Secondhand Smoke and ADHD - Exposure During Pregnancy May Lead to ADHD in Children

You know you're not supposed to smoke if you want to achieve optimum health. You know that smoking while you're pregnant can cause serious birth defects in your child. What you might not know is that exposure to second-hand smoke may lead to ADHD in your child.


ADHD stands for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. A developmental disorder that impacts neurological function, ADHD is a misunderstood and controversial disorder. Children with ADHD are often difficult children. They have trouble staying on task and paying attention, they are frequently and easily distracted, they have trouble remembering and difficulty controlling themselves. They are impulsive and often very hyperactive. For these reasons, children with ADHD often fall behind other children in school and are prone to get into trouble.

A recent study funded by the National Institute of Health has shown that mothers who allowed themselves exposure to second-hand smoke while carrying their child were more likely to have children with symptoms of psychological problems such as ADHD than women who avoided smoking. A lot of parents, desperate for a means of controlling their children, turn quickly to prescription drugs without considering alternative options.

These decisions are potentially harmful to children as these same solutions may be causing problems, and the thing children exposed to second-hand smoke as infants don't need is more chemicals impeding on their health.

The Problem with Pharmaceuticals

Ritalin is a popular solution for ADHD. It works as a central nervous stimulant that activates the brain stem arousal system as well as the cortex. Ritalin works in ways similar to the illicit drug, cocaine. According to, the short-term side effects include nervousness, insomnia, poor eating or loss of appetite, headache, changes in blood pressure, alterations in heart rate, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, weight loss and drug dependence syndrome. Depression as a system of withdrawal is possible when ritalin is no longer being taken. It's important to remember that Ritalin is a stimulant, and therefore, in the long-term, has the same side effects that other stimulants would have. This includes twitching, headaches, abnormal heartbeat, paranoia, anxiety, fevers and loss of appetite.


There are natural alternatives to potentially dangerous pharmaceuticals. There are all-natural supplements which produces no negative side effects. These use only natural ingredients to promote focus, concentration and general health. Natural products offer a new choice to parents who are concerned about the effects of prescription drugs on their children.


Photo Credit: deathtiny42

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