Sons of smokers may be more prone to addiction-like behaviors, memory problems and anxiety, study says

If you’re a parent who smokes, your sons may be more susceptible to addiction-related symptoms, memory problems and anxiety, says a new study from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. The study is another caution about tobacco for Kentuckians, about 25 percent of whom smoke, the second highest rate in the nation.

The researchers found an association between parental tobacco use and rates of “addiction-like behaviors, cognitive impairments, and anxiety-like behaviors” in sons, a Penn news release says. The researchers did not find a similar association in daughters. The study is published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

Heath D. Schmidt, the paper’s lead author, explains that understanding the biological effects of tobacco use is necessary understand how to children can inherent their parents’ drug use. He notes that these studies’ findings “highlight vulnerable populations at risk for developing nicotine dependence, cognitive impairments, and/or mental health disorders.”

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