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Jim Liebelt Christian Blog and Commentary

Teen Smoking Influenced by Parents, Older Siblings

  • Jim Liebelt
    Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
  • 2013 Aug 06
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Teens of a parent who smoked -- even if the mother or father quit before the teen was born -- are more likely to smoke than those whose parents are nonsmokers, a new study finds.

Having an older brother or sister who smokes also raises the odds that a teen will pick up the habit, the researchers report.

"These findings imply that any amount of smoking could have important influences on the next generation," said lead researcher Mike Vuolo, an assistant professor of sociology at Purdue University. "Given the influence on the oldest siblings, this is especially the case in heavy-smoking households."

The report was published online Aug. 5 and in the September print issue of Pediatrics.

Dr. John Spangler, a professor of family and community medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, said there may well be a genetic component to these findings. "This study confirms what we have already sensed, that there is a family history of tobacco use among many smokers," Spangler said. "We know that people are more likely to uses substances like alcohol based on family history, the same holds true for tobacco use."

Source: U.S. News & World Report
http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2013/08/05/if-parents-ever-smoked-teens-may-be-more-likely-to-light-up