A new study concluded that children exposed to tobacco smoke at home are up to three times more likely to have attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) as unexposed kids.
The association between secondhand smoke and mental disorders was stronger for kids with one or more hours of secondhand smoke exposure every day, the authors found. And the results still held true when researchers accounted for parents’ mental health and other factors.
“We showed a significant and substantial dose-response association between (secondhand smoke) exposure in the home and a higher frequency of global mental problems,” the authors write in Tobacco Control, March 2015.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two of every five children in the US are exposed to secondhand smoke regularly.
During 2011 – 2012, a National Health Interview Survey, in which parents of 2,357 children ages four to 12 reported the amount of time their children were exposed to secondhand smoke every day.
The parents also filled out questionnaires designed to evaluate their children’s mental health. According to the results, about eight percent of the kids had a probable mental disorder.
About 7% of the kids were exposed to secondhand smoke for less than one hour per day, and 4.5% were exposed for an hour or more each day.
After taking the parent’s mental health, family structure and socioeconomic status into consideration, children who were exposed to secondhand smoke for less than one hour per day were 50% more likely to…