Secondhand Smoke Blunts Learning!

Secondhand Smoke Blunts Learning!

At the May 2002 meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies, researchers from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital reported their research showing that secondhand smoke damages learning abilities, weakening general reasoning, math, and especially reading.

They measured cotinine levels (a nicotine byproduct) in thousands of children. On average, the higher the cotinine levels, the worse the test scores. The effect was seen in children whose levels reflect a small exposure – such as living with one parent smoking less than a pack a day.

An estimated 13 million children in the US are exposed to enough tobacco smoke to affect their learning.

Smoking only when the child is not home reduces tobacco exposure only slightly. Only smoking outside lowers the risk much more – especially if the parent wears a sweater or jacket while smoking that is removed before coming indoors.

Children deserve to learn about our world without an adult-created mental fog.

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is the founder of (cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”), a practicing pediatrician, father of four, & author of Raising Baby Green & Feeding Baby Green. He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, & the Dr. Oz Show.

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