While studies have repeatedly linked maternal smoking during pregnancy with reduced sperm count in male children, a new research showed that men whose fathers smoked at the time of pregnancy also had 50 per cent lower count of sperms than those with non-smoking fathers.
The findings showed that, independently of nicotine exposure from the mother, socioeconomic factors, and their own smoking, men with fathers who smoked had a 41 per cent lower sperm concentration and 51 per cent fewer sperm count than those with non-smoking fathers.
"I was very surprised that regardless of the mother's level of exposure to nicotine, the sperm count of men whose fathers smoked was so much lower," said Jonatan Axelsson, specialist physician at Lund University in Sweden.
"We know there is a link between sperm count and chances of pregnancy, so that could affect the possibility for these men to have children in future.
"The father's smoking is also linked to a shorter reproductive lifespan in daughters, so the notion that everything depends on whether the mother smokes or not doesn't seem convincing," he added.