Pregnant smokers' offspring more likely to smoke

May 19, 2009 2:07:30 PM PDT
If a mother smokes while pregnant, her child is more likely to smoke as a teen and young adult, according to a theory that is being put forth by the University of Arizona. Researchers say they believe smoking while pregnant biologically primes the unborn child by somehow changing the brain chemistry.

In the study, being presented at the American Thoracic Society's international conference, scientists say these children are four times more likely to become regular smokers.

Researchers used data from another study to do an assessment.

Experts say this is another reason for women to stop smoking before becoming pregnant.