It is common knowledge that smoking and secondhand smoke can lead to chronic lung diseases such as lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A new study from Spain has shown an association between the exposure to secondhand smoke and the mental health of children. Parents of children aged four to twelve answered questionnaires to determine the mental health of the parents and children, the family structure, and socioeconomic structure. Researchers discovered that exposure to less than an hour of secondhand smoke on a daily basis can increase a child’s likelihood of developing a mental disorder, especially attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Children exposed to secondhand smoke for an hour or more each day were three times more likely to have ADHD than children in a smoke-free environment. Authors stress that the research is in the early stages and cannot prove causation. How often do you approach the topic of smoking cessation with your patients?
For more information, please see Reuters Health.
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