Even before conception, second-hand smoke has negative effects

By: TC Newman, Buzz60

Cigarette smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke is widely known to be harmful, especially to children and babies. But a new study has set out to prove that second hand smoke has adverse effects even before conception.

Researchers at Duke University used rats to replicate human exposure to second hand smoke and found that fetal brain development was impaired when the mother was exposed to tobacco, even prior to being pregnant.

They found the offspring of female rats in the experiment who had smoke exposure during the early gestational period and late in fetal development, all had brain damage regardless of when they were around second hand smoke.

The parts of the brain that received the most damage were the areas that control emotional response, learning, and memory.

The researchers say, "Exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke -- even before conception -- appears to have a lingering impact that can later impair the brain development of a fetus."

Scientists are unsure of exactly how the tobacco smoke actually causes the physical damage to the fetus thought and say that more research is needed.

Scroll through to see celebrities as babies:

20 PHOTOS
Celebrities as babies
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Celebrities as babies

ELLEN DEGENERES

Who knew this little cherub would turn into everyone’s favorite talk show host prankster?

Photo: PureWow

GEORGE CLOONEY

Speaking of legendary pranksters… This one started out young.

Photo: PureWow

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Far less brooding 40 years ago.

Photo: PureWow

BEYONCÉ

Who run the world? Curls.

Photo: PureWow

JUSTIN BIEBER

Is it too late now to say sorry (for this sweatshirt)?

RELATED: 29 Celebrities You Didn't Know Were Related

Photo: PureWow

SOFIA VERGARA

Blonde...who knew?

Photo: PureWow

JOHN LEGEND

Soon enough he’s gonna have one of these, too.

Photo: PureWow

AMY SCHUMER

She still makes this very face.

Photo: PureWow

KATE MIDDLETON

Little duchesses gotta start somewhere.

RELATED: Kate Middleton's Family Vacation Photos Are Just As Awkward (and Heartwarming) As Yours

Photo: Getty Images

LENA DUNHAM

Feminist in the making.

Photo: PureWow

KANYE WEST

You, little angel, will one day discover Twitter.

Photo: PureWow

JENNIFER ANISTON

Always the fashion plate.

Photo: PureWow

JAMES FRANCO

Don't worry, buddy: You'll meet Seth Rogan in a few decades.

Photo: PureWow

STEVEN TYLER

Kind of never not cheesin'.

Photo: PureWow

SUSAN SARANDON

Forever young.

Photo: PureWow

MERYL STREEP

You'd be excited, too, if you were destined to be one of the best actresses in the world.

Photo: PureWow

BRAD PITT

Well, he certainly grew into himself.

Photo: PureWow

BARBRA STREISAND

A real jack-of-all-trades since childhood.

Photo: PureWow

MADONNA

Costume inspirations in the making.

Photo: PureWow

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