New research from the University of Arizona suggests that children are 'primed' to become regular smokers as teenagers if their mothers smoked during pregnancy, USA Today reported May 19.
Researchers led by Roni Grad found that children whose mothers smoked while pregnant were four times more likely to become regular smokers themselves. These children were also less likely to quit smoking than those whose mothers didn't smoke while pregnant.
“We know that smoking during pregnancy confers many health risks upon the fetus, including premature birth and increased risk for asthma,” said Norman Edelman, a scientific consultant to the American Lung Association. “Now we see a new risk — increased rates of smoking during subsequent early adulthood.”
The researchers presented their findings at the American Thoracic Society's international conference in San Diego on May 19. The study was published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.