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Jon Hamm plays Don Draper in Mad Men.
Jon Hamm plays Don Draper in Mad Men.

Take that, Don Draper: Study says fatherhood curbs smoking and drinking Add to ...

Bye bye whisky, hello apple juice: Fatherhood drastically reduces a man's smoking and drinking, says a 19-year-long study out of Oregon.

Tobacco and alcohol go out the window when men become fathers for the first time, as does crime, said the researchers, who followed some 200 at-risk boys from the age of 12 to 31.

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While for many, bad habits lose their appeal as they age, the researchers said fatherhood was an independent factor in the declines.

"This research suggests that fatherhood can be a transformative experience," lead author David Kerr, assistant professor of psychology at Oregon State University, said in a release, which did not clarify whether the men were coerced into quitting by their partners, or chose to for the sake of their children.

Prof. Kerr suggested the study, published in the current issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family, has implications for intervention: "New fathers might be especially willing and ready to hear a more positive message and make behavioural changes."

Previous studies have suggested marriage is good for a man's health and longevity, a phenomenon unfortunately termed "the nagging effect."

(Among heart attack victims, married men get to hospitals faster than their single counterparts, for instance.)

What has your experience been? Did fatherhood curb your drinking and smoking?

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