Secondhand Smoke Detrimental to Children’s Mental Health

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According to two new studies from the American Academy of Pediatrics, secondhand smoke can negatively impact American children’s learning behaviors, mental health and attitudes towards smoking.

In the first study, it was noted that kids who were exposed to secondhand smoke were 50 percent more likely to develop two or more childhood neurobehavioral disorders than their counterparts who received no such exposure. Data from the CDC and National Center for Health Statistics was used in order to come to the conclusions described in these studies.

As per the data, approximately 5 million children 12-years-old or younger are typically exposed to secondhand smoke at home. Of that total, eight percent – upwards of 274,000 kids – then proceed to suffer from conditions like ADHD and other behavioral disorders.

“[The findings] underscore the health burden of childhood neurobehavioral disorders that may be attributable to secondhand smoke exposure in homes in the States,” the study authors concluded. “This is particularly significant with regard to the potential burden of pediatric mental health care on an overextended health care system, a problem that could be dramatically reduced if voluntary smoke-free home policies were widely adopted.

“Experiencing secondhand smoke as 'unpleasant or gross' is protective against smoking susceptibility, suggesting that it may reflect a mechanism for targeted prevention efforts,” the authors concluded.

photo by Nyboer Creative

 
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