Molecular epidemiologic studies suggest genetic factors in the etiology of smoking behavior. Dopamine receptor genes, transporter genes (serotonin and dopamine), and other genes related to metabolism of nicotine are plausible functional candidate genes. Research examining the role of allelic variation in those genes is being actively pursued with respect to nicotine dependence as well as personality characteristics and mental disorders. Some of these genes were reported to be connected with schizophrenia. Although nicotine dependence itself is one of the mental disorders according to the fourth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the World Health Organization's International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems-10 nomenclature, the high comorbidity between nicotine dependence and other mental disorders such as schizophrenia or affective disorders has been noted. Therefore, the relationship between those mental disorders and tobacco addiction should be cleared up considering the interactive effect of genetic and environmental factors.
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