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Secondhand smoke boosts kids' ADHD, learning disability risks
July 11th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

Secondhand smoke boosts kids' ADHD, learning disability risks

Two new studies from the American Academy of Pediatrics look at how exposure to secondhand smoke affects American youths'  learning behaviors and their attitudes toward smoking.

The first found that children exposed to secondhand smoke in the home had a 50% increased risk of developing two or more childhood neurobehavioral disorders compared with children who were not exposed at home.

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and the Tobacco Free Research Institute in Dublin, Ireland used  2007 data from the CDC and the National Center for Health Statistics. They estimated that nearly 5 million children younger than 12 are exposed to secondhand smoke at home and up to 8% of them – or more than 274,000 children – suffer from learning disabilities like ADHD and other behavioral disorders.

“[The findings] underscore the health burden of childhood neurobehavioral disorders that may be attributable to secondhand smoke exposure in homes in the States,” the study authors concluded. “This is particularly significant with regard to the potential burden of pediatric mental health care on an overextended health care system, a problem that could be dramatically reduced if voluntary smoke-free home policies were widely adopted,” they added.

The annual medical cost associated with treating a child with a neurobehavioral disorder is about $14,576 per individual, or a national  total of about $9.2 billion each year, the report found.

On a more positive note, a second study looked at children 8 to 13 who lived in households with at least one adult smoker, and found that those who described the smell of cigarette smoke as “unpleasant” or “gross” were 78% less likely to start the habit than 8- to 13-year-olds who had a more passive reaction to the smell.

“Experiencing secondhand smoke as 'unpleasant or gross' is protective against smoking susceptibility, suggesting that it may reflect a mechanism for targeted prevention efforts,” the authors say.

Still, a recent report from the National Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse found that nine out of 10 people who meet the clinical criteria for substance abuse began smoking, drinking or using other drugs before they turned 18, and that this is a big concern in teens as they are more likely to try risky things while their brains are still developing.

Experts say setting a good example by not smoking and getting more involved in your child’s activities are among the many things parents can do to help prevent children from smoking.

Teenagers also tend to be vain, and parents are encouraged to highlight some of the negative effects of smoking, like bad breath and bad skin.

The American Lung Association also provides a list of tips for parents on how to talk to children about smoking and to help them quit if they have already started.

CNN's Sabriya Rice contributed to this report.


soundoff (198 Responses)
  1. CraigB

    Why then, with less people smoking than in the past, is the number of case og ADHD increasing. This is all a bunch of mumbo jumbo from the anti smoking group and a way to get more dollars. Look at the tacts people!

    July 11, 2011 at 11:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • GoodAdvice

      You have no real sense of time, do you?

      July 11, 2011 at 12:15 | Report abuse |
    • NTMBH

      Becasue this is not the ONLY contributing factor of ADHD.

      July 11, 2011 at 12:16 | Report abuse |
    • mango

      Smoking isn't the only possible cause of ADHD. It just so happens that children exposed to second hand smoke are 50% more likely to have ADHD. Take a statistics course or something, no one is saying smoking causes ADHD. They are saying there is correlation which means we should look into whether or not smoking causes ADHD in any way.
      And btw most Anti-Smoking groups are non-profit. They are only trying to help. They shouldn't even have to tell people smoking is stupid and bad for you but they keep trying because they actually care about people's health.
      For all I care they can keep killing themselves off but unfortunately their bad habits hurt the innocent people around them too and we can't have that now can we?

      July 11, 2011 at 12:19 | Report abuse |
    • sardukar

      ..and they say pot is bad for you...and illegal....

      July 11, 2011 at 12:31 | Report abuse |
    • Meki60

      So now moronic children can blame it on the tobac cos. What a convenient way to displace the blame from yourself (irresponsible parent of misbehaving kids) ot someone else. Really poor!

      July 11, 2011 at 12:44 | Report abuse |
    • Pat Herrmann

      let me guess...you are a smoker?

      July 11, 2011 at 13:07 | Report abuse |
    • Yeah But?

      it didnt' say that secondhand smoke is the ONLY factor contributing to ADHD, just possibly one which is probaby correct

      July 11, 2011 at 15:54 | Report abuse |
    • Jodi

      CraigB – second that! If second hand smoke causes ADD, then Europe and Asia where huge number of people smoke, would have big spike in ADD - however, looks like US has ADD problem instead!

      July 11, 2011 at 18:12 | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You really don't know how to read, do you?

      July 11, 2011 at 19:15 | Report abuse |
    • mouselol

      I have an ingenious idea....everyone friggen quit smoking!!! There problem solved.
      Don't tell me it can't be done. I'm an ex-smoker so I know it's possible. I have a guy in my office, who's mother increased her smoking while pregnant (stupid thing to do by the way) and he's been smoking for over 20 years. He quit 2 months ago with the help of the patch and the nicotine mints. There are times where he wants a smoke so bad he's in the conference room in the fetal position rocking back and forth, but he still won't have one. I am extreemly proud of him and know what he is going through.
      I've lost one aunt to lung cancer, one aunt to throat cancer, my grandfather to lung cancer, my grandmother to colorectal cancer, my mother lost her bladder to cancer last year. I've lost a friend to lung cancer and one friend now has copd. It doesn't take a boulder on my head to see that this can and will kill you if you keep going. I've seen what it does to you first hand, and no, it doesn't always happen to someone else. Everyone quit now, before it's too late...the end result, I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

      July 12, 2011 at 08:13 | Report abuse |
    • Larry051967

      If there is a funding source for ADHD then the number of new cases will increase. It's diagnosis by dollars.

      July 12, 2011 at 10:32 | Report abuse |
    • H.J. Huney

      This study seems fatally flawed. The reality of the matter is that smoking is looked down upon by people with higher income levels. Smokers are becoming increasing concentrated among lower and lower-middle income households. It even goes beyond income levels, with people in more urban environments more likely to look down upon it. Perhaps most importantly, people with higher level degrees are much less likely to smoke than people who never graduate high school or who only have a high school diploma.

      In other words, the basic demographic elements of smokers vs. non-smokers are probably very different, with non-smokers more likely to be educated, well-off, and urban. Smokers are more likely to be less educated and lower income. As such, it shouldn't be any real shock that the former group of households would be less at risk for "ADHD" than the latter group. "ADHD" is just another word for 'letting your kid do whatever they want, so that their attention span falls to virtually zero.'

      July 13, 2011 at 15:14 | Report abuse |
    • John

      So Craig keep smoking around your children if you have any and family and slowly destroy their health. It's not about ADHD it's about you as a smoker harming the people around you. Oh and yes I did smoke but the day our child was born 11 years ago I stoped. If you smoke in the home around children you are realy a great dad ! Or maybe a real jerk.

      July 16, 2011 at 10:12 | Report abuse |
  2. Conrad Shull

    It's obvious ADHD is caused by research. The more research into it, the higher the prevalence.

    July 11, 2011 at 11:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ABB123

      HAHAHA- that is the best comment so far. you're funny :)

      July 11, 2011 at 12:58 | Report abuse |
    • Jodi

      Great observation! LOL!

      July 11, 2011 at 18:13 | Report abuse |
    • Robin

      That was funny – thanks. I have a child with ADHD which is NOT a learning disorder but a behavioral one as the article was a bit iffy on that. Now, my son ALSO has a non-verbal learning disability that is not related to his ADHD. Yes, I also smoked in the home until recently and my son is 14.

      Did I cause my son's ADHD and non-verbal learning disability by smoking in the home? Smoking while pregnant?

      It may have been a contributing factor but there is a history of Dyslexia in my family and ADHD and reading disabilities in his father's family. It is what it is – I can't undo it and I've done everything in my power to advocate for my son. He's a great kid, going into high school reading (although not writing) at almost grade level and using technology effectively (when pushed) to overcome his weaknesses. It is good to have this information for future reference but it does nothing to help those of us who already feel responsible in one way or another for our childrens' difficulties.

      July 11, 2011 at 18:50 | Report abuse |
    • mouselol

      Not to be a biotch Robin, but smoking while you were pregnant, was the dumbest, most irresponsible thing any soon to be mother could ever do. (Drinking copious amounts of alcohol ties for first place in the stupidity factor while pregnant) Not only do you deprive your unborn child of oxygen during your pregnancy which affects their brain, cigarettes have hundreds to chemicals which cross the placental barrier. So basically you poisoned your child several times a day every day with toxic chemicals when your job was to protect this child. Never mind the fact that this poor baby was addicted to smoking by the time he was born and then had to go through withdrawl afterwards...No wait a minute, you smoked in the house after he was born, so you nailed him with second had smoke afterwards. That is the same as child abuse because your child cannot get away from it. If ADHD and second hand smoke do have links, then yes you did it to your child. Congrats, you're the mother of the year!

      July 12, 2011 at 09:29 | Report abuse |
  3. smokingkidsdie

    Smokers love to suck bu tts. They are loosers and are weak minded individuals compensating for their oral fixations. Smoking is a guarenteed cancer and should be ruled non coverage for health insurance policies. Why should I pay higher premiums for idiotic behaviors of weak minded people.

    July 11, 2011 at 11:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Matt

      Have you finished 9th grade? Not all smokers get cancer, just like not all non-smokers live cancer free.

      July 11, 2011 at 12:01 | Report abuse |
    • George

      Whine, whine, whine. I'm sure there are things that you do to put your health at risk and we will all pay for that too you moron.

      July 11, 2011 at 12:53 | Report abuse |
    • JustEric

      - Losers
      – Weak-minded
      – Guaranteed
      – "Non coverage" = ineligible?
      – Weak-minded

      Also, "smoking is a guarenteed [sic] cancer" should probably be something like "smoking guarantees cancer." While factually inaccurate, it's at least more grammatically correct.

      Grade: F-

      Please see me after class.

      Signed,

      A "weak-minded" smoker

      July 11, 2011 at 12:54 | Report abuse |
    • ABB123

      While it's obviously bad for you, give me a break. I have to pay for the like 75 percent of people in this country who are so disgustingly obese yet they continue to gouge their faces with cheeseburgers. My insurance is much higher due to their nasty fatness.

      July 11, 2011 at 13:00 | Report abuse |
    • James L.

      You may have a point. The flip side of the problem is that they say people who quit smoking get fat. Now, Mrs. Obama says that fat people get sick more and jack up health bills. So, Mr. Obama says that if that is the case let's tax sugared drinks and fast foods. With higher taxes on cigarettes or stuff that makes non-smokers fat and sick, Obama will have lots of tax money to spend. Go figure.

      July 11, 2011 at 13:45 | Report abuse |
    • Jujubeans

      then why don't you push to outlaw it, dingbat!

      July 11, 2011 at 17:30 | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      I'm a non-smoker and I agree. I have suffered from the effects of second-hand smoke my whole life. Dizziness, headaches and nausea. And why...just so some self-centered person can feed their addiction to nicotine? Most of the smokers that I've met tend to be very selfish. Knowing this I doubt that this article will have very little impact them. And I do think they should either be denied insurance or at the very least have to pay double for engaging in such a disease causing activity.

      July 12, 2011 at 00:05 | Report abuse |
  4. Matt

    Why is there more ADHD than there was 50 or 100 years ago? Well lets see. Today kids have cell phone, computers, TV, video games, iPods, and dozens of other things to take their attention away. It has nothing to do with smoking.

    July 11, 2011 at 11:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mango

      also there's a difference between clinical ADHD and just being distracted by toys

      July 11, 2011 at 12:26 | Report abuse |
    • D

      Maybe because it's only been called ADHD since 1987?

      July 11, 2011 at 12:32 | Report abuse |
    • Pat Herrmann

      Do just a little bit of research. ADD was not really even recognized until the mid-eighties, and it took years for the condition to be known to the general public: media, books, support groups, drugs developed, etc. My son was an early diagnosed child in 1986 and there was virtually no help- and I was in a major urban area- San Francisco. The condition may be linked to various environmental causes which did not exist 100s of years ago....or maybe not. Obviously you cannot be diagnosed with something that has not yet been identified...and obviously more people will be diagnosed once the condition is known and there is general knowledge. And guess what? My late husband ( he died of stroke related issues linked to his smoking) SMOKED heavily. I suggest you do just a little research before you make statements that are- sorry, incorrect, off-base, etc. When you have dealt personally with such issues and watched your child struggle because of it- and the lack of understanding and knowledge of others- it is upsetting to say the least. AND- those tech items you mention actually help concentration- my son was riveted when watching TV and video games. Outside of that a fly buzzing by could distract him. Sorry, you are clueless when it comes to this subject.

      July 11, 2011 at 13:20 | Report abuse |
    • Jujubeans

      Because doctors just recently gave a name to what we used to call "spoiled brats"

      July 11, 2011 at 17:31 | Report abuse |
  5. PthyMcGee

    The more research into ANYTHING yields a higher incident rate. You folks should learn some basic math before whining about the anti-smoking lobby.

    July 11, 2011 at 11:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Matt

      New research doesn't always lead to a higher incident rate. That's a false blanket statement.

      July 11, 2011 at 12:03 | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      Very False.

      That's peddling an agenda, "if we do more research, we'll find more cases!" More research can lead to a better refinement an definition of ADHD, or it could be a big dollar sign for doctors who essentially get paid for the more children they "diagnose" with such a disorder.

      Anyways, if this was a causation then we would see a decline since there has been a decline in smokers over the last decade and ADHD has been defined well enough since 2001. Clearly has not been the case. Doctors are people too, and some people put money over morals. Is it really too hard to believe doctors wouldn't either?

      July 11, 2011 at 13:06 | Report abuse |
  6. mk

    I don't know if this study is valid or not, but the kids that I can think of that have ADHD and are on meds have at least one parent who smokes. One SIL has three kids and one of them is on meds, mom smokes. Another SIL has four kids and two are on meds, mom and dad smokes. Another kid I know is not on meds but most definitely should be, mom smokes.

    July 11, 2011 at 12:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jujubeans

      well, that proves it then!

      July 11, 2011 at 17:32 | Report abuse |
  7. Woobie

    I worked in the psychiatric field for 10 years. In 1993, MD's WERE NOT allowed to prescribe anti-psychotics without a psychiatrist's recommendation. That all changed when the pharmaceutical companies got this regulation tossed out and they also were able to lobby a new law that allowed commercials for prescription drugs. Then, the supposed leading child doctors got together and started writing articles and conducting studies about how it was "wrong for kids to have hyperactivity." Children are suppose to hyperactive but the medical community deemed it as a symptom of something wrong. Now, people are drugging their kids because the medical community has convince parents that their kids are mentally ill and the parents are buying lifetime supplies of amphetamines and antipsytchotics- both of which cause severe brain damage and future behavioral problems like memory loss, depression and suicide ideation. NO DOCTOR HAS THE GUTS TO REFUTE THIS simply because they can't. – I have an, AS- biology, BA psychopharmacology, MA – psychiatric social work.

    July 11, 2011 at 12:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mango

      No doctor wants to refute this. Stop trolling about like all the doctors are conspiring against us for money. Many doctors agree that this course of action was wrong and needs to be stopped entirely. You don't have to be a sensationalist about this.

      July 11, 2011 at 12:21 | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      I think woobie is more on the dollar than you think. A pill you have to take daily to "suppress a BAD behavior" is big money for a pharmaceutical Company.

      July 11, 2011 at 13:11 | Report abuse |
    • booby

      Listen, you are wrong. Untreated ADHD kids' frontal lobes are 6-10% smaller than normal...however, if the ADHD kid gets treatment (the dangerous awful drugs you were referring to) they are the same as normal! Look it up.

      Forcing someone, a child or an adult, to live without the dopamine you take for granted is just cruel and ignorant. It's a real disorder. Do your research.

      September 1, 2011 at 00:48 | Report abuse |
  8. Brian

    Can anybody here name 2 or 3 people who have died from secondhand smoke? Or who developed ADHD from it?

    July 11, 2011 at 12:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ann

      No, but I know a girl who has asthma because of it and who now will have an attack come on if she is exposed to cigarette smoke.

      July 11, 2011 at 12:23 | Report abuse |
    • MGB

      Both my parents smoked in the house while growing up, and I have had symptoms of attention deficit as long as I can remember. I have to agree with the article. I don't smoke because my parents did.

      July 11, 2011 at 12:44 | Report abuse |
    • caryn

      I can name many who have died from second hand smoke – Can I name any who it might have contributed to ADHD? It is possible that I know of 1 or 2. If you are going to smoke just don't smoke around young children.

      July 11, 2011 at 12:53 | Report abuse |
    • Yeah But?

      I know two women who died from secondhand smoke. they were waittresses who worked around cafes in the old days but never smoked themselves just breathed the customers' smoke

      July 11, 2011 at 15:56 | Report abuse |
  9. ann

    I don't think this study shows any direct correlation between smoking and ADHD. That being said, I don't think anyone needs any extra reasons not to smoke around children.

    Even if you are lucky and the child makes it to adulthood without any noticeable negative effects, often the worst affect is that more of them are likely to adopt the habit because of a parent/grandparent etc.

    My husband dips because his grandpa dips. He now hates it and has tried to quit multiple times. My cousin likewise smoked because my grandfather did up to and including getting a pipe and the same brand of tobacco (which is not the easiest to find) and rolling cigarettes by hand.

    Also if anyone says that smoking cannot hurt a child, they have not met my friend who has asthma as a direct result of her mothers smoking (doctor said this was the reason). She regularly has to go to the hospital because she cannot breath and cannot be around smokers unless she wants an asthmatic attack to occur.

    July 11, 2011 at 12:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. guesty

    Second hand smoke also give me acne and makes me aggrivated, must be something to do with it effecting hormones.

    July 11, 2011 at 12:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • guesty

      here is something interesting http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20025583

      I think what happens is the chemical or a chemical in the cigarette excretes the thyroid stuff. Must give the smoker a rush maybe thats why it in there or it could be in the tobacco naturaly.

      I suggest if your smart and care to to do your own research and do a report on this, I cant do everything for you.

      (geusty flies away)

      July 11, 2011 at 12:59 | Report abuse |
  11. Punex

    Being gay is also a result of bad parenting. Ya'll need to go to church more.

    July 11, 2011 at 12:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. WDinDallas

    Man, the next annoucement will be that secondhand smokes makes kids gay. I am sure it already is linked to Global Warming (or Climate Change as they say today).

    July 11, 2011 at 12:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Alex

    What a crock of an article.

    Where's the causation? If this was the case, there would be a DECLINE in ADHD since there has been a DECLINE in smoking over the last decade. Maybe parents who smoke, take more "breaks" away from their kids (allowing the kids to run loose), or if smoking in front of their kids are not paying attention well enough and that is giving the signal to the kid that they can get away with more and that develops into "ADHD". It could be a myriad of things causing this correlation but certainly not a causation.

    Either way, too many kids are being diagnosed with ADHD these days for the more pathetic reasons. If all sources of entertainment were not mere seconds from getting satisfactions, maybe the kids would learn a virtue very few have today:
    Patience...

    July 11, 2011 at 12:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. ann

    My In-laws house that they lived in for 3 years had enough yellow stuff on the walls to make them several shades darker than the wall behind the pictures they had hanging on the wall. Likewise the TV they gave us was coated in dark yellow sticky stuff. Now think about it, what does dark yellow sticky stuff do to lungs in little babies over an extended period? If your lucky the kids immune system tries to get rid of it, if you arent.....

    July 11, 2011 at 13:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. FoReals

    ADD/ADHD is a blanket diagnosis for dozens of different learning disorders, that are not properly classified. I've been diagnosed with ADD, but that could mean many different things. I don't know 100% what the issue is, but the medication I take makes life a lot better for me. Without it I couldn't hold my job, or go to school, or manage my finances. Again, I don't know what it is, but I cannot function in today's society without it.

    July 11, 2011 at 13:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. guesty

    (guesty flys back, boy flying is tiring sigh... somebody has to save the day... again)

    Oh by the way I quite smokeing TWICE by useing this system, its cheap and it really works I swear.

    Go to the herb store and buy the herb called lobelia.

    Smoke this herb for three days. Rool the herb in joints.

    Dont smoke your regular cigarettes during this time.

    The day you decide to do this wash all your clothes and linen to get the smell out because iust the smell will effect your mood and may cause a relapse. (dont ask me why).

    AFTER THREE DAYS STOP SMOKING THE LOBELIA AND SMOKE HERBS LIKE KAVA KAVA HOPS AND OTHER HERBS

    This really works, and it works on many levels.

    July 11, 2011 at 13:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Ivan

    Cigarrettes should be reclassified as a schedule III drug like herion and marijuana because it has no medicinal or therapuetic uses. It does nothing but harm. Cigarrettes are a waste. ADHD is increasing because it is properly being identified with the increase of medical access for all folks in modern times. People that deny the effects of cigarrettes are in denial of their shortened lives and death soon to be their reality.

    July 11, 2011 at 13:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • OfReason

      If we're going to say that everything that has no medicinal or therapuetic use be made illegal then we need to ban hamburgers and ho-ho's because fat people shouldn't have access to these things since it contributes to their problem. Freedom is about being able to make choices, not surrendering those rights to the government so they can decide for you. Sheep.

      July 11, 2011 at 13:58 | Report abuse |
    • FoReals

      I personally think we should be able to charge someone with assault for smoking around us...

      July 11, 2011 at 14:02 | Report abuse |
  18. OfReason

    This is pure stupidity. Did the researchers bother to report what neurobehavioral disorders the parents (who happened to be smokers) had? No. Junk science.

    July 11, 2011 at 13:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. father

    bottom line...

    smoking, 2nd hand smoke and/or 3rd hand smoke it bad for a childs delelopment. if you smoke, stay away from kids and dont touch them after your done. a child doesnt have a choice to be exposed to these chemicals so stay away

    July 11, 2011 at 14:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Smoke Free

    The real cause of ADD and ADHD is a disfunctional society. It keeps getting worse and we don't have a pill for stupidity!

    July 11, 2011 at 14:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • FoReals

      It's a chemical imbalance... Society has nothing to do with it.

      July 11, 2011 at 14:20 | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      How is it possible that so many people have "chemical imbalances". After millions of evolutionary years, half the population doesn't the right mix of neurotransmitters in their brain and therefore have depression, anxiety, ADHD, etc... ??? It is a crazy concept with no possibility of being correct. Further, these "conditions" are simply clusters of behaviors. After decades that is the extent that researchers know, certain behaviors cluster together. Not much knowledge!

      July 11, 2011 at 20:07 | Report abuse |
  21. Sally30309

    ADHD is an inherited trait. Perhaps the parent who smokes also has undiagnosed ADHD & is self-medicating.

    July 11, 2011 at 15:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. heather

    For all you ignorant ppl out there that blame poor parenting as a cause of ADHD..you need to check yourself! I have had ADHD my whole life struggling in school and work and my parents are not to blame! They did a good job raising me! My father has it and my grandfather! Its genetic! And as far as smoking goes, a cigarette doesn't make you swerve all over the road and hit ppl like alcohol. Drunk dring is among the top killers and yet there's a bar on every corner!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 11, 2011 at 15:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Paladin908

    I gues I looked at who did the research, the total lack of any sample size with broad sweeping statements and this is another, there may be, if maybe, could be, etc. At least back it up with some hard data. And no, I have never smoked and absolutley love smoking bans in restaurants, bars, etc. Wich they were in all states. Ban it if you like, but then figure out how to replace the tax money for all the programs the states developed based on those taxes. As usual, they use the money for new programs that have nothing to do with the real issue, which is to lower the rate of smokers.

    July 11, 2011 at 15:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. stephen

    Correlation does not necessitate causation. That's one of the most important lessons you learn when using statistics. Experiments would be required to test the validity of the above statements, but that would be highly unethical. Also, ADHD?? It seems like every child has this "disability" nowadays. Maybe, most of these children are not getting adequate levels of actual activity (playing video games, watching tv, and being absolutely sedentary for hours upon hours does not equate to what could be considered active). If ADHD existed back before we decided to put a fun little acronym for it, then it seems like a lot of adults who have ADHD learned to live with it and make it work in their lifestyle. Learning disability is another way of saying a different way of learning. Maybe education shouldn't be so cookie cutter in it's practices... and that goes for medicine as well.

    July 11, 2011 at 16:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Lee

    Yet another idiotic health "study" that miserably fails to have proper controls and falsly asserts a cause and effect when no such distinction can be made via the study. It could be that people with nervous disorders have more ADHD kids and also tend to smoke more cigarettes. Trying to draw a correlation that all they have to do is stop smoking cigarettes and 50% of childhood behavioral issues will go away is simple stupid. People need to understand that these type of studies barely count as science.

    And I'm sure there was more to this but CNN, in a rush to get a sensation out of it probably skipped anything would provide any real knowledge. The most important thing is that a sensational tidbit is put forth that results in lots of mouse clicks.

    CNN quite possibly has the worst health and health sciences section of any online tabloid.

    July 11, 2011 at 20:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Lee

    Further ADHD can hadly be comsidered a "disorder". How is it possible that half the population has "chemical imblanace"? It is likely the result of our very unnatural behaviors. We are a species historically spent most of its time on its feet, exploring, hunting, and gathering. Sitting still in a cubicle in front of an LCD monitor is about as unnatural as it gets. My guess is many of our brains are not hardwired for this kind of lack of stimulation.

    July 11, 2011 at 20:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Wastrel

    Absolute nonsense - anti-smokers playing with statistics. Looked at objectively, there is no proof that 'second-hand smoke' has any effects whatsoever. The pollution of a city street is worse for you.

    July 11, 2011 at 20:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Peyton

    I'm not so sure I buy into this. While it might be legitimate, you have to consider the source.

    Kind of like the federal government telling us all that their "studies" have determined that marijuana has no medical benefit and should be stopped at all, literally all, cost.

    Always consider the source folks.

    July 11, 2011 at 22:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. phil

    As a person who has ADD with a 14 year old son who has ADHD - I'd like to point out that we are not "learning disabled". We excel far beyond other "normal" people in subjects that interest us... So much so in fact, that we're considered brilliant in our professions.

    If we were "learning disabled" then we'd be retarded...or to be politically correct "synaptically challenged".

    July 11, 2011 at 23:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. cmedrs

    Smoking also causes you to grow an arm out of your ass.

    July 12, 2011 at 00:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Christy Gray

    Well I think we can tell who is a smoker! My mother always smoked in the house and in the car and it always made me sick. I picked up the habit myself for a few years but quit after about 8 years. I have adult ADD and it doesn't make me want to smoke.

    July 12, 2011 at 01:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Hannah Banana

    I grew up in a home that both my parnets smoked...my son grew up in a house where I smoked and neither I nor my son has ADHD, what does that tellyou. I'm tired of "studies" that say second hand smoke causes all kinds of problems. I'm a 10 year survivor of breast cancer ...what caused that? I have no family who ever had it and it's suposed to be hereditary...all of this "evidence" is statistical, but it's not people.

    July 12, 2011 at 02:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. cmedrs

    ADD is really caused by something called

    July 12, 2011 at 03:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Mike H

    There are three possibilities that need to be investigated :

    1. The actual exposure to the smoke is what affects children and causes higher chance of adhd.
    2. Genetically, those who are susceptible to being addicted to nicotine are also susceptible to adhd and pass it down through DNA.
    3. People who are irresponsible enough to smoke around children are not good at nurturing children and create a bad developmental environment which increases the risk of adhd.

    July 12, 2011 at 05:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Galant45

      Mike, excellent points. Option. 3 came to my mind as I started to read the article thanks.

      July 12, 2011 at 07:32 | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      There is no evidence that parenting style or ability has anything to do with ADHD.

      July 12, 2011 at 08:47 | Report abuse |
  35. Dammit

    Meanwhile the world at large is still waiting for verifiable evidence that such a thing as ADHD even exists...

    July 12, 2011 at 07:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Meanwhile, the morons of the world continue to ignore all the research that shows that ADHD and ADD are diagnosable and treatable. There, Dammit. I fixed it for you.

      July 12, 2011 at 08:49 | Report abuse |
    • Jangocat

      Yep, the majority of people are gullible and fall for this pharmaceutical scam. Most of the kids drugged up by this scam just need to cut their sugar, exercise, and need discipline. Ever notice these kids have no trouble concentrating on something they're interested in, like a video game? Unfortunately it's easier to drug your kid then be a good parent.

      July 12, 2011 at 11:30 | Report abuse |
  36. rational thinker

    statistics prove nothing how about some scientific research

    July 12, 2011 at 10:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Brian

    Though I am not for smoking, I am confused by the claims made. Do we have causation or correlation? Just because we see a correlation between parents who smoke with having a larger chance of having kids with ADHD does not mean the smoking caused the the problem. Perhaps, parents who themselves have behavior issues will have a larger tendency to smoke. The kids may be having issues because of their parents problems, not because of the smoking.

    July 12, 2011 at 11:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Jangocat

    Another BS study to promote a political agenda. The whole ADHD is BS so the pharmaceuticals can sell drugs. No need for kids to have proper diet and exercise, gotta sell these miracle drugs...

    July 12, 2011 at 11:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Jennifer State

    Regardless of cause, there are plenty of families and children dealing with real issues related to attention problems. My brother had a learning disability, couldn't focus, and was different from the moment he was born. I believe the ADHD info we have available now could have helped him back then... here is the specific info about ADHD that is helping children now: http://www.brainbalancecenters.com/the-truth/adhd/

    July 12, 2011 at 16:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. dakta

    What studies are you quoting here? I would like to read them, and if you could provide the references, I'll look them up.

    July 19, 2011 at 00:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Vera

    The Breast Health and Healing Foundation believes that finding the causes of breast cancer will lead us to prevent this disease. We are trying to fund trials on Dr. Vincent Tuohy's breast cancer vaccine [Cleveland Clinic] which was completely effective at preventing breast cancer in mice that normally get this disease. It also slowed the growth of tumors in the control group of mice. BHHF is also trying to fund Dr. Beatriz Pogo's work on the human mammary tumor virus, which is present in approximately forty percent of all breast cancers! Please donate to BHHF! 40% of your money will go to FUND TUOHY'S VACCINE, 40% will go to FUND the POGO VIRUS, 10% will be spent on EDUCATING THE PUBLIC on BREAST CANCER PREVENTION & 10% will be used to offset administrative costs at BHHF. Send checks to: 36 Newark Avenue, Suite 130, Belleville, New Jersey 07109. Donations can be made via PayPal at http://www.breasthealthandhealing.org. BHHF is a tax-exempt non-profit.

    July 21, 2011 at 13:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. 10monthssmokefree

    I just wanted to point out that although I have been smoke free 10 months and have been re-classified as a Non-smoker by my health insurance company I still get to pay the "smoker" premium since my husband smoke. Those of you going on and on about how you pay more for smokers who do this to themselves need to realize we pay more too. I pay 10% more per year than the non-smoker premium which adds up to about $500 more annually. Have I tried to get my spouse to quit? Yes! Is it difficult to quit? Yes I tried 3 times before I made it this far. Perhaps before you condemn people for something they are addicted to you should try doing some research.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Smoke Free by Accident (Matt)

    I have been a heavy smoker for 20 years, since I was about 10. I have up accidentally so no trauma or stress involved. But that wasn't the case of the few dozen half baked attempts. I guess you need to understand yourself better in order to really WANT to quit.

    I found that writing about my experiences and shame as a smoker has helped me quit.

    My Story: http://www.smokefreebyaccident.com/

    September 6, 2011 at 09:13 | Report abuse | Reply
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  47. jase

    There are many things that are affecting our community these days from drugs to car hoons to young children in school smoking. It is damaging our society with that disgusting smell from the smoke to dangerous health risks. Many people don’t actually realise what the cigarettes do to our health, especially relating to teens. Many people don’t realise that smoking cause’s lung cancer and other more dangerous cancers and illnesses. Macnair (2011) a professional GP stated that there are about almost 43,000 people die just from smoking related cancers and nearly 30,000 die slowly from chronic lung diseases. Teens do not realises that cigarettes contain many products that damage the body like tar, which causes cancer, carbon monoxide which reduces oxygen in the body and nicotine that increases cholesterol. Not many people that the major health risks like cardiovascular disease which hardens the arteries blocking blood flow stated by Macnair, stress, bad health and high blood pressure. The most deaths that are caused from smoking is cancer, in particularly lung cancer. Macnair stated that 90% of lung cancer is caused by smoking. I just hope teens realise the health risks and not fall into peer pressure as they are shortening their life span.
    Also teens tend to forget to think that smoking may not affect them, but actually they do. The Australian government have placed new laws, like not allowing children under 18 to buy cigarettes, no smoking in public areas like beaches and playgrounds. These new laws will definitely change society and the environment

    May 10, 2012 at 21:19 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.