Secondhand Smoke and Childhood Behavioural Problems

A new U.S. study of more than 55,000 children younger than 12 years of age has linked secondhand smoke to behavioural problems in children. The study found that children who lived in homes where parents or other caregivers smoked were more likely to have learning disabilities or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder than in children who lived with non-smokers.

The study, published in The Journal of Pediatrics, noted that while there may be other factors at play, learning and behavioural problems did increase in children who were exposed to secondhand smoke. It is yet unclear how secondhand smoke contributes to these problems, but they speculate that smoke may affect certain chemicals in children’s developing brains. Overall, the study is just one more reason for parents to butt out or, at the very least, avoid any and all smoking around children.

Source: Globe & Mail, 07/15/11

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