Nicotine patches used during pregnancy linked to ADHD


2014-07-22 18:47

New research indicates that pregnant women who use nicotine patches to stop smoking are still putting their children at risk of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). The study, published in Pediatrics, reveals that there is a link, but researchers are careful to note that they do not want the public to assume nicotine can cause ADHD. It is difficult to establish this type of relationship because other factors are involved.

Smoking while pregnant and the impact of nicotine

Previous studies have already established the harmful impact of smoking on children and discouraged pregnant women from using nicotine. However, the research may have ended up encouraging more women to try smoking cessation products during their pregnancies because of fear. Unfortunately, the nicotine in these products still appears to be able to harm children.

The new study mentions that women who smoke are more likely to have children with ADHD. Nevertheless, researchers are advising people to use this information cautiously instead of considering it as the only explanation for why children have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The scientists suggest that the mothers may be more likely to have ADHD too, so this may attract them to smoking. More research will have to be conducted in this area to determine the other connections.

Nicotine patches, gum and other products still harmful

Despite the benefits of quitting smoking, pregnant women who turn to nicotine replacement products are still harming their children. The study indicates that they are putting them at a higher risk of developing ADHD. In addition, researchers suggest that nicotine in any form may not be safe during pregnancy. They are interested in researching the impact of nicotine on the brain of a fetus because they believe it is causing damage. They recommend that women stop smoking and try to avoid nicotine replacement products.

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