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Neurotoxicol Teratol. 1991 Jan-Feb;13(1):5-12.

A comparison of active and passive smoking during pregnancy: long-term effects.

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Department of Psychology, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


Previous research has determined that maternal smoking during pregnancy is associated with negative effects for the child at birth and throughout childhood. Much less is known about the consequences of exposure to secondary smoke during fetal development. The present study investigates and compares the long-term consequences of active and passive smoking during pregnancy. Ninety-one children between the ages of six and nine years were tested using a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery. After considering potential confounds, children of nonsmoking mothers generally were found to perform better than the two smoking groups on tests of speech and language skills, intelligence, visual/spatial abilities and on the mother's rating of behavior. The performance of children of passive smokers was found, in most areas, to be between that of the active smoking and nonsmoking groups. It was concluded that there is a continuum of long-term smoking effects and that, although active maternal smoking is associated with effects of greater breadth and magnitude than passive maternal smoking, children of passive smokers are also at risk for a pattern of negative developmental outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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