Friday, October 07, 2005

AD/HD: Kids with AD/HD Are More Likely To Smoke

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have reported that the more severe a child displays AD/HD symptoms the more likely that child will become a regular smoker.

Of course, they're quick to say that AD/HD doesn't make all AD/HD kids smokers. They're just more likely to get hooked than their non-AD/HD peers should they pick up a smoke and try it out.

Quoth Scott H. Kollins, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at Duke and lead author of the study:
"We wanted to know why people with ADHD smoke more often than those who don't have ADHD...It may be something about the symptoms themselves that cause people to smoke, but we aren't certain of that. What our data clearly show is that for every symptom of ADHD reported in childhood, the stronger the likelihood that person would smoke regularly during adolescence or early adulthood..."

Anybody who has experience with children with AD/HD knows that they don't have as much control over their impulses as other children. This is one reason AD/HD kids often become disruptive in class. They also seek out high intensity activities more often than their peers. So it isn't a surprise to me that AD/HD kids are more prone to become chain smoking maniacs. AD/HD goes hand in hand with addiction more often than not. The researchers hope to explore this issue further to aid AD/HD addicts in kicking the habit.

Quoth Joseph McClernon, Ph.D., assistant research professor of psychiatry at Duke:
"We think people with ADHD may benefit in some way from either more intensive cessation programs or modified programs that are more in tune with their needs, McClernon added. "They may require treatments we haven't imagined yet."

If focusing on the differences in AD/HD kid & adult brains leads the study group to determine how addiction works and perhaps how to counter it, this would be a great boon to society. I could finally give up my Boston Creme Donut addiction and live life as a free and much thinner man.

This study also paints a pretty bullseye on the AD/HD teenage population, unfortunately. So if you see Sparky the Hyperactive Rabbit bouncing all over the magazines or other spazzy new mascots rest assured that the cigarette companies never target children. But they do keep up on the latest medical discoveries.