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Childhood Trauma Could Lead to Smoking Habit in Women

Update Date: Jul 15, 2012 09:34 AM EDT

A latest study suggests that women, who have been physically or emotionally abused, are more likely to smoke when as adults.

Experiences of childhood are often known to stay with people all their lives and also play a major role in defining one's perspective of the world while growing up.

The researchers in their study explain how Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) is linked to smoking patters and how taking an account of it could help women kick the butt.

"These findings suggest that current smoking cessation campaigns and strategies may benefit from understanding the potential relationship between childhood trauma and subsequent psychological distress on the role of smoking particularly in women," said the authors in their study.

The researchers claim that ACE can be emotional, physical or sexual.But no matter what the form of ACE is, children have been through it are 1.4 times more likely to become a smoker. Also, the chances increase in case a parent had been in the prison.

"Since adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) increase the risk of psychological distress for both men and women, it seemed intuitive that an individual experiencing an ACE will be more likely to be a tobacco cigarette smoker," lead author of the study, Dr Tara Strine was quoted as saying by

However, according to Dr Strine, this affect of ACE is seen mainly in women, which suggests that perhaps women have a different mechanism of coping with difficulties in childhood.

For the study, researchers surveyed more than 7,000 people, more than 50 percent of whom were women. The study results revealed that over 60 per cent of adults reported at least one ACE.

There are believed to be about 10million smokers in the UK and the habit is thought be the cause behind 120,000 premature deaths each year. Smoking is linked to heart attacks, strokes, emphysema and lung cancer.

The new research was published in BioMed Central's open access journal Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy.

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