A review of the literature was undertaken concerning maternal cigarette smoking during pregnancy. A link between this behavior and an increased incidence of behavioral disorders, specifically Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) was explored. The review was performed using Medline, CINAHL, and Pubmed. Search terms used were maternal smoking, ADHD, and behavioral disorders. Maternal smoking during pregnancy appears to be associated with an increased incidence of ADHD in childhood. A direct causative relationship has not been established. However, after controlling for other potential variables such as maternal age, education and socioeconomic status, it can be concluded that smoking during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk for the development of ADHD in childhood. The development of childhood behavior disorders is likely a lesser-known effect of maternal smoking. This information can be used to alert physician assistants and other clinicians to a potentially preventable common childhood cognitive disorder.




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