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Pregnant Smokers May Hook Kids

A new study has discovered pregnant smokers may “program” their children to become smokers. Children whose mothers had smoked while pregnant were almost three times as likely to start smoking regularly at or before the age of 14 and around twice as likely to start smoking after this age as those whose mothers were non-smokers, declare researchers.

The scientists base their findings on over 3,000 mothers and their children, who were part of a long term pregnancy study in Brisbane, Australia (MUSP) in 1981.

The study is published in the journal Tobacco Control.

Pregnant Smokers May Hook Kids The authors assessed the smoking patterns of the children when they reached the age of 21 in relation to the behavior of their mothers during the pregnancy. Around a third of the women said that they had smoked during their pregnancy.

The proportion of the children who took up regular smoking was greater among those whose mothers had smoked during the pregnancy than among those whose mothers had not.

Smoking patterns among children whose mothers stopped smoking while pregnant, but then resumed the habit, were similar to those whose mothers had never smoked.

The findings held true even after adjusting for other factors likely to influence the results.

The authors conclude that their research provides some evidence that smoking during pregnancy has a direct effect on the child’s chances of becoming a smoker. And they suggest that their findings are another reason why pregnant women should be discouraged from smoking.

The full paper may be viewed at http://press.psprings.co.uk/tc/december/452_tc16790.pdf

Source: British Medical Journal

Pregnant Smokers May Hook Kids

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Pregnant Smokers May Hook Kids. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 19, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2006/12/11/pregnant-smokers-may-hook-kids/469.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.