The Long-Term Damage Smoking Does to Your Child in the Womb

Although many of you who read my blog daily don't smoke, most of you know someone you love who does, and many of them are parents. Based on an international study, the physical damage smoking can do to children may begin in the womb and last until age 12.

Scientists reviewed health data from some 23,000 children living in eight countries, part of the bigger Pollution and the Young study. Those declining rates of smokers you've heard on the news may ring a bit hollow, considering these disturbing numbers that speak louder than words:

  • Kids whose mothers smoked before they were born were as much as 40 percent more likely to have poor lung functioning than those raised by non-smokers.
  • Children exposed to cigarette smoke after they're born suffered from poor lung functioning by as much as 27 percent of the time.
  • An astonishing 60 percent of children participating in the study had been exposed to smoking before they were born or early on in their young lives.

It's amazing how smokers can rationalize such an unhealthy and obscenely expensive habit that hurts their children for the long run, if not forever. If your friend or loved one decides to quit, however, there are safer solutions than taking a potentially toxic drug.

There's no safer and better way than complete abstinence, and that can tough for anyone. You have the resources on my Web site to learn one of the best and most effective tools to re-enforce new habits and get rid of old addictions: The Emotional Freedom Technique.

American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine February 16, 2006

MSNBC June 20, 2006

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