Cigarette Smoke Causes Hyperactivity in Children
A study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine shows that children who breathe secondhand smoke from cigarettes have a tendency to be hyperactive and have a bad behavior. ” These findings encourage smoking parents to quit smoking or at least smoke outside the house.
However, the research has yet to know how the content of tobacco in cigarettes can affect the performance of children’s brains. “We know that exposure to cigarette smoke may cause physical health problems for children, the possibility of mental health issues have never really been explored,” said Mark Hamer, Chief Researcher of University College London.
According to the Ministry of Health of the United States, two out of three children aged 3-11 years are exposed to cigarette smoke. While one in five children aged 9-17 years are diagnosed with mental illness or addictive disorders in the United States.
Hamer and his colleagues took saliva samples of 901 English children aged 4-8 years to measure the level of exposure to cigarette smoke and asked the parents to answer questions about social issues, emotions and attitudes of their children.
As a result, the more often children are exposed to cigarette smoke, the worse the average level of their mental health, especially hyperactivity and inability to follow orders. Overall, as many as three per cent of all children who received a score of ‘abnormal’ is 20 or above. Score of 40 indicates the level of the worst mental health.
Children are often exposed to cigarette smoke got 44 percent higher (worse) score than children who are rarely exposed to smoke. These children are more often exposed to smoke in their homes.
It is not clear how cigarette smoke can cause mental problems. The researchers themselves think this is related to genetic or cigarette smoke influences the brain such as dopamine. “Further studies are needed to explain this association,” said Hamer.
Michael Weitzman of the New York University Medical Center who was not involved in the research said the results of the research shows proof that children who are exposed to smoke may experience mental health problems “Many people know how cigarette smoke can increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) , ear infections and asthma, “said Weitzman, according to reuters.
“But the cigarette smoke turned out to also give a big burden on quality of life of children, their families and communities due to increased mental health problems of children,” he said.