Puffing could expose your kid to leukaemia

Smokers beware. Your heavy puffing around the time of conception greatly increases the chances of your child developing the most common form of childhood cancer, known as Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL), a study reveals.

The study investigated the link between parental smoking and the occurrence of ALL in offspring.

`The first step towards the development of leukemia is thought to occur in utero in a lot of cases,` said Elizabeth Milne from Western Australia`s Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, who led the study.

`So we look at prenatal exposures as it has to be something to do with what`s happening before the baby`s born. Tobacco is a known carcinogen and, in terms of childhood leukemia, there is a plausible biological pathway whereby paternal smoking could actually contribute to disease risk in the offspring,` said Milne.

In a comprehensive exposure questionnaire distributed nationwide to 388 families with cases of ALL and 868 control families, the group asked mothers and fathers to state where they lived, their occupation and how many cigarettes they smoked for every year of their life from the time they were 15, according to a university statement.

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