New studies show that Second-hand Smoke
‘Using rats in experiments carefully designed to mimic the second-hand smoke exposures that humans encounter, the researchers found that the chemical components of tobacco smoke affect fetal brain development throughout pregnancy.'[source]
The second-hand smoke exposure damages the regions of the brain involved in learning, memory and emotional responses. The impact was greatest at late gestation, however, adverse effects were still apparent in the neurodevelopment of the fetus even prior to conception.
Theodore A. Slotkin, Ph.D., professor in Duke’s Department Pharmacology & Cancer Biology said:
“This finding has important implications for public health, because it reinforces the need to avoid secondhand smoke exposure not only during pregnancy, but also in the period prior to conception, or generally for women of childbearing age,”[source]
Though the effects of smoking are now common knowledge to the majority of the Worlds population and even the effects of second-hand smoke are now well known, however only now do we have evidence which shows the damaging
“Our study clearly shows there is no stage in which tobacco smoke is innocuous to the developing fetus,” Slotkin said. “We warn women about smoking during pregnancy, and most people are aware that secondhand smoke exposure is also harmful to the fetus, but our study is the first to show that exposure prior to conception is potentially damaging, as well. The public health implications should be obvious.” [source]
Sources: Science Daily | News-Medical