Men who one day hope to celebrate Father's Day should think twice if
they are currently using tobacco, whether regularly or occasionally. A
study by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
(FASEB) explains that men who smoke can cause genetic damage to their
future children, even before conception.
FASEB scientists report that men who smoke before conception can damage
the genetic information of their offspring, making them more susceptible
to diseases such as cancer. Adolescents and young adults should think
ahead if they plan on conceiving at some point in their lives.
"Fatherhood feels far away for many young men, but if they are
experimenting with tobacco now, this study is important to pay attention
to," said Courtney Ward, Chief, Office of Tobacco Prevention &
Cessation, Arizona Department of Health Services. "Young adults may not
smoke daily so they think they can quit at any time. However, studies
show that a large number of young adults who experiment with cigarettes
ecome daily smokers, which impacts their health and the health of
The side effects of women smoking during pregnancy are well documented,
but as this research shows, the effects of men who smoke prior to
conception can be just as detrimental to a newborn. In a study carried
out at the University of Bradford, researchers wanted to learn more
about the effects of exposure to toxins, such as tobacco, before and
during conception and pregnancy on both men and women. The study
revealed that the toxins from tobacco caused serious damage to a
specific section of DNA in the infant, increasing their risk for disease.
Commenting on the study, Ethan Freedman, a 22-year-old male intern at a
local advertising firm, said, "Honestly, kids really aren't on my mind
now and I don't smoke, but reading this study made me realize what can
be passed down to children. I'll be sharing this information with my guy
friends who do smoke."
Ninety percent of adult smokers report that they were regular users by
the age of 18. As teens become young adults and experience more
responsibility, the urge to smoke becomes stronger as the urge to quit
lessens. As demonstrated by the recent studies, smoking as a young adult
male not only affects their own long-term health, but also the health of
a potential child.
As Father's Day approaches it is an ideal time to help future dads quit.
THE CIGNAL is Arizona's anti-smoking program aimed at helping young
adult smokers. The program offers a website (www.thecignal.com)
with customized tips and advice for young smokers and a toll free
helpline (1-800-55-66-222) where they can talk to quit coaches
specializing in young adult smokers, for free.
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