Parents should quit smoking early in children’s lives: study

Washington – Children of smokers become more likely to take up the habit – and become heavy smokers – the longer the parent smokes, according to a study from the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

More than 400 parents and their participating children 12-17 years old were interviewed at the beginning of the study, and the children were interviewed again one year, and then five years, later. Researchers found that the more years a child was exposed to a parent’s nicotine addiction, the more likely that child was to smoke or to experiment with cigarettes as an adolescent.

To prevent habitual smoking in the next generation, it is important for parents who smoke to quit early in their children’s lives, the researchers said.

The study was published online May 12 in the journal Pediatrics.