Moms Smoking Plus 20 Cigarettes A Day Have 30% More Kids With Criminal Records

RedTracker| Pregnant women are under increasing pressure about the fallout of their health habits and lifestyle on their unborn children. And for cigarette companies blowing smoke about new global marketing regulations that interfere with strategies to recruit new smokers, this is yet another sobering set of statics.

The nature vs nurture effect doesn’t seem to be at play here, because Harvard researchers have tracked the children born between 1959 and 1966, years when mothers of all racial and socio-economic classes smoked. Think ‘Mad Men’s’ Betty Draper.

Tracking 3,766 children as they grew up, researchers found a dose-dependent relationship between mothers who smoked more than 20 cigarettes per day, and the future criminal records of their children.

Children of the high-smoking moms were 30% more likely to have arrest records than the kids of light of nonsmoking moms. Even more interesting, even though females are arrested less frequently in total crime statistics, both genders figured equally in arrest records of kids with high-puffing moms.

These same children were also likely to be repeat criminal offenders.  Among repeats, the children of high-cigarette mothers were 47% more likely than others to repeat criminal behavior.

Study author Dr Angela Paradis, of Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, says it’s not possible to ‘definitively’ describe heavy smoking as the cause of adult ciminal offenses, but the results supports a ‘modest casual relationship’.