21 July 2006

Maternal smoking

Children whose mothers smoked during late pregnancy are more likely to take up the habit as teenagers. Smoking during late pregnancy and continuing as the children grew up influenced smoking in teenagers. Maternal smoking during pregnancy has a direct biological effect on the foetal brain.

In addition, the likelihood of teenagers taking up smoking could be assessed from as early as five years and is predicted by looking at a range of problems. The most significant risk factors at the age of five, including family, social and child risk factors are maternal smoking and alcohol use, being unmarried, having a partner who had ever been arrested, having four or more children, child aggression at five years.

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