MANILA, Philippines – An anti-tobacco group yesterday warned that children up to the third generation could suffer the consequences if the mother is a smoker, as it batted for the placement of graphic health warnings on cigarette packs.
Citing a study by the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute based at the Harbor University of California, the Health Justice Philippines (HJP) said it is now proven that “maternal nicotine exposure caused by smoking during pregnancy is linked to asthma in up to third generation of a woman’s offspring.”
“For years the tobacco industry has kept these hidden from consumers. Let’s put a stop to that. Let’s compel them to put the appropriate graphic health warnings on cigarette packs,” HJP managing director Irene Reyes said.
Reyes said the study shows that the harm of smoking goes far beyond the smoker, as she noted that the tobacco industry is harming people’s future.
The study showed that while there are multiple causes for childhood asthma, the link between this illness to maternal nicotine exposure during pregnancy should give future mothers reason to think twice before smoking.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines asthma as a chronic disease characterized by recurrent attacks of breathlessness and wheezing, which vary in severity and frequency from person to person.
During an asthma attack, the lining of the bronchial tubes swells, causing the airways to narrow and reducing the flow of air in and out of the lungs.