This is for the first time a study has been done to show the relation between child behavioral problems and pregnant ladies' exposure to secondhand smoke. The study constituted of more than 600 pairs of mother-child in Jintan, China and the research was headed by Jianghong Liu, associate professor of nursing at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Nursing.
As a part of study, the researchers questioned mothers to go back in time of their pregnancy days and recall as to how many times were they exposed to second hand smoke. Along with this, the children were examined and checked for the behavioral problems they encounter at the age of 5 and 6 years.
At the end of survey, 37 percent of women were reported of being exposed to second hand smoke during pregnancy. And out of these 25 percent of children were reported to have behavior problems and on the other hand only 16 percent of children had behavioral problems whose mothers were not exposed to secondhand smoking.
Since the study was done in China, the chances of women in the practice of smoking was ruled out .This is because smoking by Chinese women is highly stigmatized. Though a small probability of women with smoking habit was not completely ruled out.
Also on checking the data of fathers of these children, more than three-quarters of the fathers had given up smoking habit but resumed the habit after child birth.
The study only took into account the effect of second hand smoking on child before his birth. The effect of the same after the child is born was not accounted in the reports shared after the survey. Though according to Liu smoking near a baby does has harmful effect on his health.
Other factors that might account for behavioral changes among children are parents’ history of psychological problems, mother’s age at time of childbirth, gender of the child and levels of lead in the blood.
Another set of study, published in the journal NeuroToxicology, shows that the tobacco products from China contain three times more heavy metals like lead, cadmium and arsenic as compared to the tobacco products found in Canada