Study Finds Secondhand Smoke Can Harm Newborn Brain Development

A new study concludes that exposure to secondhand smoke can harm the developing brain of newborns. Researchers found exposure to active or secondhand smoke affected newborn babies’ ability to inhibit stimuli that can harm the central nervous system, according to HealthDay.

The study, published in Early Human Development, included 282 healthy babies, who were examined two to three days after birth. The study found 22 percent of the mothers smoked during pregnancy, while 6 percent were exposed to passive smoke. Babies exposed to secondhand smoke had poor motor development. Those exposed to active smoking were less able to regulate motor and sensory behavior.

“Newborns who have had intrauterine exposure to nicotine, whether in an active or passive way, show signs of being more affected in terms of their neurobehavioural development,” researchers Josefa Canals and Carmen Hernández said in a press release.

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