Children as Passive Smokers
By Shireen Ismael

According to the survey conducted by National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (1996), every year, approximately four million women become pregnant. Among them, about 20.4 % are cigarette smokers, 18.8% are alcoholics and 13% abuse other drugs during the period of pregnancy.

A study shows that daily use of more than a half pack of cigarette by pregnant women increase the chances of giving the birth to a child having conduct disorder (later in life) as compare to non-smoker mothers (Wakschlag, Lahey, Loeber, Green, Gordon, & Leventhal, 1997). Smoking during pregnancy impair the brain functioning of fetus which are observed in terms of educational and behavior problems in later life.

Children become passive smokers when their caregivers smoke cigarette. Passive smoking is a risk factor for developing health problems among children, for instance; asthma, lungs problems, cancer and cardiovascular problems. There are also at the risk of becoming drug abusers in future.

Passive addiction also leads to behavioral and academic problems among children. Therefore, there is need to explore the psychosocial, behavioral and academic effects of smoking on children in order to raise the issue of active smoking that is badly affecting our future generation.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (1996). Alcoholism: Getting the facts.
Rockville, MD: National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Wakschlag, L. S., Lahey, B. B., Loeber, R., Green, S. M., Gordon, R. A., & Leventhal, B. L. (1997). Maternal smoking during pregnancy and the risk of conduct disorder in boys. Archives of General Psychiatry, 54, 670-676
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