Teenagers whose parents smoke ‘four times as likely to take up smoking’

Teenagers whose parents smoke are four times as likely to take up smoking, according to a new Government campaign.

The Better Health Smoke Free campaign highlights research that shows the impact adult smokers have on the young people in their lives.

According to analysis revealed by the campaign, young teenagers who grow up with a caregiver who smokes are four times as likely to smoke themselves.

Indeed, 4.9% of young teenagers whose caregivers smoke also smoke regularly, versus 1.2% of those whose caregivers do not.

Smoking ban
Health experts have called on parents to give up smoking for new year (PA)

As part of the campaign the NHS has released a film where health experts discuss the link between adult smoking and the likelihood of children in their household becoming smokers.

In the film, family GP Dr Nighat Arif, child psychologist Dr Bettina Hohnen and smoking cessation experts Professor Nick Hopkinson and Dr Anthony Laverty of Imperial College London call on parents to give up smoking for their new year’s resolutions.

Health minister Maggie Throup said she hoped the research would give parents extra motivation to quit smoking.

She said: “We know that many people make a quit attempt in January, and while there are so many good reasons to stop smoking for yourself, we hope that this new campaign – by highlighting the inter-generational smoking link with parents influencing their children – will be the added motivation many need to ditch the cigarettes for good this year.

“With so much help and support available for parents, carers and anyone looking to quit – including the NHS Quit Smoking app, support on Facebook, daily emails and texts, and an online Personal Quit Plan – you won’t be alone in your new year’s resolution.”