Journal Article

The effects of prenatal smoke exposure on language development: A systematic review


The negative health effects cigarette smoking during pregnancy (SDP) on the foetus are well known. Despite previous reports of poor cognitive performance in offspring exposed to SDP, few studies specifically consider language outcomes according to maternal smoking. In this study, we systematically review the literature to assess the relationships between SDP and child language. Of the 14 studies reviewed, 13 (93%) reported significant associations between maternal smoking or exposure and language outcomes. Despite this consistent association, only 8 of the 13 studies reporting associations (62%) concluded direct relationships between exposure and outcome. The remaining studies suggested that the relationship between smoking and language could be explained by factors such as maternal IQ, socioeconomic status (SES) and parental age. Future studies should apply careful study designs allowing for confounding factors across child, parental, environmental and genetic influences. Our review suggests that smoking cessation is likely to positively affect child language outcomes.

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Peixinho, Jessica
Toseeb, Umar
Newbury, Dianne F.
Mountford, Hayley S.
Bermudez, Isabel

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of Biological and Medical Sciences


Year of publication: 2022
Date of RADAR deposit: 2022-04-22

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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