Smoking While Pregnant Could Up Your Baby’s Tourette Syndrome Risk

A recent study finds yet another risk factor associated with smoking cigarettes during pregnancy—this time it's surrounding this neurological disorder.

Pregnant woman smoking cigarette and drinking coffee NAR studio/Shutterstock
The risks associated with smoking during pregnancy just keep mounting: A new study finds that women who smoke while expecting put their babies at risk for developing Tourette syndrome and other chronic tics. 

Researchers analyzed data from over 73,000 births in Denmark and found that moms who smoked at least 10 cigarettes a day put their children at a 66 percent increased risk of developing chronic tic disorders. That's not the only risk that increases with excessive smoking through pregnancy: Researchers also found a link between heavy smoking and other neuropsychiatric conditions, including ADHD.

The study, which was published in the September issue of Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, was conducted by a team of experts and led by Dorothy Grice, M.D., a professor of psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

"Identifying environmental causes for chronic tic disorders and related psychiatric conditions is important because if we know specific risk factors, we can develop more effective strategies for prevention," Dr. Grice said, according to a release for the study. The researchers plan to examine this topic further to get a clearer picture of how these environmental factors affect fetuses. 

While researchers aren't quite sure if this study proves a cause-and-effect relationship between the two factors, one thing is abundantly clear: Smoking during pregnancy is just so not worth the risk. Smoking while pregnant has been linked to an increased risk for schizophrenia, childhood obesity and even accelerated aging which, believe it or not, begins in the womb. Sadly, an alarmingly large group of women continues to smoke while pregnant. It's pretty clear that no good can come from the habit—and this recent research is just further proof of that.