Kids' aggressive behavior tied to secondhand smoke
Now research has linked exposing kids to secondhand smoke – either during pregnancy or throughout childhood – to a higher likelihood of the child exhibiting physically aggressive and antisocial behavior. And, according to the new University of Montreal study, it doesn’t matter if the parents also behave antisocially or not.
Creating a study to evaluate childhood secondhand smoke exposure proved difficult, as it is unethical to expose children to smoky environments given the known health problems associated with them. Instead, the researchers relied on Quebec public health data of 2,055 children tracked from birth to age 10, which included information on how the children were raised, health status and household smoke exposure. Due to the complexity of the study, the researchers worked to distinguish the contribution of secondhand smoke on a child's later problematic behavior. Those having been exposed to secondhand smoke, even temporarily, were much more likely to report themselves as being more aggressive by time they finished fourth grade.
Secondhand smoke exposure during pregnancy can also lead to low birth weight, slowed fetal brain growth and other problems in the development of the central nervous system of a baby.