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.
Online cross-sectional survey.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Intention of smokers to undergo genetic testing for smoking cessation.
Smokers' knowledge, attitudes and preferences regarding genetic testing for smoking.
To aid decisions on the most appropriate strategies for counselling patients and communicating their test results with regard to a genetic test for smoking.
Smokers are mildly interested in receiving more information and participating in genetic testing for smoking cessation, especially when offered by their general practitioner.
Knowledge on smoking cessation, genetics and genetic testing (including advantages and disadvantages) and the influence of genetics on smoking cessation is low.
Strengths and limitations of this study
This study provides valuable information on the needs and attitudes of smokers regarding genetic testing for smoking cessation, which can aid decisions for future implementation.
Under-representation smokers intending to stop smoking might have led to an underestimation of smokers interested in genetic testing.
Low knowledge level on genetic testing for smoking cessation and genetics in general might have influenced participants' ability to answer the questions.
Interest in undergoing genetic testing may reflect a generally positive attitude towards genetic testing rather than actual uptake.
Selection bias might have occurred due to the non-representative nature of the internet population and the self-selection of participants (volunteer effect); however, unlikely due to high response rate (83%).