According to a recent study, children are more likely to develop asthma if either of their parents smoked cigarettes regularly as youngsters or absorbed secondhand smoke.
The international team of researchers also noted in the study, which was released in the European Respiratory Journal, that a phenomenon known as ‘transgenerational effect’ can be observed in the effects of smoking and the respiratory issues it causes over the course of the following two generations.
There were researchers on the team from Sri Lanka, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
‘We found that the risk of non-allergic asthma in children increases by 59% if their fathers were exposed to secondhand smoke in childhood, compared to children whose fathers were not exposed.’
‘The risk was even higher, at 72%, if the fathers were exposed to secondhand smoke and went on to smoke themselves,’ said Jiacheng Liu, from Melbourne University, told The Guardian.
Dr. Dinh Bui, a co-author of the study, thinks it will be crucial to spread knowledge of the negative effects of smoking and that it may even bring about genuine change.
The study discussed several instances when smoking affected epigenetic modifications, and this was identified as the most likely cause of the rise in asthma risk in subsequent generations.