I just had to pass on this story because the implications are immense. The news report below cites a study published in The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health that concludes that smoking during pregnancy can be tied to bad behavior in kids. This is quite a statement! Read the article published by Reuters (Nov. 4, 2009), here.
The news article reports that, “Dr. Kate E. Pickett, of the University of York, Hull-York Medical School and colleagues looked for ties between smoking in and behavior and attention problems in more than 13,000 3-year-old boys and girls in the UK Millennium Cohort Study”. Among other findings, the researchers reported that
Persistent heavy smokers had a higher risk of having a boy with conduct problems than light smokers. For conduct problems in girls, any continuous smoking seemed to matter more than amount. Similarly, for hyperactivity-inattention problems both light and heavy smokers had similarly elevated risks compared to non-smokers
While it might be easy for us non-smokers to say, “See, I told you so”, the results also raise more questions.
I found this report interesting because it deals with behavior problems, but I’m not ready to accept that this is the one smoking gun problem for our students. We know that smoking poses serious long and short-term health risks for smokers and non-smokers alike, but I need to see more research before we can directly blame it for behavior problems.
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