Smoking While Pregnant is Proven Worse Than Feared

Babies do not Mix with Smoking

Babies that are born to mothers who smoked during the pregnancy suffer substantial delays in early neurological development, and a new study found that the effects on the baby may be stronger than researchers previously thought.

The study, published in the Journal of Human Capital, included 1,600 children and other subjects from health clinics in Argentina, Brazil and Chile, making it one of the largest studies of prenatal smoking and neurodevelopment. The data was collected by interviewing mothers about their smoking habits and reviewing the results of neurological screening and cognitive tests on the children.

Babies whose mothers smoked during pregnancy are as much as 40 percent more likely to suffer from developmental problems between the ages of 3 months and 24 months, the study found. The effects were the most significant among the poorest families, researchers found.

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