Tag Archives: cigarettes and children

Lighting Up While Driving Can Be Costly

This week’s tobacco news was filled with history making reports about congress signing off on regulation of tobacco by the FDA.

Many opinions are floating around. Some are in favor of it, while others are against the bill. Then there are those who like the idea but have concerns over the vast loopholes in the legislation.

Another story this week caught our attention. It is not as newsworthy, but on the other hand this story illustrates how the danger of second-hand smoke is making an impact.

In Toronto, Canada a recent law went into effect that regulates driving while under the influence of Tobacco. In the US, Louisiana and Arizona have similar laws, and many states are considering similar rules.

Driver Fined For “Lighting Up” in Car with Kids

The Star.com – June 11, 2009

smoking-while-drivingA women from Vaughan, Toronto, Canada was driving while smoking with three children in the car, all were under the age of eleven. She was stopped and cited under a recent law that took effect the first of the year.

The report did not say what she was fined, but offenders can be fined up to $250 for smoking in vehicles with children under the age of sixteen present.

There have been a handful of other charges, but it seems people are catching on to the effects of second-hand smoke and the dangers to children. Kids are really vulnerable because they absorb more toxins than adults. Their respiratory rates and metabolisms are higher due to their air intake to body weight ratio.

The Ontario Medical Association provided statistics on smoking in cars that is beyond alarming. The concentration from second-hand smoke in a vehicle can be up to twenty-seven percent higher than that of a smoker’s living environment, and up to twenty times higher that the smoke that floated in smoky bars prior to public smoking bans.

Raveena Aulakh, The Star Staff reporter

Smoking and SIDS: The Connection Explained

Like we need one more reason not to smoke, especially during pregnancy.

For the men in the house who create second-hand smoke read about this study.

New science is telling us that the increased risk for SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) among people exposed to nicotine is very real. And very explainable.

Sleep Review magazine is reporting a fascinating study that just came out, detailing why an infant’s ability to respond to oxygen deprivation after birth is dramatically compromised by exposure to nicotine in the womb–even when that exposure is light to moderate.

Picture a baby lying face down in bed. A normal, healthy baby would sense it’s being deprived of vital oxygen, and thus move its head. This is similar to the “flight or flight” response we get when we’re in a dire situation and have to move fast to survive (our body moves without us really thinking about it).

But when a baby has been exposed to the chemical nicotine in the womb, apparently this instinctual arousal mechanism doesn’t work so well. So the baby isn’t quick enough to respond and save his life.SIDS is rare, but it’s one of the most common causes of death in babies between 1 and 12 months of age. Most babies who die of SIDS are between the ages of 2 and 4 months. It can be devastating for a family–what seems like a totally healthy baby suddenly dies during sleep.

We don’t know what causes SIDS, but clearly there are risk factors for it, and smoking is one of them (no, not the baby smoking, but the mother and anyone else in the vicinity). Current studies are looking at possibly a problem in the brain that controls breathing during the first few months of life. But this new study plainly shows how nicotine can kill a much-needed survival mechanism in the early stages of life.

Baby in a CribWhen a baby is born, it’s exposed to low oxygen, which signals the adrenal glands to release chemicals called catecholamines. These catecholamines contain the famous fight or flight hormone adrenaline that tell the baby’s lungs to reabsorb fluid, and to take its first breath. The heart also begins to beat more efficiently. This response mechanism remains in place for a few months after birth (so it’s the adrenal glands that act as the baby’s oxygen sensor).

But under the influence of nicotine, it appears this mechanism becomes dysfunctional. Granted, a baby would normally lose this mechanism in time as the central nervous systems takes over the controls of this critical response, but unfortunately when a baby loses this ability too early in the game of life, the door to SIDS opens.

Yet another reason to blow out the smoke. I know it’s no easy task. But neither is grieving for a lost child.

Source: Dr. Michael J. Breus

This article is cross-posted at Dr. Breus’s Blog, The Insomnia Blog.

Kids Learn to Smoke From Mom

Children with mothers who smoke cigarettes are more likely to be regular marijuana users by early adulthood, a new study suggests.

Part of the link seems to be explained by the fact that children of smokers were more likely to have been rebellious and aggressive as teenagers, the Australian researchers note.

Past studies have found that children of smokers are more likely than their peers to take up the habit themselves; less is known about whether parents’ smoking and drinking habits are related to their children’s marijuana use.

Mom Pregnant and SmokingHowever, many people who use the drug first try it as a teenager, the authors note, and family environment is an important influence on teenagers’ behavior.

Lifestyle Habits Studied

To study the question, Dr Mohammad Reza Hayatbakhsh of the University of Queensland in Brisbane and associates used data from a project that began following a group of pregnant women in Brisbane between 1981 and 1983.

The women had completed questionnaires on their health and lifestyle habits – including smoking and drinking – while they were pregnant, and at several other points as their children grew up.

The researcher then evaluated nearly 3200 of these women’s offspring who were 21 years old, and had been followed since birth. The findings are published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

In general, the study found that children who were exposed to their mothers’ smoking as teenagers were twice as likely as their peers to be frequent marijuana users at age 21.

Children of Smokers also Smoke

The children of smokers were also more likely to start smoking cigarettes by age 14.

Further analysis found a relationship between maternal drinking and child marijuana, but further analysis indicated this relationship was not statistically significant.

Early smoking has been linked to a higher likelihood of marijuana use, explained lead study author Hayatbakhsh told Reuters Health.

A “simple message” from these results is that young people’s substance abuse is often a “consequence of the learning process.”

“Children who are exposed to parents’ smoking cigarettes may learn this behaviour.”

“In other words,” Hayatbakhsh said, “parents…who continue to smoke cigarettes during the development of the child not only put themselves at risk of health problems, but also may play as a role model for the children who live with them.”

– (Amy Norton/Reuters Health)

SOURCE: American Journal of Epidemiology, September 1, 2007.

Dangers of Secondhand Smoke Around Children

Myth: Children aren’t affected by secondhand smoke.

It’s okay to smoke in the presence of your kids so long as you don’t blow the smoke in their face and open a window.

The same goes for smoking around your pregnant partner, or a pregnant friend.

Have you ever heard this rationalization for smoking around expecting mothers, infants, and small children?

If you have here are some eye opening facts!

Truth About Smoking Around Children

child.jpgExposing a child to secondhand smoke is a form of child abuse.

Although secondhand smoke is dangerous to everyone who comes in contact with it, fetuses, infants, and children are at greatest risk.

This is because secondhand smoke can damage developing organs, such as lungs and brain.

Please think twice before smoking in the presence of an expecting mother, or around children.

Cigarettes are Carcinogenic Cocktails

“Cigarettes are carcinogenic cocktails, containing unknown amounts of harmful and addictive substances.

Tobacco is a deadly product, period.

Congress should give the FDA the authority to regulate it — and the power to protect our kids.”

The Charlotte Observer, 08/26/2007

Deadly Cigarette Cocktail There is a lot of controversy over how to regulate Big Tobacco and outlaw all the addictive chemicals that they add to cigarettes.

Not only is smoking bad for the smoker, but we often forget about the health risks of those exposed to secondhand smoke.

Also research has shown that children whose parents smoke are more susceptible to addiction along with all the health risks they are subjected to. Subjecting children to second-hand smoke could be classified as a form of abuse if you really think about it.

It is not much different than making your child consume a little poison each day.