smoker(138546)Credit: Marcel Aniceto


Research done by the Harvard School of Public Health has determined that children exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes are exposed to  a 50% greater risk of acquiring ADHD,  as well as other learning and behavioral disabilities.  Such figures seem to suggest that tobacco smoke in the home is a contributing factor to over a quarter of a million children in the United States acquiring attention deficit disorder.

What is ADHD?

The disorder is  fairly common among children of school age, affecting approximately 8% to 10% of them. Boys are three times more likely than girls to have such a disorder. Such children with this problem are generally hyperactive, have trouble focusing, and tend to act impulsively.

What are the Effects of Secondhand Smoke?

It has long been considsered to be a contributing factor to cancer. It's known that tobacco smoke and smoke filled environmets are linked to lung cáncer, as well other kinds of cancers. It is also believed to be  linked to  leukemia, respiratory disorders, and ear infections in children. Studies now suggest that it may be linked to increased risk for ADHD and other learning and behavioral disabilities in children, as well.

What is the Link between Exposure to a Smoky Environment and the Attention Related Disabilities?

Harvard research determined that about 6% of children ages 11 and younger are habitually exposed to tobacco smoke within their homes. This would be approximately five million children in the United States who are at risk due to smoky home environments.

The Harvard study determined that children living in homes of smokers were diagnosed with learning disabilities 8.2 % of the time. Children exposed to the tobacco smoke from within there home environments were diaagnosed withADHD approximately 6% of the time.

In conclusion, researchers and medical professionals believe that smoke-free homes should be encouraged. Some even encourage pediatricians and emergency room doctors to report parents who smoke to authorities if their children develop illnesses or disorderes caused by secondhand smoke.