About StarNet

The Smoking Behavior Database

The Smoking Behavior Database was developed as part of a science education and research project conducted by Genome Sciences Education Outreach at the University of Washington. This project, called StarNet, involved high school students in designing and carrying out an epidemiological study of the genetic and environmental factors that influence smoking behavior. Research subjects in the study were healthy adult volunteers from the Greater Seattle Area. Subjects completed questionnaires that collected information about their environment and smoking behavior and gave blood samples, which were used to genotype their DNA at several candidate genes. In classrooms throughout Washington State, students helped to develop questions for the study questionnaire and genotyped subject DNA. The genetic and environmental data for several hundred smokers and nonsmokers is included in the Smoking Behavior Database.

Smoking tobacco is a human behavior with far-reaching implications for health. Both genetic and environmental factors influence whether a person smokes. The StarNet research study focused on a key stage of smoking that often occurs in the teen years: the transition from beginning smoking to becoming a regular smoker. The study included case subjects, who are regular smokers, and control subjects, who are current nonsmokers who tried smoking but never became regular smokers. The ethnically diverse study population included males and females aged 25-54.

Students can now query the unmined database to investigate smoking behavior. They can ask and get answers to their own research questions about factors that are associated with becoming a regular smoker, such as:

By participating in this project, students can learn about neuroscience, the biology of drug addiction, the research process, epidemiological studies, human subjects research, and related ethical issues.

For more information, visit our project website at http://hshgp.genome.washington.edu.

Contact Information

Program Director: Maureen Munn, Ph. D. mmunn@u.washington.edu
Program co-Director: Megan Brown, Ph. D. mtbrown@u.washington.edu

The StarNet Project was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse through a Science Education Partnership Drug Abuse Award (2 R25 DA013180). The content of this website is solely the responsibility of UW Genome Sciences Education Outreach and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.

Smoking Behavior Research Questionnaire | Print This Page