12:04 AM
I don't buy it. I think income is directly related to nicotine addiction.

diggy
05-22-2009, 12:13 AM
I was thinking that earlier.

I think there was a study done that reports poor people smoke more than the rich.