Mums who smoke during pregnancy put their children at greater risk of developing psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions.
A survey of 12-year-olds found that those whose mums had smoked during pregnancy were 20% more likely to suffer these problems. This figure rose to 84% if 20 or more cigarettes a day were smoked.
The research, carried out by Cardiff, Nottingham, Bristol and Warwick Universities, suggested that smoking while pregnant affected brain development in babies. Researchers said the findings should help persuade mums not to smoke during pregnancy. Currently, 15% of mums-to-be still don’t give up the habit. Smoking pregnancy is linked to pregnancy and birth complications, as well as being dangerous for your unborn baby.
While the findings were “important”, more research into the issue is needed, the lead researcher , Dr Stanley Zammit, said.
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