ADHD linked to secondhand smoke
Secondhand smoke may affect more than a child’s breathing. According to a recent study from scientists in Miami and Spain, children exposed to tobacco smoke at home are up to three times more likely to have attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) as kids who aren’t regularly exposed to tobacco smoke. The scientists found that the link was stronger for kids with one or more hours of secondhand smoke exposure every day.
The researchers analyzed data from the 2011 to 2012 Spanish National Health Interview Survey, in which parents of 2,357 children ages four to 12 reported the amount of time their kids were exposed to secondhand smoke every day. The parents also filled out questionnaires designed to evaluate their children’s mental health.
After taking the parents’ mental health, family structure and socioeconomic status into consideration, children who were exposed to secondhand smoke for less than one hour per day were 50 percent more likely to have some mental disorder compared to kids not exposed at all. And children who were habitually exposed to secondhand smoke for an hour or more each day were close to three times more likely to have a mental disorder. Additionally, kids exposed less than one hour per day were twice as likely to have ADHD as kids who weren’t exposed, and children exposed for an hour or more on a daily basis were over three times more likely to have ADHD.
The researchers caution that the study looks at a single point in time and cannot prove that secondhand smoke exposure causes mental health problems. However, since secondhand smoke has been shown to cause other health problems, they urged parents to avoid smoking around children.