The purpose of this review is to examine the rapidly expanding literature regarding the effects of prenatal tobacco and postnatal secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure on child health and development. Mechanisms of SHS exposure are reviewed, including critical periods during which exposure to tobacco products appears to be particularly harmful to the developing fetus and child. The biological, biochemical, and neurologic effects of the small fraction of identified components of SHS are described. Research describing these adverse effects of both in utero and childhood exposure is reviewed, including findings from both animal models and humans. The following adverse physical outcomes are discussed: sudden infant death syndrome, low birth weight, decreased head circumference, respiratory infections, otitis media, asthma, childhood cancer, hearing loss, dental caries, and the metabolic syndrome. In addition, the association between the following adverse cognitive and behavioral outcomes and such exposures is described: conduct disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, poor academic achievement, and cognitive impairment. The evidence supporting the adverse effects of SHS exposure is extensive yet rapidly expanding due to improving technology and increased awareness of this profound public health problem. The growing use of alternative tobacco products, such as hookahs (a.k.a. waterpipes), and the scant literature on possible effects from prenatal and secondhand smoke exposure from these products are also discussed. A review of the current knowledge of this important subject has implications for future research as well as public policy and clinical practice.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||23|
|Journal||Current Problems in Pediatric and Adolescent Health Care|
|State||Published - Sep 2014|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health