A study in Hong Kong has found that paternal smoking is associated with earlier cessation of breastfeeding, more so than maternal smoking is. Breastfeeding is 20% more likely to stop if the father smokes. If both mother and father smoke, breastfeeding is 60% more likely to stop.
The researchers identify families with fathers and others who smoke as a high-risk group, in need of particular support and education around smoking cessation.
1,240 families participated in the study. 2.5% of the mothers were smokers and 29.2% of fathers smoked, in line with national averages for Hong Kong. In 11.3% of the families, there was more than one smoker in the home.
Passive smoking by mothers is a particular issue in Hong Kong, where living conditions are crowded. 12 times as many men smoke as women.
Lok KYW, Wang MP, Chan VHS & Tarrant M (2018), The effect of secondary cigarette smoke from household members on breastfeeding duration: a prospective cohort study, Breastfeeding Medicine
Photo: Joriz De Guzman. Creative Commons.