Smoking while pregnant may make your child more prone to addictions later on, a new study says. Studies have already noted that smoking during pregnancy increases the risk for birth and heart defects in children, but this new study suggests that smoking affects the reward system in the child’s brain.
The study compared teens whose mothers smoked while pregnant to teens whose mothers hadn’t, testing how they reacted to being presented with a reward. They found a brain response similar to that found in addictions–“muted activity of the brain chemicals that signal satisfaction,” according to TIME.
About 13 percent of women admit to smoking during the last trimester of pregnancy. TIME says the study adds to the “growing body of data documenting the harms that nicotine can have on proper fetal development.”
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