There’s been a number of studies that have
shown this link between moms smoking during
pregnancy and risk for offspring smoking or
Some of the studies have shown higher rates
particularly in the daughters, some have shown
equal between boys and boy and girl offspring.
So we, number one, wanted to replicate that
effect in this large data set of moms who
smoked in the 1960s.
So we had a large sample of moms who smoked
during pregnancy and then we added what was
unusual about the studies that we had a 40
year follow-up of the offspring.
So we were able to see the emergence of tobacco
dependence in the offspring over a 40-year
So we, number one, replicated the effects
of smoking during pregnancy and found it,
particularly in the girls in the sample, the
And then we wanted to see the role of stress
There’s a number of reasons to think that
stress hormones are related to mom smoking
and may also be a link to offspring smoking.
We wanted to see if the cortisol or stress
hormones explain the relationship between
smoking – mom smoking, offspring smoking.
And again, it turned out to be two pathways.
So there seems to be a smoking pathway, that
potentially may be related to nicotine, Earth’s,
or the other many chemicals in tobacco cigarettes,
and then there seems to be a cortisol pathway
that may be linked to sort of living conditions,
stress, things like that.
In both of those together, increase the risk
of offspring smoking, more particularly in
Moms who smoke tend to be less educated, have
unplanned pregnancy, living in poorer conditions,
and anything, we as a society, can do to sort
of help the living conditions of pregnant,
of poor pregnant mother, I think it’s a double
And if you’re poor and stressed, you’re more
likely to smoke to kind of relieve some of
So anything we can do to help moms – poor
young moms of reproductive age – both to quit
smoking and to improve their living conditions.