Smoking During Pregnancy Results in Child Behavioral Problems

In the Medical Tribune June 24, 1999 is an article reporting that New York Researchers have found that women who smoke during pregnancy may increase the chance of their children having certain behavioral disorders. For years there has been a well-established connection between low birth-weight and mothers who smoke. But this new evidence shows the longer term effects of smoking during pregnancy.

The New York study examined 50 people whose mothers smoked 10 or more cigarettes per day during pregnancy and compared them to 97 whose mothers did not smoke. The research showed that sons of smoking mothers were four times more likely to develop a conduct disorder and or behavioral disorders marked by excessive disobedience, aggression and antisocial behavior. Daughters were five times more likely to be drug dependant teenagers.

Previous research also linked smoking mothers to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A 1996 study of 140 boys with ADHD showed 22 percent of the boys with ADHD had mothers who smoked compared with only 8% of those who whose mother didn't smoke.