Study: Men who smoke can pass on health risk to offspring

By Mark Remillard
Originally published: Jun 16, 2014 – 5:00 am

PHOENIX – A new study is adding to the long list of reasons to quit smoking.

The study from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology found that men who smoke while trying to conceive could be passing along health risks to their offspring.

Courtney Ward, chief of the Office of Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program for the Arizona Department of Health Services, said it’s no longer just women who smoke during conception that can be passing on risks to kids.

“Using tobacco and engaging in sexual activity, for the maternal and the paternal side, can have effect on the offspring,” Ward said.

Ward said the risks associated with men smoking while trying to conceive versus women smoking is not nearly as significant but it does present risks.

“The major contributions that have been found are genetic alterations, specifically leukemia and other cancer causing diseases,” she said.

The study looked at men in their early 30s, and it’s not clear if men who previously smoked but quit still had an effect on offspring, Ward said.

Ward wants to remind people that it’s never too late to quit smoking and Arizona’s anti-smoking program called CIGNAL offers free help and cessation services. That can be visited at

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