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Teens More Likely to Smoke If Parents Do

1/26/2009

If parents smoke, chances are their adolescents will too. The study, “Parental Smoking and Adolescent Smoking Initiation: An Intergenerational Perspective on Tobacco Control,” looked at 564 adolescents enrolled in the New England Family Study. The authors found that there is a direct link between parental smoking and initiation of smoking by adolescents. The factors impacting the initiation of smoking by teens were parents who were active regular smokers and parents who smoked around their children before age 13. Fathers who smoke are more likely to influence teen boys than girls. The authors conclude that this study can be used to encourage parents to quit smoking as part of an effort to curb the initiation of smoking among teens.

Note: The February issue of Pediatrics features two additional articles on tobacco use: “Decreased Aortic Elasticity in Healthy 11-Year-Old Children Exposed to Tobacco Smoke,” and “Water-Pipe Tobacco Smoking Among Middle and High School Students in Arizona.”

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.