Teens Four Times More Likely To Smoke If Parents Do, Experts Say | Smoking
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Teens whose parents or guardians smoke are four times more likely to start smoking, medical experts have warned.
The statistic was one of several released as part of the Better Health Smoke Free campaign to encourage smokers to give up on their New Year’s resolution.
NHS and behavioral health experts have discussed the link between smoking in adults and the likelihood of children in their households becoming smokers.
Other findings discussed by the group were that young adolescents whose primary caregiver smoked were more than twice as likely to have tried cigarettes and four times as likely to be a regular smoker.
Maggie Throup, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Vaccines and Public Health, said: New campaign – highlighting the link between intergenerational smoking and parents who influence their children – will be the added motivation that many need to quit smoking for good this year.
Other statistics included research from NatCen Social Research, which also showed that children between the ages of 10 and 15 were more likely to smoke if their mother or father currently smokes.
Children were also more likely to smoke if one of the parents had smoked in the past, even if they did not currently smoke, according to the same research.
The Better Health Smoke Free campaign comes from the new Office for Improving Health and Disparities (OHID) of the Department of Health and Social Affairs.
The Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England and Co-Head of OHID, Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy, said: “Smoking is bad for your health, but it also has a negative impact on the people around you. Most people know about the dangers of second-hand smoke, but we shouldn’t overlook the impact that parents have as role models.
Professor Nick Hopkinson of Imperial College London added: “The results of our research are clear: smoking in adults has a tangible impact on children. Children whose guardians smoke are four times more likely to start smoking on their own.
“The most effective way to help prevent this would be for adults to quit smoking. This clearly not only brings them huge benefits, but it will also benefit their children now and later in life. “
Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that one in eight adults in England is a smoker.
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