Did you know that there are over four thousand toxins in cigarette smoke? Now imagine a pregnant mother who smokes. Well, the chances are that quite a few of these chemicals will affect the fetus and will certainly have a negative impact on the child’s developing brain.
Research at 3 Universities, Illinois (USA) and Hull and York in the UK, shows that problem kids are much more likely to be born to these smoking mothers. The problems could arise even as early as three years of age!
The survey was quite a large one as it involved about 14,000 mothers on both sides of the Atlantic.
They were all asked to fill in questionnaires whereby they gave an assessment on their children’s behaviors.
Mothers were divided into light and heavy smokers. The results were quite shocking.
The mothers who were merely smoking a few cigarettes a day were still more than 44% likely to have boys who had behavioral or conduct disorders.
For the heavy smokers, that figure almost doubled to 80%!
The number of boys with ADHD and hyperactivity disorders were much more likely overall to have had mothers who smoked during their pregnancy. Who would have thought that this was a cause of ADHD!
The girls who were diagnosed as having conduct disorders were hardly affected by ADHD or hyperactivity. This seems to follow the patterns whereby girls are much more likely to have the inattentive type of ADHD anyway.
Apart from the general health issues, it seems that smoking mothers are laying up trouble for themselves and their families if they smoke during pregnancy.
This post is a brief summary of a report first published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health