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Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality. Knowledge is evolving on genetics underlying initiation, regular smoking, nicotine dependence (ND), and cessation. We performed a genome-wide association study using the Fagerström Test for ND (FTND) in 58,000 smokers of European or African ancestry. Five genome-wide significant loci, including two novel loci MAGI2/GNAI1 (rs2714700) and TENM2 (rs1862416) were identified, and loci reported for other smoking traits were extended to ND. Using the heaviness of smoking index (HSI) in the UK Biobank (N=33,791), rs2714700 was consistently associated, but rs1862416 was not associated, likely reflecting ND features not captured by the HSI. Both variants were cis-eQTLs (rs2714700 for MAGI2-AS3 in hippocampus, rs1862416 for TENM2 in lung), and expression of genes spanning ND-associated variants was enriched in cerebellum. SNP-based heritability of ND was 8.6%, and ND was genetically correlated with 13 other smoking traits (rg=0.40-0.95) and co-morbid diseases. Our results emphasize the FTND as a composite phenotype that expands genetic knowledge of smoking, including loci specific to ND.

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