Research conducted at the All India Institute Of Medical Science (AIIMS) has showed that children of men who smoke or consume tobacco are more likely to get cancer, reported The Times of India.
This is because, the report states, "microelements present in smoke cause oxidative stress that affects the genetic integrity of the sperm" and can "also lead to infertility".
The study was published in a recent issue of the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention.
Explaining why sperm is more prone to oxidative DNA damage, Professor Rima Dada, in charge of the laboratory for molecular reproduction and genetics at AIIMS, told TOI that sperms contain minimal antioxidants along with having a deficient DNA repair mechanism.
The sperm quality of 77 men whose children suffer from retinoblastoma (a type of eye cancer) and 53 men who have healthy kids were analysed as part of the study.
Of them, 33 were smokers, 31 chewed tobacco, 41 men both smoked and chewed tobacco and only 33 did not use any form of tobacco, Professor Dada told TOI. "We found that the quality of sperm was poor among all tobacco users. However, the damage was extensive, almost irreparable, in fathers of children with eye cancer," she added.
The TOI report further states, "While the sperm count of a normal Indian adult was 60 million ml three decades ago, it now stands at 20 million ml. Over 12-18 million couples are diagnosed with infertility every year."