We all know we shouldn't smoke, and we definitely know that expectant moms shouldn't smoke, but here's one more reason...
We all know we shouldn't smoke, and we definitely know that expectant moms shouldn't smoke, but here's one more reason to kick the habit if you're pregnant (or plan to become pregnant): Your future child might be more likely to become a criminal if you smoke during pregnancy. A new study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found that people whose moms were heavy smokers -- more than 20 cigarettes per day -- while pregnant had a greater chance of being arrested during their lives than people whose moms didn't smoke during pregnancy. In fact, a lot more likely -- 31% more likely. Wow! It gets worse. Those born to moms who smoked during pregnancy were 47% more likely to commit repeat offenses. When I first read about this, I immediately jumped to the conclusion that there was a huge correlation between children born to moms who smoked during pregnancy and socioeconomic status. Statistically, children who grow up in poverty are more likely to commit (or become victims of) crime. Because there is a relationship between smoking and economic status, this was my first thought. However, the researchers found that the correlation was still present when they controlled for socioeconomic status. Is there a definitive link?
Dr Angela Paradis, of Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, who led the study, said it was not possible to 'definitively' describe heavy smoking as a cause of adult criminal offending, but the results support a 'modest causal relationship'.
She said there was research evidence showing a biological effect of nicotine on the neurobehavioural pathways of the developing brain. Previous research found a link between exposure to cigarette smoke while in the womb and a higher risk of poor attention span, impulsivity and hyperactivity. Heaviest exposure would have the biggest impact, she added. (Source)
So, while the researchers are unwilling to say there is a definite link, I think this is just one more reason -- among the many -- to quit smoking, especially if you're pregnant.