New research shows smoking after pregnancy is just as harmful to kids as is smoking during pregnancy.
Results from a study show long-term smoke exposure in the womb and after birth increases the risk of airway disorders in a child's first 10 years.Researchers studied the effect of smoke exposure on 1,314 newborns through parental questionnaires and interviews. One-third of the children were at "high risk" for allergies. Researchers studied what effect tobacco exposure had on children in utero as well as after birth. They looked for these airway disorders: allergic sensitization to inhalant allergens (like pollen), allergic rhinitis, wheezing and respiratory infections.
In children whose parents had allergies, smoke exposure in the womb that continued after birth significantly increased the risk of allergic sensitization to inhalant allergens and wheezing. However, the risk was only seen in children who had a genetic predisposition to allergy. In children who had one allergic parent, the combination of pre- and postnatal secondhand smoke increased the risk of allergic sensitization 1.8-fold. When both parents were allergic, secondhand smoke exposure increased that risk 7-fold. Likewise, for wheezing, there was a 2.1-fold increased risk among exposed children with one allergic parent, while there was a 5.7-fold increased risk when both parents were allergic.
Statistics has shown about 40 percent of children under age 5 in the United States are living in homes where they're exposed to cigarette smoke on a daily basis.