Secondhand Smoke Linked to Learning Disorders

If you’re having trouble quitting smoking, consider this: children exposed to secondhand smoke may be more likely to have neurobehavioral disorders such as ADHD – attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics shows that children who breathe secondhand smoke at home had a 50 percent greater chance of having two of the following three neurobehavioral disorders: ADD or ADHD, a learning disability or a behavioral problem. Boys had a significantly higher risk, the study says.

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health conducted a phone survey that included 55,000 children under the age of 12. Of those, six percent were exposed to second-hand smoke.

Although the study doesn’t prove that secondhand smoke causes learning disabilities, researchers have linked secondhand smoke to sudden infant death syndrome and respiratory diseases.

More people die from lung cancer than any other type of cancer. Nearly 450,000 people die every year from tobacco use, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.

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