Public Release: 

Mother's smoking may increase her children's risk of lung disease as adults


An Australian study that followed patients over five decades reveals that children of mothers who smoke have an increased likelihood of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in adulthood.

The risk was even more pronounced when children exposed to maternal cigarette smoke at a young age took up smoking later in life, which is a risk factor for COPD by itself.

The findings indicate that there may be a combined effect of passive smoking in childhood and active smoking later in life on lung function at middle age.

"We now appreciate that the risk of COPD can be accumulated from sources other than personal smoking, where the negative consequences of a mother's smoking may continue through to later adult life," said Dr. Jennifer Perret, lead author of the Respirology study. "Our findings further strengthen the current recommendation for smoking abstinence, especially for pregnant women and young mothers."


About Wiley

Wiley is a global provider of knowledge and knowledge-enabled services that improve outcomes in areas of research, professional practice and education. Through the Research segment, the Company provides digital and print scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, reference works, books, database services, and advertising. The Professional Development segment provides digital and print books, online assessment and training services, and test prep and certification. In Education, Wiley provides education solutions including online program management services for higher education institutions and course management tools for instructors and students, as well as print and digital content. The Company's website can be accessed at

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.