It has been discovered by a team of researchers from the University of Arizona that smoking during pregnancy will more likely mean that offspring will start smoking by the age of twenty.
Furthermore continued smoking while children were very young had similar results but that all changed once they became school children.
Using data from the Tucson Children’s Respiratory Study, Dr Roni Grad and his team noted that children in these circumstances are more than four times more likely to start smoking. Furthermore these individuals with mothers that smoked at this time were far less likely to quit.
The theory goes that there is an alteration of the neurochemistry in the brain although there may be other contributing factors that could not be ruled out. For example, other individuals in the household, also being smokers.
Obviously all pregnant women are discouraged from smoking as it is known to have a detrimental effect on the foetus growing inside the womb. This often results in a greater likelihood of a premature birth and a much lower birth weight.
The data was garnered by the researchers who examined the mothers’ smoking habits at different stages of eighteen months, six, nine and eleven years old and their children at the ages of between sixteen and twenty two.
Grad who is a clinical paediatric associate professor at the Arizona University believes the link is as good as proved, that if a child is exposed to smoking at an early stage in life they are much more likely to end up as chronic smokers themselves.