It has been suggested that variants of the dopamine D2 receptor may be related to response to nicotine replacement therapy. This study will be available on bmj.com on Friday 19 March 2004.
Researchers examined abstinence from smoking among 752 people, eight years after they had taken part in a trial of nicotine patches. Blood samples were taken to record genotype and abstinence from smoking was confirmed by levels of cotinine (a by-product of nicotine) in the blood.
In women, the effectiveness of nicotine patches seemed to be related to genotype. Women with the variant T allele (CT or TT genotype) showed considerable benefit from patches, whereas those with the more common CC genotype did not. No significant relation between genotype and patch effectiveness was seen in men.
The authors therefore suggest that nicotine replacement therapy works through different processes and is subject to different genetic influences in men and women.