One study, conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Health Statistics, found that nearly 5 million children under the age of 12 are exposed to second hand smoke in their home and that up to 8% of them suffer from learning disabilities, ADHD and other behavioral disorders. The findings show that children who had been exposed to second hand smoke had a 50% increased risk of developing two or more childhood neurobehavioral disorders compared to children not exposed to second hand smoke.
The study’s authors determined that an important percentage of childhood neurobehavioral disorders could potentially be attributable to secondhand smoke exposure in homes. In the United States, the annual medical cost associated with treating a child with a neurobehavioral disorder is about $14,576 per individual, or a national total of about $9.2 billion each year, the report found.
On a brighter note, a different study looked at children 8 to 13, living in a home with a least one adult smoker, and determined that the children who described the smell of cigarette smoke as “unpleasant” or “gross” were up to 78% less likely to develop the habit than 8 to 13 children with a more passive reaction to the smell.
However, the National Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse recently released a report which showed that 9 out of 10 people who meet the clinical criteria for substance abuse began smoking, drinking or using other drugs before they turned 18, and that this is a big concern in teens as they are more likely to try risky things while their brains are still developing.
Experts say that taking steps early on to avoid exposing children to smoke is critical. Setting a good example by not smoking and getting more involved in the activities of children are among the many things parents can do to help prevent children from smoking.
Tags: electronic cigarettes