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Great American Smokeout 2016: Smoking during pregnancy increases schizophrenia risk in offspring

Smoking habit is the most addictive and unfortunately the most prevalent one as well. Cigarette smoking is a common method of fulfilling tobacco dependence. Previous studies have indicated the presence of neuropsychiatric disorders in those who are dependent on nicotine in the tobacco. Similarly, nicotine dependence can result in various psychological and physical disorders.

Tobacco smoking is mostly related to aggravated possibilities of cancer. This has prompted many organizations to arrange events at frequent intervals in order to inform and remind people of the possible health hazards of smoking. The American Cancer Society initiated the “Great American Smokeout” campaign in 1977 which is observed on the third Thursday of November every year to encourage people to quit tobacco use. Though various adverse effects of tobacco smoking are already known and understood, scientists are still exploring other potential disorders triggered by tobacco.

Cigarettes harmful for pregnant women

A recent study revealed that cigarette smoking during the gestation period can result in serious neurodevelopment anomalies and can cause adverse health impact on the developing fetus. The study, titled “Prenatal Nicotine Exposure and Risk of Schizophrenia Among Offspring in a National Birth Cohort,” claimed that there is an increased possibility of children born to nicotine-dependent mothers to suffer from schizophrenia. For the study, published online in The American Journal of Psychiatry in May 2016, the scientists carried out a population-based nested case-control study of all children born in Finland between 1983 and 1998.

The scientists identified 977 cases of children born with schizophrenia from the data available and compared them to those classified under the control group based on date of birth, gender and place of living. The scientists also computed maternal serum cotinine levels by using quantitative immunoassay derived from specimens obtained from early- to mid-gestation periods stored in a national biobank.

The scientists made necessary adjustments for potential confounding factors, such as history of psychiatric disorders in parents, socio-economic condition, mother’s age during pregnancy and level of C-reactive protein. Increased maternal cotinine level quantified during the research process was associated with a heightened chance of offspring being diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Recovery from mental problems and addiction is possible

Looking at the relatively high incidence of tobacco use among pregnant women, a 2014 study, titled “Smoking Prevalence and Cessation Before and During Pregnancy: Data From the Birth Certificate, 2014,” stressed on the need to advise expectant mothers to curb smoking during their gestation period. According to a study published online by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in February 2016, an estimated 8.4 percent mothers smoked at any time during pregnancy.

The impact of smoking during pregnancy can be way beyond what has been revealed in the findings of the study, considering that previous studies had associated maternal smoking with increased potential of bipolar disorder in offspring. The fact that maternal smoking can have various effects, the need of the hour is effective, evidence-based smoking cessation strategies. Apart, proper counseling from time to time has shown great efficacy in ridding both the general population and pregnant women of their smoking habit. This will not only lead to healthy and happy citizens, but will also ease the economic burden of smoking.

If you or a loved one is facing any sort of addiction, contact the 24/7 Recovery Helpline to learn about the best substance abuse treatment centers in the U.S. It is best to seek timely treatment or else the situation might worsen. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-441-4405 or chat online with our representatives for assistance on addiction treatment centers.

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