Nine-year prospective relationship between parental smoking cessation and children's daily smoking

Addiction. 2003 May;98(5):585-93. doi: 10.1046/j.1360-0443.2003.00343.x.


Aims: The first prospective investigation of the extent to which parental smoking cessation predicts their children's daily smoking.

Design: Parental smoking status was assessed when children were aged 8/9 years and children's smoking status was assessed at age 17/18 years.

Setting: Twenty Washington State school districts in the control group of the Hutchinson Smoking Prevention Project.

Participants and measurements: Questionnaire data were gathered on 3012 children (49% female and 91% Caucasian) and both of their parents in a cohort with a 95% retention rate.

Findings: When both parents quit smoking, children's odds of daily smoking were reduced by 39% (95% CI = 15%,56%) compared to when both parents were current smokers.Furthermore, when both parents never smoked then children's odds of daily smoking were reduced by 71% (95% CI = 62%,78%).

Conclusions: Parental smoking cessation is associated with reduced risk of their children's daily smoking. Parents who quit still place children at substantially higher risk compared to parents who never smoked.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Peer Group
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States / epidemiology