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Passive smoking affects unborn babies' brain
[Posted: Mon 17/09/2012 by Gillian Tsoi www.irishhealth.com]
Newborn babies, whose mothers have been exposed to second-hand smoke, show poor physiological, sensory and attention skills, according to a new study.
Smoking during pregnancy has been linked to many different problems in infants like learning difficulties, attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity, and even obesity.
And now, a new study has analysed the effects of passive smoking during pregnancy on the newborn.
Scientists analysed the behavior of 282 healthy newborns using the Neonatal Behavioural Evaluation Scale. This scale allows for interaction with the newborn in order to evaluate its behaviour and responses between 48 and 72 hours after birth.
From those mothers studied, 22% smoked during pregnancy and 6% were exposed to passive smoking. Out of the smoking mothers, 12.4% had between one and five cigarettes a day; 6.7% had between six and 10 a day; and 2.8% had between 10 and 15 a day. None of them smoked more than 15 cigarettes a day.
According to the scientists, the newborns who had been exposed to nicotine while in the womb, whether in an active or passive way, show signs of being more affected in terms of their neurobehavioural development.
The results reveal that those born to smoking and passive smoking mothers score low in their ability to block stimuli that could alter the central nervous system.
Furthermore, children of passive smoking mothers had poor development when it came to movement, and those of smoking mothers have less ability to regulate their behavior and responses in physiological, sensor, motor and attention terms.
"Health professionals should encourage future mothers and their families to eliminate or reduce tobacco consumption," said Josef Canals, who led the study.
He outlined the importance of informing mothers on the effects of involuntary exposure to cigarette smoke in order to prevent direct damage to the foetus and infant development.
Smoking during pregnancy is one of the biggest yet changeable causes of illness and death for both mother and infant. Nonetheless, studies show that between 11% and 30% of pregnant women smoke or are passively exposed to tobacco smoke.
When a pregnant woman smokes, nicotine concentrations in the foetus reach more than 15% of that of the mother. In Spain, 43.5% of women between 25 and 44 years of age smoke but this percentage during pregnancy falls to approximately 26.6%.
"However, although women tend to reduce their normal tobacco consumption when falling pregnant, the key is to study the effects of exposure to small amounts of smoke on foetal development," said the researchers.
The study was carried out at the Behaviour Evaluation and Measurement Research Centre (CRAMC) of the Rovira i Virgili University in Spain.
The study was published in the Early Human Development journal.
Click here to visit the Irishhealth.com Pregnancy Clinic.
|Angel Posted: 30/09/2012 00:14|
Amazing how all my children have been extremely healthy all their lives and they were exposed to much much greater passive smoke than the average person.
|Jamie Posted: 01/10/2012 18:20|
How do you know? For example, your son/daughter might have an IQ of say, 90. But if it wasn't for the passive smoking, their IQ could have been much higher and they could have performed better at life. Even if you refuse to believe all the scientific studies and medical evidence, surely your reasoning should be to not smoke anyway, just in case. Luckily these days most people put their childrens health ahead of a dirty habit.
|Angel Posted: 02/10/2012 01:49|
Jamie, a person's IQ could also be heightened by passive smoke. Who's to know? That's the amazing thing about life. With all the millions of products on our planet none of us have any clue what effect they have on us especially those we injest. It's extraordinary how all the food and drink and drugs appear to be so hidden from us as soon as we consume them. All we can really go on is how we feel after using them. When I was growing up amongst two smokers I was top of the class in primary school many times. I had another girl up there with me who used to pass me out sometimes so this used to drive me on to beat her very much. I also had two other brothers who were highly intelligent and did very well throughout their lives.
Where my own kids were concerned who grew up amongst passive smoking I took a huge interest in their education and I encouraged them extremely well. Some of them are still in college and I have one girl who has now been offered a place in Trinity College to do her masters in medical physics and I have another daughter who has just recently got a letter from her college praising her on the brilliant high marks she achieved this year. I would do anything in the world to educate my kids and I know many families who couldn't care less. Which is better Jamie? To smoke and bring out the best in your kids or not be a smoker who has no interest? (Note that I am not encouraging people here to smoke either - I'm just weighing things up)
Don't also be fooled into thinking that mothers aren't smoking. I have met many women who have said that they don't smoke outside the home in front of people in case they will be judged. And they admit that they smoke at home instead. There are other mothers who make the effort yet have reported that they had intense cravings throughout their pregnancy. What effect I wonder do these cravings and longings for cigarettes also have on the baby Jamie? As a very experienced carrier of children myself I believe you can also transfer thoughts and feelings to babies in the womb. How many people talk to their babies and play music to them ect? If a mother is more relaxed and happy having a few smokes throughout their pregnancy, surely this is better than a mother who is uptight and tense without them.
I'm also confused as to why you think smoking is such a dirty habit. What is so dirty about it? I never looked on smoking as dirty even when I wasn't smoking. The cigarette you take out of the packet is fine and clean, you light it, place it on your lips, blow smoke and top the ashes into an ashtray. What's so dirty about that??
|Jamie Posted: 03/10/2012 18:18|
Here's a question you should ask your daughter who does medical physics in Trinity. Ask her is passive smoking bad for you. Then ask her is smoking bad for you. To answer your question "To smoke and bring out the best in your kids or not be a smoker who has no interest?" The answer is obvious. To both be a non smoker and take an interest. The reason I consider it a dirty habit is simple. Never mind the cigarette butts everywhere, the ash, the act of inhaling smoke directly into the lungs, the dirt it puts on walls, yellow fingers, the stale smell it leave in houses, the smell it leaves on clothes, hair etc because in my experience smokers don't notice all that, but, here's a picture you should look at: http://sdfs.ucps.k12.nc.us/images/Lungs.htm You can google image "smokers lung" and you'll find 100's of similar images of black lungs.
|Angel Posted: 03/10/2012 22:25|
Jamie, my daughter has already told me that smoking is a contributory factor in disease and has also said that her teachers admit that passive smoking will be near to impossible to prove. Nothing is certain yet.
I typed in smoking lungs + pictures and I saw that they were making comparisons to city non-smoker lungs. It's amazing how well a city smokers lungs looked because on another site a question was asked Is passive smoking worse than car fumes and the answer was that car fumes were far worse. So it is extraordinary how well those lungs looked. Then to see these lungs you have to have a person who died who lived in the city and a smoker who also died. How do we know that these pictures are real? Are you actually allowed to take these dead people's lungs and display them in this way? How do I know that the pictures haven't been tampered with to make the smokers lung look worse? None of us know the real truth of anything that is written down on paper. The only way to see anything is for an individual to see it right there in front of their noses and even this still poses questions such as what was the lifestyle of the individual, what materials was the person working with, what food and drink did he consume ect. People are asking more and more questions Jamie and that is because we have been put into such a bad recession. Everyone wants to know what went wrong so now they question everything and that can only be a good thing. What was true before in lots of areas will not be the truth for tomorrow hopefully.
A lot of what you talk about where you see smoking as dirty Jamie is hygiene. Smokers are getting a little bit better putting their butts into the bins provided as is many people about rubbish in general anyway. A room that is well-ventilated will have very little smoke-smells. Cleaning walls and furniture a bit more often because you smoke could eliminate a lot more germs around the place as well. If I and others have to change their clothes and wash their hair more often - again that is a very good and healthy thing too. I've smoked for over 30 years and I have no yellow fingers. This is down to the way you hold the cigarette most of the time and of course I wash myself very often. Many of us go to the dentist more often and brush our teeth more often as well so your image of every smoker looking unhygienic is totally untrue. If you have a problem looking at ashes then you must also have a problem with an uncleaned fireplace. All you have to do is keep cleaning them Jamie. Also where a room is concerned Jamie, I would much rather it smelled of smoke than some of those vile disgusting horrible smelling air-fresheners that are on the market now and did you know that if you shake this Shake-and-vac all over your carpet it will smell stale much faster because the powder sinks down to the very end of the carpet and stays where a hoover can't get at. And what does everyone do? They put more Shake-and-Vac on.
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