May 2009
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Melanin Production and Tobacco Use, Dependence, and Exposure

The June 2009 issue of Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior includes a study looking at a link between melanin production as a result of UV exposure and tobacco use in African Americans. Although the findings established a correlation, repeated studies are needed to verify their results. They go on to hypothesize that this correlation may be responsible for the stronger addiction to tobacco use that has been previously noted in darker skinned individuals. From the abstract;

Link between facultative melanin and tobacco use among African Americans
Gary King, Valerie B. Yerger, Guy-Lucien Whembolua, Robert B. Bendel, Rick Kittles, Eric T. Moolchan

“The results of this analysis support the hypothesis of a positive association between melanin levels and tobacco use, dependence, and exposure among African American smokers.”

The full abstract can be read by clicking on the study’s title above.

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