Friday, 21 September 2007

Secondhand smoke may lower test scores

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Lighting up cancer sticks at home hurts your kids' lungs -- it may also hurt their high school test scores. According to a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health, 16-18 year-olds sucking in secondhand smoke suffer academic consequences -- a whopping 30 percent decrease in the odds of passing standardized achievements tests.

Interestingly, the researchers set out to analyze prenatal smoking's impact on adolescent test performance. They discovered secondhand smoke exposure was worse than prenatal. The study does not explain why secondhand smoke increases test failures rates, but prenatal smoke exposure has been connected with a higher risk of cognitive and academic defects, impulsivity and even learning disabilities.

About one-third of women in their childbearing years smoke, while up to 60 percent of kids may be exposed to secondhand smoke in the home. Quitting is rough stuff. Keep trying! At the very least, don't light up in the home or car -- head outside.

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