Oops! Smoking is hereditary

Girl Smoking/ Image: cutbyfred.com
Girl Smoking/ Image: cutbyfred.com

Love your smoking breaks and you know you need to quit but cant get yourself to? Well, you must especially if you have young children. According to a new study if you quit while your kids are young it will help prevent them from picking up the habit later on, .

“Our analysis showed that the longer adolescents are exposed to a parent’s smoking when the parent is addicted to nicotine, the more likely they are to begin smoking and to become regular smokers in the future,” said lead author Darren Mays.

Quitting is of course important for parents’ health too. Mays, a public health researcher with the Cancer Prevention & Control Program at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center of Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C.says, “Our results suggest that for parents who are addicted smokers (quitting) may also reduce the likelihood that their children will go on to become smokers in the future,”.

Teens whose parents are current smokers and addicted to nicotine are 10 times more likely to themselves become regular smokers at an early age or to experiment early on with cigarettes than kids with nonsmoking parents.

Among the parents who were current smokers, each year they had smoked slightly increased the odds that their kids would end up in a heavy-smoking trajectory.

The results don’t prove that parents smoking caused their kids to take up the habit, the study team also said. But there’s a link between parental and child smoking as a combination of genetics and social norms in the household, affect this decision.