Objectives: We examined associations between parental and adolescent smoking and nicotine dependence in the United States.
Methods: We used data from the 2004 to 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which ascertained smoking behaviors of 1 parent and 1 adolescent aged 12 to 17 years in 35 000 dyads. We estimated associations between parental and adolescent smoking behaviors, adjusted for covariates.
Results: Parental current dependence was strongly associated with adolescents' lifetime smoking (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.96; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.47, 3.55), whereas parental current nondependent smoking (AOR = 2.26; 95% CI = 1.92, 2.67) and former smoking (AOR = 1.51; 95% CI = 1.31, 1.75) were less strongly associated. Only parental nicotine dependence was associated with adolescent nicotine dependence (AOR = 1.66; 95% CI = 1.00, 2.74). Associations between parental and adolescent smoking did not differ by race/ethnicity. Parents' education, marital status, and parenting and adolescents' mental health, beliefs about smoking, perception of schoolmates' smoking, and other substance use predicted adolescent smoking and dependence.
Conclusions: Reducing parental smoking would reduce adolescent smoking. Prevention efforts should encourage parental smoking cessation, improve parenting, address adolescent mental health, and reinforce adolescents' negative beliefs about smoking.