Smoking Around Children
Smoking around children is not considered wise. Not just because of the influence it can have on them to pick up the habit of smoking but, also because of the negative effects it can have on their physical and mental health. According to three recent studies, children who are exposed to second-hand smoke can have problems with with their behavior and health when they grow up. Read on to know more about smoking around children.
Reports do suggest that passive smoking, especially for children is very harmful. Let us look at some of the problems that children exposed to this problem are likely to face. Sudden infant death syndrome (where infants, less than an year old die unexpectedly), asthma and ear infections. Also, psychological problems like ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and antisocial behavior is known to be observed in children whose mothers smoked when they were pregnant. So, smoking pregnant women and smoking around pregnant women is also very dangerous.
Scientists still have not been able to find out the link between tobacco and its influence on mental health. But there is some good news! A recent report that was published in the journal ‘Pediatrics’ disclosed the fact that, since the mid-nineties, passive smoking has been on decline steadily.
As mentioned earlier, three recent studies reported the influence of second hand smoke on children. Let us look at these studies in detail.
University of Bristol Study
One of the studies was conducted at the University of Bristol, UK. The lead doctor of the study Marie-Jo Brion analyzed two studies from Britain and Brazil that began in the nineties. According to the studies, 16 percent British women smoked during their pregnancy while in Brazil 29 percent women smoked during their pregnancy. Children of these mothers were found to have problems with their peers, be hyperactive and bad behavior. Not only that these children turned out to be bullies and were found to be lying and cheating as well. All these problems were observed at the age of four.
The research also deduced that the chances for children to pick up these behavior problems increased by 82 percent when their mothers smoke during pregnancy. This deduction was made after taking into consideration other factors like, a smoking father and the economic status and the psychological health of both the parents.
Dr. Brion, however states that the results need further solidification but, she is sure that the chances for children to have behavior problems when exposed to second-hand smoke when in their mother’s womb is high. Dr. Brion also states that even if the mother doesn’t smoke, staying around people who smoke was enough to affect the fetus.
University of Hong Kong Study
The researchers here studied 6,800 school going children whose mothers were non-smokers. The researchers observed that children whose fathers’ smoked weighed more than those whose parents did not smoke. This could be because of the second-hand smoke that the pregnant mothers inhaled or because of the smoke that the children themselves inhaled.
U.S Department of Health and Human Services Study
This study shows how second-hand smoke has declined steadily over the years leaving kids at home less exposed to it. According to Dr. Gopal K. Singh only 7.6 percent American children were exposed to passive smoking in the year 2007. But in the year 1994, the percentage was as high as 35. Though this is a positive sign, the national target of bringing it down to 6 percent is yet to be achieved.
While in some states like Utah and California only 2 percent children were exposed to second-hand smoke in their households, 17 percent or higher were exposed to it in West Virginia and Kentucky. Also, Black children were known to be exposed more when compared to the children in the Pacific islands.
Smoking around children was also high in poorer households and in families where the parents were not so well educated.