New mothers who experience higher levels of social stressors are less likely to ban smoking in the home, which could expose infants to secondhand smoke and other health hazards.

Jarron Saint Onge, a KU assistant professor of sociology and the study’s lead author, said mothers with a high level of pre-natal social stressors — including possibly less control over their own housing situation or economic distress — had 2.5 times higher odds to have only a partial or no restriction on smoking in their home than those with no stressors.

He said while the study, published in January in the American Journal of Public Health, identified statistically significant socio-demographic and socio-economic trends on home smoking rules where an infant lives, the underlying commonality was the amount of stressors the mother faced.

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