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While previous studies have shown that smoking during pregnancy causes low birth weight, a new Canada-Netherlands study found that these women additionally risk delivering aggressive kids.

The risk was higher among smoking mothers whose familial income is lower than 40,000 dollars per year. Further more, the aggressive behaviour in offspring, defined as being quick to hit, bite, kick, fight and bully, was associated with smoking mothers with a history of antisocial behavior such as run-ins with the law, high school drop-outs and illicit drug use.

The research was carried out as part of a wider investigation of children that examined behaviors of 1,745 children between the age of 18 months to three and a half years. The results have been published in the journal Development and Psychopathology.

To conclude: Future mothers who smoke 10 cigarettes a day in their pregnancies and whose lives have been marked by anti-social behaviour have a 67 % chance to have a physically aggressive child in comparison to 16% for those who are non-smokers or who smoke fewer than 10 cigarettes a day.

Smoking was also found to be an aggravating factor, although less pronounced, in mothers whose anti-social behaviour is negligible.

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I wonder if the poisons and carcinogens in tobacco smoke may have passed from the mother to the unborn child, and may have permanently altered the brain function of the unborn child, causing the child to act up as the child grows older.
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