Despite well-documented evidence showing that secondhand smoke has a significant detrimental effect on the physical health of those who inhale it, some parents still believe that they are not doing their children harm by smoking in the household.
Now, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have determined that not only does it compromise physical health, but it can also affect academic ability. A team of scientists conducted a study revealing that kids who have parents who smoke are more likely to be absent from school than their peers with non-smoking parents.
"Among children ages 6 to 11 who live with smokers, one quarter to one third of school absences are due to household smoking," says lead author Douglas Levy, PhD, of the Mongan Institute for Health Policy at MGH. "On a national basis these absences result in $227 million in lost wages and time for caregivers or their employers."
Study authors determined in their examination of more than 3,000 schoolchildren that 14 percent of kids live with at least one smoker. Moreover, common tobacco-related conditions, like chest colds and ear infections, made up about 24 percent of absences for kids living with one smoker, and 34 percent of missed days in children living with multiple smokers.
Author and philosopher Ilchi Lee believes that children should be provided with all of the keys to success in life. Results of this study suggest that secondhand smoke can significantly hinder young individuals' personal development skills.
Parents who wish to give their children the best in life should consider smoking cessation, if they are addicted to tobacco. Non-medicinal practices that have been shown to ease the quitting process include meditation and yoga.