The study titled, “Paternal nicotine taking elicits heritable sex-specific phenotypes that are mediated by hippocampal Satb2,” concluded that parental nicotine exposure may promote addiction-like behaviors in subsequent generations of male offspring. A research team from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) found that these addiction-like behaviors, can include cognitive deficits, and anxiety-like behaviors.

Using an unbiased genome-wide approach, the research team found a factor known to play an important role in creating new neural connections and memories, in male offspring who had been exposed to nicotine. This effect was sex-specific as no such effect was found in female offspring similarly exposed to nicotine.

Paternal smoking affects offspring’s lung function

Another study on the topic titled, “The paper “Prenatal and prepubertal exposures to tobacco smoke in men may cause lower lung function in future offspring: a three-generation study using a causal modelling approach,” was recently published in the European Respiratory Journal. It highlighted that fathers’ smoking in early teen years (defined as before 15 years of age) had a negative direct effect on their future offspring’s lung function.

“Fathers’ smoking initiation in prepuberty had a negative direct effect on both offspring’s FEV1 (−0.36; 95% confidence interval: −0.63, −0.10) and FVC (−0.50; −0.80, −0.20) compared to fathers’ never smoking. Paternal grandmothers’ smoking in pregnancy had a negative direct effect on fathers’ FEV1/FVC (−0.57; −1.09, −0.05) and a negative indirect effect on offspring’s FEV1/FVC (−0.12; −0.21, −0.03) compared to grandmothers’ not smoking before fathers’ birth nor during fathers’ childhood,” read the study Abstract.

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