Just yesterday, a friend relayed a story to me that was mind-blowing yet sad. He was in the UK and the weather was cold, wind chilly as everyone sought ways to keep warm by covering up as much as possible. As he boarded the bus, a sight caught his attention. It was that of a young family with a husband and his wife were walking with their baby. As the guy was doing the pushing of the buggy, he was reminded how times have changed indeed with men more involved in rearing their kids beyond just providing keep-money. Since the wife was free of 'hand-baggage', he took a second look only to find a shocking sight - She was puffing away.
He told me a myriad of questions went through his mind wondering 'Is she aware of the dangers of smoking to her baby? How often does she smoke daily? Is her husband aware of the harmful effects of smoking for children? Is her doctor aware she smokes? Has she been warned by any medical personnel? Is she just choosing to ignore the consequences? Surely, she can sacrifice for her child, right?
Refusing to believe or accept that the lady in question is a bad mother, his thoughts were on how far-reaching the damage she is causing not just to herself but her baby and spouse too is. It seemed the classic case of shooting oneself in the foot and blaming others.
Researchers in the UK recently analysed three existing studies from New Zealand, Cardiff and the United States and published the result in a medical journal, JAMA Psychiatry. The studies were focused on understanding conduct problems in children between ages four and they found a link between maternal smoking and behavioral disorders in children. There was also observed increase in level of disorder with increase in the amount of cigarettes smoked.
Based on undeniable findings, they reached a conclusion that prenatal tobacco smoke exposure was contributing significantly to subsequent conduct disorder in children as they grow as its consequences were no longer restricted to prenatal risk but rather extend to the lifespan and affects the quality of life for countless individuals.
Infact, in another poll conducted by Pfizer asking smokers how they funded their smoking habits in tougher economic times, it was revealed that smoking parents were often more willing to reduce their child's quality of life than go without cigarettes. This is surely a lifestyle behaviour we do not want future generations to emulate. Lets keep smoking menace OUT of Nigeria.
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