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Smoking in pregnancy increases child’s chance of becoming a smoker

Children whose mothers smoked while they were pregnant are more likely to smoke than those whose mothers did not.

More than 3,000 mothers and their children were followed up in a prospective longitudinal study in Brisbane, Australia. Around a third of the women smoked during pregnancy.

Children whose mothers had smoked during pregnancy were almost three times as likely to become regular smokers by the age of 14 and twice as likely to start smoking later on compared with children whose mothers were

non-smokers.

Smoking patterns among offspring whose mothers stopped smoking during pregnancy but resumed afterwards were similar to those whose mothers had never smoked.

The findings suggest a direct effect of maternal smoking and provide another incentive for pregnant women to quit.

Reference

Al Mamun A, O'Callaghan V, Alati R et al. Does maternal smoking during pregnancy predict the smoking patterns of young adult offspring??A birth cohort study Tobacco Control 2006; 15: 452-7

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