Smoking mothers may alter the DNA of their children

I was born in the 1950s to a woman who smoked and undoubtedly smoked while she was pregnant (and died at 45 of lung cancer). Besides the issues around lower birth weight, there have been reasons to believe that children of smoking mothers continue to suffer from health issues well into adulthood. Now genetic researchers have discovered that smoking mothers may actually alter the DNA of their children thus setting them up for problems later in life.

I had a lot of ear problems as a kid and they eventually removed my tonsils to deal with that, as they did to solve so many problems back in the 60s. It didn’t work, of course. Now I wonder if my parents’ smoking was the real issue behind it.

[Added later] I am not blaming my parents in any way. The Surgeon General’s report on the health hazards of smoking did not come out until 1964, when I was 7 years-old. Although there were many in the scientific community that were aware of the issue, it was not well-known to the average person.

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