Some Nigerian psychologists have warned that exposure of underage children to an atmosphere of alcohol can cause mental health and respiratory problems.
In Nigerian bars and beer halls, some parents exposed their children to their drinking and smoking habits.
In Abuja, several cases of parents smoking and drinking alcohol before their underage children have been reported.
The psychologists who spoke THE WHISTLER revealed that such actions have a double effect on children.
Adaorah Heavenly, an Abuja-based psychologist, said such exposure had a psychological effect on children.
She said they are also exposed to secondhand smoke.
Secondhand smoke according to the Center for Disease Control
is the combination of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette and the smoke exhaled by smokers.
Second-hand smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals. Hundreds are poisonous and about 70 can cause cancer.
Since the Surgeon General’s 1964 report, 2.5 million non-smoking adults have died from breathing in second-hand smoke.
Heavenly said: “Such activities around children have a lot of negative effects on them, but we don’t know why some parents do it. Parents who like it need psychological help because they don’t know the effect of what they are doing.
“Yes, it helps, even in the future their father may not smoke anymore, or be dead, but you will see the child smoking because most of these things have been stored in the subconscious of the child who is now part of what builds the child’s attitude and action.
“So it’s like a den in the subconscious mind, but with a lot of hypnotherapy or other therapeutic treatments they can be better. It’s always about the mental health that people neglect and that gets out of control. .
Peter Adebayo, an Abuja-based health pediatrician, categorized the effects of second-hand smoke into immediate, early and late.
Adebayo explained that passive smoking affects the respiratory, hematological, circulatory/cardiovascular systems of exposed children.
He also said it could progress to impaired lung function or significant loss of lung function.
Adebayo said: “In children with a family history or individual history of atopy, this could predispose them to a flare-up of their hypersensitive airway diseases and/or acute asthma attacks (if they are asthmatic known) while in some children they may present with symptoms suggestive of ear disease, particularly the middle ear.
“Severe cases of secondhand smoke inhalation can result in death. The above are factors that have been shown in the literature to be adverse effects of secondhand smoke inhalation in children.