Smoking Parents, Smoking Children

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It’s a case of monkey-see, monkey-do.

A new study finds kids are more likely to smoke if their parents smoke, or used to smoke.

Pediatrician Dr. Ellen Rome of Cleveland Clinic Children’s said, “If you have parents that smoke the kids are likely to smoke. That’s natured, that’s nurtured. There is a biologic risk. Plus, “Do as I say, not as I do” does not work.“

Purdue University researchers studied more than 200 parents and more than 300 children. Parents were classified as non-smokers, light smokers, persistent smokers, or heavy smokers.

Results show 8 percent of the kids of non-smoking parents admitted to smoking within the last year, but among smoking parents, anywhere from 23 to 29 percent of kids picked up the habit.

Researchers said the effect was even felt among light smokers or parents who quit.

Dr. Rome explained parents are the first line of defense. “Talking about it will help. Have the conversation. Keep them from starting smoking in the first place.”